Rinse Your Mouth With Saltwater
Rinse your mouth with salt water to find temporary relief from the discomfort. It is an affordable and easy home solution. A saltwater rinse also works effectively to heal wounds and promotes healthy gums.
Take ½ teaspoon of salt and pour it into a cup of warm water. Rinse your mouth with this salty remedy and swish the solution for 2 minutes at least. Do this thrice a day.
Causes Of Tooth Infections
When bacteria gets to the root and inner tissue of your tooth, it causes an abscess to form. Those with gum disease are more likely to form tooth infections and may require more visits to the dentists office over time.
While periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of tooth infections in the U.S, there may be other contributing conditions or risk factors that can cause a tooth infection to form. For example, a lack of proper dental hygiene makes it more likely for bacteria to form below the surface of your teeth. Eating a diet that is high in sugar is also a gateway to infection. Bacteria may find a dental cavity or crack in your tooth to make their way inside.
This is why it is so important to schedule regular visits to your dentists office!
When Are Antibiotics Used For A Tooth Infection
Tooth infections dont always require antibiotics. In many cases, they may clear up on their own. Rinsing with warm saltwater or taking over-the-counter medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , may help to reduce tooth pain and swelling.
The American Dental Association recommends that dentists avoid prescribing antibiotics for most tooth infections due to potential side effects. Dental treatments, such as drainage, deep cleaning, or a root canal , may sometimes be necessary.
However, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics if you are immunocompromised or if your tooth infection is spreading. Some of the signs that your tooth infection is getting worse may include:
- Swelling in the jaw or neck
- Intense pain or swelling that does not go away
If left untreated, a tooth infection may spread to the surrounding bones and tissues. This can lead to serious health complications, including:
If you have a severe tooth infection, your dentist may prescribe a course of antibiotics to prevent it from spreading. Antibiotics may prevent tooth loss and other serious health complications.
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Tooth Infection Home Care
You can do some things to ease your symptoms:
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen for the discomfort.
- Try to chew on the side of your mouth away from the tooth.
- When you brush your teeth, use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Donât eat foods that are hot or cold.
- Put a cold compress on your jaw where your tooth hurts.
- Use a rinse of water and salt or diluted hydrogen peroxide.
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Meet Mccarl Dental Group
The dentists at McCarl Dental Group take care of patients with dental emergencies every day at our Greenbelt, Maryland dental office. We provide same day emergency dental care to patients with pain from dental infections. Many patients who need emergency dentistry treatment are new to our dental office, and we are happy to help! If youre in need of emergency dentistry services, call our dental office in Greenbelt, MD right way.
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Can An Abscessed Tooth Be Prevented
You can reduce the risk of developing a tooth abscess by seeing your dentist routinely and getting regular dental exams and cleanings. Its also important to see your dentist if a tooth becomes loose or chipped. Oral hygiene is very important for dental health. At home, brush teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
Treating Gum Infections At Home
So, what can you do to improve your gum health at home and deal with ongoing gum problems? There are plenty of natural at-home remedies that make it easy to promote good gum health.
Salt Water Rinse
One of the easiest and most effective ways to deal with a gum infection is a salt water rinse. Salt acts as a natural disinfectant and reduces swelling of the gums. All you need to do is dissolve two teaspoons of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth, as you would with mouthwash. You can do this as many times a day as you choose. Even if youre not dealing with an infection yet, this is a great way to reduce any risk.
Turmeric is well-known for its health properties and dental health is no exception. Its an antioxidant and has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This means it not only reduces your risk for gum infections, itll help treat them and reduce the pain and swelling that come with them.
You can make a paste with turmeric at home by mixing a teaspoon of turmeric powder with salt and mustard oil or vitamin E oil to your desired thickness. If you dont want to dip a toothbrush in the paste you can just use your finger to rub the paste on your teeth and gums. Do this two times per day to treat plaque and gum disease.
If you prefer, you can make a mouth rinse out of turmeric, the same way you did with the salt water.
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Symptoms Of A Gum Abscess
Some oral conditions of the mouth and gums can go unnoticed and cause little symptoms in early stages. This is not the case with a gum abscess.
These abscesses can cause persistent, severe pain in the affected area. If you open your mouth and observe the area, you may also notice swelling and redness. Other signs of a gum abscess include:
- sensitivity to heat or cold foods and drinks
- pain while chewing
A Small Cavity In The Enamel
All tooth infections start off really small like a small cavity in the enamel of your tooth. What it looks like is usually a small hole on your tooth or a dark brown spot. It can be on the side of your tooth or on top of it.
Tooth decay at this stage can be easily treated with a simple cavity filling. The whole procedure should be quick and painless lasting no more than 45 minutes at the dentist.
This is also the stage where it can take months to if not years before the infection can actually kill you. The reason is because it takes a long time for a small cavity to reach the nerve, where it can finally form an abscess.
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How Do I Prepare For An Appointment With My Dentist For An Abscessed Tooth
To help you get ready for your appointment:
- Make a list of your symptoms include any that may seem unrelated to your tooth or mouth pain. Remember, your dentist can only help you when they know everything going on.
- Make a list of medications, vitamins, herbs or supplements you may be taking with the dosages of each.
You should prepare a list of questions to ask your dentist, including:
- Whats likely causing my symptoms and condition?
- Which tests do you recommend?
- What is the best course of action?
- Are there alternative to the primary
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Remember, your dentist wants to help keep you and your teeth healthy. Just like other medical professionals you may see, theyre an important part of the healthcare team. Be sure to see your dentist routinely and dont put off regular checkups prevention is key! These visits give your dentist a chance to spot problems early, when they may be easier to treat. If you are experiencing pain, its important to see your dentist to get the care you need.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/24/2020.
Dont Wait To Treat A Tooth Infection
Is your tooth feeling painful or sensitive? Do you have swelling on one side of your mouth? Are you getting feverish every time your tooth is in pain? These are all signs of a growing tooth infection. And dont wait to treat a tooth infection.
A tooth infection is serious and should be treated right away. The longer an infection goes untreated, the more likely it is to spread to the rest of your body, causing a lot of damage to your health and well-being.
The bottom line? Dont wait to treat a tooth infection! Get in touch with your Upland dental experts before it spreads. Read on to find out more about tooth infections and why they are so detrimental to your oral health.
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Complications Of A Gum Abscess
Dont ignore a gum abscess. If left untreated, the infection can spread deeper into the gum tissue and affect surrounding teeth and bones. This can cause increased pain and swelling, and the infection could travel to other parts of your face and body.
In rare cases, a gum infection can travel to the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening complication known as sepsis. symptoms include:
- a temperature above 101F
- difficulty breathing
How Long Do They Take To Work
What amount of time every antibiotic requires to work varies depending on many variables, for example, the seriousness of the infection and how successfully the medicine wipes out the infectious bacteria.
It is significant for individuals to finish a full round of antibiotics. You need to take all of the prescribed medication precisely how the dentist says to take it. Even though an individual may start to see their indications go away after a couple of doses, finishing the full round of antibiotics helps prevent the contamination from returning or getting more grounded.
According to the International Dental Journal study notes, most of the intense infections resolve in 3 to 7 days.
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Tooth Decay That Has Reached The Tip Of The Root Becoming An Abscess
If you ignore the throbbing pain, the tooth decay can travel all the way down the root of the tooth and start eating away at the bone. Once the tooth infection has eaten through the bone, it has become a full dental abscess.
What it looks like can only be seen on a dental x ray, where it appears as a large dark circle at the tip of the root. Darkness on an x ray signifies that the structure is becoming less solid and that is consistent with an abscess eating away at your bone.
The tooth abscess at this stage is still treated with a root canal but the procedure may require more visits because you will need antibiotics placed inside of the tooth to clear away the infection.
Typically, you should still have months before the tooth infection can kill you at this stage. Thankfully it isn’t the last stage of a tooth infection.
Common Antibiotics Used For A Tooth Infection
Penicillin-type drugs, such as amoxicillin and penicillin V potassium, are typically the first-line antibiotics that dentists prescribe to treat a tooth infection.
However, allergic reactions to penicillins are common. If you have a history of allergy symptoms after taking penicillin-type drugs, let your dentist know. They may prescribe a macrolide antibiotic, such as clindamycin, to clear up your infection.
In some cases, your dentist may prescribe another type of antibiotic, such as:
These drugs are typically prescribed if other antibiotics dont work to treat your symptoms or if your tooth infection begins to spread.
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How Do You Tell If A Tooth Infection Is Killing You
When the swelling from the tooth infection spreads down towards your throat thus effectively closing off your airway space rendering you unable to breathe, you’ll know that the tooth infection is trying to kill you. Although you may be unconscious at this point. What this looks like is very severe swelling that involves your throat. The swelling will be so big that your face will look disfigured and deformed looking.
Do not be mistaken because a tooth infection with this amount of swelling is a real medical emergency and it IS life threatening. Don’t walk to the nearest hospital, run to the nearest one or call 911 for assistance.
How A Dentist Will Treat A Tooth Infection
Once a dentist has determined that you have an infection, the dentist can work to treat the infection, clear out any abscesses that have formed, and assess the damage. You will usually be given a prescription for antibiotics too. If there are abscesses in the tooth or in the gums near the tooth the dentist will go in and clean those pockets out to get rid of the bacteria. Often that can provide immediate relief from the pain of an infected tooth. The dentist will also check your teeth to see if you will need a root canal in order to save the tooth.
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Ways To Avoid Tooth Infection
A tooth infection is a pocket of pus that is caused by a bacterial infection. Abscesses can occur in different regions of the tooth depending on the cause of the infection. A periapical abscess shows up on the tip of your tooth, while a periodontal abscess is located in your gums and the side of your tooths root.
Dentists will treat a tooth infection by draining it and removing infected tissue. Usually, your tooth can be saved with a root canal, but in severe cases, your tooth may need to be pulled. While this may seem extreme, its better to pull a tooth than to leave infection and allow it to spread.
Leaving an abscess is not an option. Untreated abscesses can lead to serious, life-threatening complications. When left untreated, an abscess can cause bacteria in your mouth to enter the bloodstream, which can lead to an infection of your heart valves. This weakens the valves in your heart, making them more susceptible to other infections, irregular heartbeat, and other heart problems.
Treatments For A Dental Abscess
Dental abscesses are treated by removing the source of the infection and draining away the pus.
Depending on the location of the abscess and how severe the infection is, possible treatments include:
- removing the affected tooth this may be necessary if root canal treatment isn’t possible
- root canal treatment a procedure to remove the abscess from the root of an affected tooth before filling and sealing it
- incision and drainage where a small cut is made in the gum to drain the abscess
Antibiotics aren’t routinely prescribed for dental abscesses, but may be used if the infection spreads or is particularly severe.
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How Do I Treat A Toothache At Home
For temporary relief of a toothache, you can do the following:
- Rinse with warm saltwater. Saltwater can loosen debris between your teeth, act as a disinfectant and reduce inflammation. Stir a ½ teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth thoroughly.
- Rinse with hydrogen peroxide. A hydrogen peroxide helps to reduce inflammation and pain. Dilute the hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and rinse thoroughly. Dont swallow it.
- Cold compress. For swelling and pain hold a cold compress of ice wrapped in a towel to the painful area for 20-minute periods. Repeat every few hours.
- Pain medications. Over-the-counter pain medications can reduce pain and inflammation. NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can be used, or take acetaminophen if you cant take NSAIDs. Dont give a child under the age of 16 aspirin use Tylenol instead.
Natural or herbal treatments
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What Causes A Tooth Infection
The primary cause of a tooth infection is dental caries, or tooth decay. Your mouth is full of bacteria all the time, but usually that bacteria doesnt get inside your teeth where it can cause an infection. When decay causes cavities and cracks or holes in your teeth, bacteria can seep into your teeth and cause a tooth infection. An infection can also happen if you have an injury to your tooth that causes a crack or a chip in the tooth. Keeping your teeth strong and healthy through regular brushing and flossing can help prevent decay and infections.
Infection can happen in different parts of the tooth. Sometimes the infection occurs on the side of the tooth if there is an opening there and that can cause the infection to spread to the gums. Pockets of pus called abscesses can form around the infection that will need to be drained by the dentist for the infection to go away.
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What Is An Abscessed Tooth
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus from a bacterial infection. Abscesses can occur in different places around a tooth for different reasons and affect the involved tooth, but also the surrounding bone and sometimes adjacent teeth. Three types of tooth infections can cause abscesses:
- Gingival: This infection develops in the gums. It does not usually affect the tooth or supporting structures.
- Periapical: A periapical abscess is an infection that forms at the tip of the root. This occurs because bacteria can spread to the inside of the tooth to the pulp through a fracture or cavity. The pulp is the innermost part of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. When bacteria invades the pulp, they can spread to the tip of the tooths root causing the infection to spread to the bone eventually leading to an abscess.
- Periodontal: This infection starts in bone and tissues that support the tooth. A periodontal abscess usually results from periodontitis or gum disease and is more common among adults.