When To Contact A Doctor
If you think that you have an infection of any kind, including a tooth infection, contact your healthcare provider or seek medical advice from a K doctor.
If you cant get in at your normal dentists office, seek emergency dental treatment as soon as you can.
Infections can start off small and mild, but if left untreated, they can spread throughout the body. If the infection continues to spread, your immune system may get overwhelmed and trigger inflammation throughout the body, which is called sepsis.
If sepsis isnt untreated, it can result in septic shock, a life-threatening condition that can develop when sepsis causes a persons blood pressure to drop dangerously low.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have sepsis, and you need to go to the emergency room or call 911 right away:
- Severe pain
- General malaise
Bacteria: The Cause Of All Tooth Infection
Bacteria thriving in plaque buildup and cavities can get to it via the cracks on your tooth, issues with your dental crowns, leaking dental restorations, broken fillings, or through the lateral canal once gum recession progresses.
There are different types of bacteria that you may find in the mouth, and the ones that decay teeth may be different from the ones that produce abscesses. A decayed tooth simply provides favorable conditions for the bacteria to thrive and infect more and more parts of your tooth so they can multiply and spread.
Dental Abscess That Causes Facial Swelling
If you leave the gum boil untreated, that small swelling can spread to the rest of your face. What this looks like is a very swollen face and is extremely painful because it can swell to the size of a golf ball or even baseball. All of that swelling is expanding and stretching out your face and that causes a lot of pain. The swollen areas will even feel warm to the touch because there is a very big active infection going on.
It will disrupt the quality of your life rendering you unable to ignore the problem. At this point in time, the tooth infection can still be treated by one of our dentists in long island city by draining the abscess and treating the infected tooth. This is considered emergency dentistry.
This is the last stage that we can help you with because with swelling this severe, you have at most just a few days before it can potentially kill you. It could progress very quickly from here to the next stage so you should run and not walk to the nearest dental office or urgent care center.
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Different Treatment Options For Cavities
Inform your dentist about distressing symptoms like tooth pain or sensitivity. Your dentist can spot cavity after an oral examination. However, a few cavities are not evident from an oral exam. That is why your dentist will take a dental X-ray to check for decay.
Even though there are various ways to treat a cavity, options will depend on severity. These include:
Will Mouthwash Kill Infection
No. Mouthwash may help to eliminate loose bacteria within your mouth as part of your regular oral health routine, however it cannot kill or treat an existing infection. You might enjoy some temporary pain relief by washing your mouth with salt water, but this will likewise not treat the infection itself.
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Treatment For A Tooth Infection
There are many ways for your dentist to treat the infected tooth. The type of treatment depends on several factors, like to what extent the infection has spread, and the initial location of the dental abscess. Read further as we explain the possible different treatment for a tooth infection.
Root Canal Therapy: It may be necessary to receive a root canal treatment. This can help treat abscesses deep inside the tooth. The root canal therapy procedure requires thedentist to drill into the tooth and remove the pocket of pus and bacteria at the root of the tooth. Once finished, thedentist will fill the space with a material called gutta-percha. After the tooth is healed, thedentist can restore the tooth with a dental crown, or a filling to prevent an infection from happening again.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection
If your tooth is infected, your pain may be:
- Gnawing or throbbing.
- Continuous or only when chewing.
- Radiating to the jawbone, neck or ear.
Other oral symptoms of infection include:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
- Bitter taste in the mouth.
- Foul-smelling breath.
- Swollen area in the upper or lower jaw.
- Open, draining sore on the side of the gum.
In addition, you may experience more generalized symptoms like:
- General discomfort, uneasiness or ill feeling.
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What Is A Cavity
A cavity is a hole in your tooth. Its an opening on the hard surface of your enamel that constantly expands unless its treated. The bigger hole the cavity causes, the more layers of your tooth are affected.
This permanently damaged area isnt painless either. An untreated cavity can result in severe pain and further infection. Ultimately, an ignored cavity can lead to the loss of your tooth.
There are various reasons why cavities develop. Most commonly, its a lack of dental hygiene. But bacteria in your mouth, trauma to your teeth, and sipping sugary drinks can also affect the frequency and severity of the cavities that form.
And theyre common. More than 90% of American adults have cavities. And over a quarter of the population has some form of untreated tooth decay.
What Really Happens If You Never Fix A Cavity
When we were little, we were told cavities happen when we eat too much candy. Turns out, our parents, teachers, and dentists weren’t kidding. “Tooth decay is bacteria that creates acid when we eat carbohydrates or sugar,” Boston University dentistry professor Carl McManama says . “The more sugar you eat, the more the bacteria will thrive and create more acid, which eats at the tooth.”
The process begins when plaque forms on your teeth. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, the plaque turns into acid. “And that acid, over time… it’ll wear a hole in your tooth,” dentist Kimberly Harms tells WebMD. “Once that hole gets in the tooth, then that bacteria can get inside the little hole, and you can’t brush it or floss it away, anymore.”
It may be difficult to see how the hole in your tooth can trigger a host of problems , but it can, and it does.
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Who Gets Tooth Infections
Youre more likely to develop tooth infections if you:
- Smoke: Smokers are about twice as likely to get tooth infections as nonsmokers.
- Have dry mouth: Bacteria thrive in a mouth with a low amount of saliva.
- Have poor dental hygiene: Regularly brushing, flossing and getting dental cleanings reduces bacteria.
- Have a weakened immune system: Diseases or medications can lower your immune response, making it harder to fight off germs.
Signs Your Tooth Is Infected
If youve ever experienced a tooth infection, you know it can be very uncomfortable. A tooth infection is typically accompanied with a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection. The abscess can be found anywhere in the mouth.
There are two types of abscesses. A periapical abscess occurs at the tip of the root, whereas a periodontal abscess occurs in the gums, usually near the side of the tooth.
A periapical tooth abscess usually occurs as a result of an untreated dental cavity. If the interior of your tooth , encounters any unknown substance, it can inflame the blood vessels and nerves, impacting the tooth enamel. Endodontic treatment helps treat tooth decay and other infected materials to help seal and fight future infections.
Rick Davis, DDS, and Rick Schwartz, DDS, are experts in endodontics at Endodontic Consultants of San Antonio. If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, visit a specialist who can diagnose and help treat it.
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Get A Root Canal And Say Goodbye To Infection
Speak with our root canal Riverside experts about the procedure and how it can prevent the spread of infection in your mouth. An infection occurs when there is a buildup of bacteria, causing plaque and tartar to form on the teeth. The longer this buildup goes unnoticed, the deeper it goes into the mouth. Sometimes, it will cause the roots of your teeth to become infected.
A root canal procedure removes the infection from the root of your teeth so that your tooth can remain intact. This restores health to your mouth and keeps the infection from spreading to the rest of your body. For more information on a root canal procedure, and for more ways to combat tooth infection, reach out to our friendly experts at Star Dental Group Riverside today!
How Is A Tooth Abscess Treated
A tooth abscess is treated to cure the infection and prevent complications, and to save the tooth if possible. You may be treated by your dentist or referred to an endodontist, a dentist who specialises in tooth roots.
The treatment of a tooth abscess depends on the seriousness of your condition. Treatments include:
- antibiotics to fight the infection usually only if the infection is widespread or severe
- making a small cut to drain the abscess
- root canal treatment, which involves cleaning out the abscess and other material from the root of the tooth, and then filling and sealing it
- tooth removal , which only happens if you have a severe infection, or your tooth cannot be saved
Generally, early treatment can cure the infection and save the tooth.
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Can A Tooth Infection Spread: How The Body Reacts
The bodys response to foreign invaders like the nasty bacteria is to increase the blood flow in the tooth to deliver white blood cells. These specialized cells serve as first-aides and soldiers of the body, fighting the bacteria before it spreads. Because of the increased blood flow, higher pressure gets inside the tooth. And since the tooth cannot swell and adjust to the pressure, the nerves that are inside the tooth get strained and compressed, leading to tooth pain.
As the infection progresses, the fresh blood supply gets cut off due to the increased pressure, and the tissue inside dies. You may think that the infection stops as the pain subsides, but the problem simply just changed location. The infection then spreads into the jawbone, causing fluid accumulation, throbbing pain, swelling, and sometimes numbness.
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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Feeling Sick All Over The Body
As an unchecked tooth infection starts to spread, you will start noticing the above symptoms more severely. Moreover, you will also start to feel these symptoms all over your body. An infection from your teeth can slip into your bloodstream, spreading these bad symptoms.
Some of the biggest signs that a tooth infection is spreading to the body include frequent headaches, feverishness, dizziness, and face swelling. It may get to the point where you are having difficulty opening or using your mouth because of the swelling. When that occurs, you should go to your local urgent care or emergency dentist to get rid of the infection ASAP.
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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Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection
A tooth infection, also known as a dental abscess, happens when bacteria enters and infects the area surrounding a tooth.
Dental infections usually occur at the tip of a tooths root or on the gums on the side of the root .
A tooth infection can cause symptoms such as:
- Severe toothache that may also cause throbbing pain in the jaw, neck, or ear
- Sensitivity to heat or cold temperatures
- Difficulty chewing or biting
A ruptured abscess can cause a rush of foul-tasting or salty fluid inside the mouth.
Typically, when this pocket of pus ruptures, people also experience pain relief.
Cavities Are Even More Contagious For Children
Researchers found that 30% of three-month-olds, 60% of six-month-olds, and 80% of two-year-olds were infected with cavity-causing bacteria. The reason for this is because the contagious cavities were passed on to them by their parents.
No matter how loving and caring parents are, if they have cavity-causing bacteria, they can easily infect their children. But, of course, adults can pass the contagion to other adults just as easily.
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The Tooth Infection Is Drained
It may be necessary in some cases to drain the pus directly from the site of infection. Drainage to remove the pus from an abscess at the back of the mouth may happen at your dentist office .
Even though most tooth infections can be easily treated, treatment should never be delayed. Untreated tooth infections can cause the tooth infection to spread to other parts of the body. If a tooth infection spreads, it could become life threatening. Therefore, if you suspect that you have a tooth infection, seek immediate dental treatment. The most effective way to prevent a tooth infection is to have good oral health care. Limit your sugar intake, brush your teeth and floss twice daily, and have good dental care habits by visiting yourdentist for regular cleanings and exams.
How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated
Its always important to seek dental care when you suspect an infection.
An infection may not be severe at first, but it can quickly turn life-threatening if not addressed by a medical professional.
You could be at risk for an infection spreading to the body, sepsis, or septic shock.
If you treat your infected tooth with antibiotics early on, you should begin to notice an improvement in symptoms within a few days.
If your infection isnt improvingor its getting worsetalk to a medical professional, who can help determine the proper course of treatment.
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Check If You Have A Dental Abscess
Signs of a dental abscess include:
- intense toothache or pain in your gums
- redness inside the mouth, or outside the mouth on the face or jaw
- sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink in the affected area
- a bad taste in your mouth
- difficulty opening your mouth and chewing food
- a swollen face or jaw
- a high temperature
How Long Can You Live With An Infected Tooth
Surprisingly, many people can live for months and even years with an infected tooth and be asymptomatic. Despite the fact that it can be asymptomatic and dormant at times, the infection coming from your tooth can definitely kill you if left untreated for an extended period of time.
How long it takes for a tooth infection to kill you would depend on the stage that the tooth infection is in. Each situation is different but for some people they can spend months to years in between the infection stages while the unlucky ones will progress through them quickly within days if not hours.
It would be helpful to understand the different stages of a tooth infection so that you can have a rough idea for how long before it can kill you and what you need to do about it.
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What Happens If You Dont Treat An Infected Tooth
What do pain, sensitivity when chewing, bad breath, facial swelling, and fever have in common? Theyre all signs of an abscessed tooth a condition where a pocket of pus builds up around the tooth. Every year approximately 200,000 Americans suffer from the debilitating pain brought on by an infected tooth. In recent years, many people have let their oral health fall by the wayside the result of dental anxiety, fear of needing dental work, exorbitant out-of-pocket costs, or just being too busy to pencil visits in.
But when does ignoring that tooth goes too far and become a real medical emergency? In recent years, emergency rooms see thousands of people annually for dental-related issues. In fact, from 2000 to 2008, the number of people hospitalized for dental abscesses increased by 40%.
To fully understand tooth abscesses, its important to be familiar with the structure of our teeth. They are hard on the outside allowing us to chew our favorite foods but inside, they are comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that can be prone to infection. Deep cavities, periodontal, or gum disease, and chipped teeth can all let in debris and bacteria acting as a catalyst for infection.