Parulis is any soft tissue swelling around the jaws, regardless of its cause. The vernacular calls the Parulis a ” thick cheek “. Clinically, it is an inflammatory, externally perceptible swelling in the jaw area. In most cases, the inflammation is the result of a chronic inflammation of the tip of a tooth root (apical ostitis chronicica), or an inflamed deep gum pocket. The swelling can affect the cheek as well as the lips, or even reach the eyelids in the upper jaw area.


The cause of the soft tissue swelling/parulis is an abscess. The starting point is a tooth in which the tooth pulp has died off and a chronic inflammation has formed at the root tip due to bacteria. The body tries to encapsulate this focus of inflammation by granulation tissue.

At the same time, pus forms in this focus, which, if weakened, breaks through the defensive wall and seeks an exit. As long as the pus is under the periosteum, there is great pain; after breaking through the periosteum, the pain subsides for a short time. However, this is not a sign of improvement, but the process continues and spreads, so that, for example, the whole lower jaw is affected.

A mucous membrane abscess with swelling of the soft tissues (parulis) occurs. In any case, therefore, the dentist must be consulted in case of a parulis. He will split the abscess so that the pus can drain.

Drainage prevents the outflow of newly formed pus. At the same time a shielding with an antibiotic is indicated, this prevents further spreading of the infection. In most cases, the tooth responsible for this process will not be salvageable and must therefore be removed.

One possibility to still save the tooth would be a root tip resection with a root filling. However, this depends on which tooth is involved. With the extraction of the tooth or the apicoectomy with root filling the actual cause of a parulis is eliminated.

If the cause is a deep gum pocket, its restoration is also necessary. Parulis is a soft tissue swelling in the jaw area. The cause is an acute flare of a chronic inflammation at the tip of a tooth root.

The formed abscess is opened by the dentist to allow the pus to drain. The extraction of the responsible tooth or a root tip resection eliminates the cause of the soft tissue swelling and prevents a reoccurrence.

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