Dentists are highly trained in infection control. Dentists use what is called "universal precautions" with every patient, and use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protocols to clean everything between patients. All dental instruments are sterilized at very high heat. The risk of a patient getting any type of illness from the common cold to HIV or AIDS at a dental office is extremely low.
A dental abscess is an infection in the mouth that can be caused by a tooth or gum condition. Dental abscesses can be very painful, or not painful at all. A true abscess is a collection of pus in the bone and or gum tissue. Many times it can be seen on the gum tissue and look like a blister. To treat the condition, the assiciated tooth must either have a root canal or be extracted. However, if it is related to the gums, a proper dental cleaning may be able to resolve the condition. Only a dentist can make these assesments, and perform the proper treatment!