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Periodontal abscess F088

Last amended 
17 March 2022
Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
25 of 2022
Balance of Probabilities SOP
26 of 2022
Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 229

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 523.3
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: K05.2
Brief description

The periodontium is the ligament which attaches the teeth to the bony sockets. The periodontium is normally covered by the overlying gingiva (gums).  A periodontal abscess is an infection that results in a collection of pus at the site.  This can lead to the loosening and then the loss of teeth.

This definition excludes gingival abscess, pericoronal abscess, periapical abscess, apical periodontitis and combined periodontic-endodontic lesions.

Confirming the diagnosis

The diagnosis is made on clinical grounds (symptoms and signs).

The relevant medical specialist is a dentist or oral surgeon.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Nil
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • Acute apical periodontitis (of pulp origin)* - dental pulp and periapical disease SOP
  • Acute pericoronitis#
  • Chronic apical periodontitis* - dental pulp and periapical disease SOP
  • Gingivitis*  
  • Chronic pericoronitis#
  • Chronic periodontitis*
  • Gingival abscess* - gingivitis SOP
  • Maxillary and mandibular osteonecrosis*
  • Necrotising gingivitis confined to the gums* - gingivitis SOP
  • Periapical abscess* - dental pulp and periapical disease SOP
  • Pericoronal abscess#

* another SOP applies

# non-SOP condition

Clinical onset

This is an acute condition typically manifesting with pain and other local symptoms.

Clinical worsening

The condition is generally responsive to appropriate treatment which can include drainage of the abscess, antibiotics and in some cases removal of the involved tooth.  The condition can be complicated by osteomyelitis and cellulitis.