Pus in the mouth is often an uncomfortable and disgusting sign of infection. Dental abscesses and throat infections are common causes of pus. Advanced gum disease can also result in pus pockets forming in the gums. Canker sores can also become infected and pus may drain from these lesions. Some piercings, particularly tongue piercings, may also leak a clear or white pus-like fluid, and they can become infected as well.
Dental abscesses, which are often very painful, are one of the most common causes of pus in the mouth. These can occur when the nerves of a tooth become infected, either due to decay or injury. Pus can then become trapped in infected area.
It is generally recommended to seek medical attention to deal with a tooth abscess. A dentist or other medical professional will often prescribe an antibiotic, and he may also recommend encouraging the pus to drain. This can usually be accomplished by holding warm salt water in the mouth. If the abscess does not drain on its own, a dentist may drain it manually, either by making an incision in the gum or extracting the tooth.
Some severe throat infections, including strep throat and tonsillitis, can also cause pockets of pus in the mouth, particularly on the back of the throat. These illnesses will also usually be accompanied by other symptoms, including sore throat, fever, and swelling. An antibiotic is often necessary to clear up these infections. In severe chronic cases of tonsillitis, however, a tonsillectomy may also be performed.
Periodontitis is a type of dental disease that occurs when the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth become infected. This will often cause discomfort, receding gums, loose teeth, halitosis, and mouth sores. Pockets of pus around the teeth may also form in the advanced stages of this disease. Dentists will often recommend a good oral hygiene regimen, and possibly an antibiotic, to treat these symptoms.
Canker sores may also be a source of pus in the mouth, particularly if they become infected. These are usually shallow painful lesions on the soft tissues of the mouth. The gums, tongue, and cheek tissues are usually the areas that are affected the most. These sores will usually clear up on their own, but they can become infected, and pus may drain from them.
Tongue piercings may also cause pus in the mouth. Some drainage from a tongue piercing is typically considered normal, and this drainage will usually be clear to white, and it will sometimes crust around the tongue jewelry. An infection in a tongue piercing, however, will sometimes result in greenish colored pus, and it will often be accompanied by pain and swelling. When treating an infected piercing, individuals are usually advised to leave the piercing in place. Removing the piercing could cause the outside hole to close up, trapping the infection inside the tongue.