Abscess on the palate


An abscess is a local inflammation in which pus collects in a capsule of connective tissue. An abscess can occur anywhere in the body. The oral cavity and thus the palate is no exception.

Most abscesses are caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus. Especially in the oral cavity, the mucous membrane has a lot of contact with the outside world and therefore a lot of contact with possible germs. An abscess in the palate can be very painful and also severely restrict speaking and chewing.


In most cases the triggering germ in an abscess is the Staphylococcus Aureus. This occurs in the nasopharynx in about half of all people without causing any symptoms. In a weakened immune system, which already includes a normal cold, the Staphylococcus Aureus can lead to an abscess formation.

For this reason, chronically ill persons and persons with a weakened immune system due to medication are particularly frequently affected. The germ encapsulates itself and pus accumulates. The pathogen can also be transported to the palate via the blood from other parts of the body.

Some other bacteria and fungi can also cause abscesses in rare cases. Abscesses occur in the oral cavity, especially after dental surgery, because the surgical wound creates an entry port for the bacteria. Damaged or dead teeth can also contribute to abscess formation.

In some cases there are also several abscesses because the bacteria can spread through the bloodstream. Besides bacterial abscesses, sterile abscesses can also occur. This is possible, for example, if a wisdom tooth has not broken through. This leads to an accumulation of pus in the tissue without a germ migrating into the body region.


The standard therapy for abscesses is surgical opening. The pus and destroyed tissue is removed and the area disinfected. For the opening of the abscess cavity a local anaesthetic is applied beforehand.

In the oral cavity there is a special danger of pus entering the respiratory tract, which is why frequent suction is performed here. The empty abscess cavity is rinsed afterwards and, depending on the localization, a tube is inserted which continues to allow secretions to drain off. In immunocompromised persons, antibiotic therapy can be additionally useful, since the germ may be in the bloodstream and can cause blood poisoning there.

In the following days, affected persons can also use a mouthwash to clean the operated area. If a local cause for the abscess can be found, for example a destroyed tooth, this cause should also be treated. After removal of the abscess, food intake may be limited and patients should eat soft food.


An abscess is a local inflammation that is accompanied by the 5 classic inflammation symptoms at the affected site: Complications such as a ruptured abscess inwards can also lead to systemic symptoms. These include fever and a general feeling of weakness. In the case of abscesses in the back of the palate, breathing may also be restricted.

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Heating
  • Swelling
  • Function restriction

An abscess is always accompanied by pus formation. In a Staphylococcus aureus infection, this pus is yellowish, creamy and odorless. Pus consists of decayed neutrophil granulocytes. These are certain cells that belong to the body’s immune system and are supposed to fight the bacterial infection. Pus in body cavities should always be removed, but in the case of abscesses this should always be done by a doctor and not by yourself.