Everything To Know About An Infected Tooth

Dentist Blog

Your teeth are incredibly important. Not only do they help you break up food, but they also help you speak. Many people struggle with tooth decay, but in some cases, decay can lead to an infection. If you would like to know more about infected teeth and teeth abscesses, keep reading.

What Causes an Infected Tooth?

A tooth becomes infected when bacteria reaches the tooth's pulp, and this can happen in more than one way. First, if you ignore decay and cavities, they can become big enough to reach the tooth's pulp. On the other hand, trauma can cause cracks and chips that allow access to the tooth's pulp.

Once the infection reaches the pulp, an abscess forms. As it grows, the infection starts to kill the living tissue in the tooth: the blood vessels and nerves inside the tooth.

What Are the Symptoms of an Infected Tooth?

Since the pulp is dying and under a lot of pressure from the pus, you may experience mild to severe pain with a tooth infection. You may also notice swelling in your face, and your lymph nodes near your jaw may feel swollen. You'll probably have pain and/or tenderness at the affected site when chewing.

In some cases, you can see or feel an abscess in the gums beside the affected tooth. If the abscess bursts, it can release pus into your mouth, which is foul smelling and tastes bitter. The ruptured abscess, however, will relieve some of the pain.

How Is an Infected Tooth Treated?

Infected teeth are treated one of two ways: extraction or root canal therapy. With either option, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before, during, or after treatment to ensure the infection is dead. Unfortunately, with tooth infections, antibiotics aren't enough to fully treat an infection, and it will likely return.

Therefore, the tooth needs to be pulled or treated with root canal therapy because both procedures get rid of the infected root. Extraction does this by fully removing the tooth. With root canal treatment, you keep your tooth, and instead the pulp is removed and replaced.

If you have tooth pain, it's time to see your dentist. You may have an infected tooth, but even a cavity today could turn into an infection tomorrow. If you would like to know more, or if you're ready to talk about root canal therapy, contact a dentist in your area today.


16 March 2022

Emergency Dental Care

The average dentist takes many client appointments each day and also deals with emergency situations on a regular basis. Dental emergencies are very common because people are likely to put off having tooth pain fixed until the pain becomes unbearable. Some people have anxiety about dental visits, and others are trying to avoid the expense of dental care. In either case, the end result is often a dental emergency. I have worked as a professional dental hygienist for many years and have seen all types of dental emergencies. I hope that this blog will help people identify potential emergencies before they become too serious and will allow people to know when to get help.