A dental abscess forms when pus from a bacterial infection accumulates in the soft tissue of your mouth. There are three types of abscesses. A gingival abscess occurs only in the gums, and doesn't affect the surrounding tooth. A periodontal abscess occurs in the soft tissue that surrounds the bone structures that support your teeth. And a periapical abscess occurs in the soft pulp within a tooth. For treatment, your dentist will drain the abscess and remove the infection. Dr. Alin Alkass notes that it's imperative that you receive treatment for an abscess right away, as an untreated abscess can become life-threatening if an overwhelming amount of bacteria from the abcess enter the blood stream.