When a tooth breaks or decays, bacteria can invade the inner tooth and result in an infection – an abscessed tooth. This problem can not only result in pus or swelling and pain. In fact, the infection can quickly spread through the rest of the body and become a medical emergency. If you have a broken tooth (often occurring with wisdom teeth), visit your dentist immediately. Often, the only treatment for an abscessed tooth is a root canal. However, waiting because of fear or lack of money can end up costing you much more in emergency room costs.