Top 3 Signs Of A Tooth Infection
Keep an eye on the following if youre experiencing any discomfort:
1. Throbbing Pain
Throbbing pain, whether its in the tooth, jaw, ear, or even neck, can be a sign of an infection. Pain from an infection is also likely to increase if youre lying down.
Your body is trying to fight off the inflammation, which may lead to swelling in the cheeks or lymph nodes. Any visible changes in the body can be a symptom of a progressing infection.
An infection in the mouth can lead to a mild or moderate fever. If youre experiencing any chills or fatigue, even a slight fever can be a sign of infection.
Please note that people with poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, and a high-sugar diet are more likely to experience tooth infections. Its important to monitor symptoms of tooth infection, as theyre liable to start off mild. Whether the tooth becomes infected through a cavity or chip, you cant let the pain go untreated.
What Causes A Tooth Infection
A dental infection is sometimes called an abscess. An abscess can develop when the bacteria thats part of tooth decay gets inside a tooth or a part of the gums and becomes an infection. The infection will get worse as the bacteria feed on the sugars that are typically found in your mouth. When dental infections arent treated, they can likely eat away at your tooth until the nerve of the tooth is exposed, which is painful. If the infection goes deep into the tooth all the way down to the pulp and kills the pulp, which could lead to severe tooth decay. If there is a lot of damage to the pulp, your dentist may need to do a root canal in order to flush the infection and seal the tooth to help prevent it from getting infected again. The following are three typical causes of dental infections²:
Can An Infected Tooth Affect Your Heart Health
What puts you at risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular problems? For most people, the risk factors that typically come to mind are a poor diet, a lack of exercise, excess body weight, and excessive alcohol consumption. While these are all definite risk factors, most people dont realize that having an infected tooth or poor oral hygiene can also increase your chances of problems like heart attacks or heart disease. While its still not exactly known how your heart and oral health are related, theres a definite correlation.
Research points to poor dental health as a potential risk factor for heart disease. Its been shown that people with gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and tooth infection have a higher incidence of cardiovascular problems like a heart attack or stroke. There are a few theories about why this happens. When you have an infection in your tooth or gums, the bacteria from the infection can enter your bloodstream and travel elsewhere in your body. This bacteria can cause inflammation in your blood vessels and blood clots. Other research suggests that its the bodys immune response to the bacteria that can potentially damage your blood vessels or heart. Evidence of oral bacteria has been found throughout the body, which means that the health of your mouth has a clear effect on your overall health.
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How Is An Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed
In addition to examining the tooth and surrounding tissue for signs of infection, your dentist may:
- Recommend an X-ray. This can help identify sources of dental disease that may have led to the infection. Your dentist can also use X-rays to determine if the infection has spread and may be affecting other areas.
- Recommend a CT scan. If the infection has spread to other areas within the neck, this will help to identify the extent of the infection.
- Tap and press on your teeth. A tooth with an abscess is often sensitive to touch or pressure.
- Thermal tests. These tests will help your dentist determine the health of your pulpal tissues.
How Do You Drain A Tooth Abscess At Home
It may be tempting to try and pop a gum boil by yourself, but this is not something we recommend. Popping your tooth abscess may relieve the pressure and pain. However, some of the pus is likely to remain inside and the infection will continue. You may even make it worse by exposing the wound to other bacteria.
A dentist can drain the abscess in a sterile environment and ensure all the infected tissue is removed so that it heals properly.
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Should I Be Concerned
Tooth and ear pain are probably some of the worst types of pain that a person can experience So yes, if there is tooth and ear pain going on, you should be concerned. Fortunately, you probably wont have to rush off to the emergency room, but you might need to see a dentist or doctor depending on the frequency and severity of your tooth and ear pain.
If its your child experiencing tooth and ear pain, you probably want to do everything possible to get them out of pain and into the doctors office. Over-the-counter Motrin is an anti-inflammatory that helps with swelling, which is a common cause of earaches and toothaches.
Once symptoms start to improve, you can begin to do some detective work to figure out whats causing it. That way youll know which type of doctor to see and what type of treatment to expect.
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:
- root canal treatment a procedure to remove the abscess from the root of an affected tooth before filling and sealing it
- removing the affected tooth this may be necessary if root canal treatment is not possible
- incision and drainage where a small cut is made in the gum to drain the abscess
Local anaesthetic will usually be used to numb your mouth for these procedures.
More extensive operations may be carried out under general anaesthetic, where you’re asleep.
Antibiotics are not routinely prescribed for dental abscesses, but may be used if the infection spreads or is particularly severe.
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What Are The Treatment Options
Ludwigâs angina is a serious infection that can spread rapidly. It needs immediate treatment to get the infection under control and ensure your airway remains open.
The first treatment is to make sure you can breathe properly. If your breathing is partially restricted, you may receive a breathing tube through your mouth or nose. If your breathing is severely restricted, you will receive a tracheotomy surgical procedure to insert a breathing tube into your windpipe.
Ludwigâs angina causes a lot of fluid buildup in the neck and jaw area, so itâs important to drain this fluid so you can get relief. Doctors make an incision to drain the fluid and help you breathe easier.
You will also receive intravenous antibiotics that help treat bacteria in the mouth. Once your infection clears, your doctor may give you a prescription for oral antibiotics to ensure the symptoms donât return.
Increased Heart And Breathing Rate
Do you notice that your heart starts beating faster than normal? What about your breathing? Do you feel like you’re panting to get enough air?
Both of these are indications that sepsis is beginning to set in. If this happens to you, don’t wait to get in to see your dentist. You need to see a doctor right away.
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Less Common Causes Of Referred Pain Toothaches
Heart and lung disease can cause toothache pain due to the location of your vagus nerve. This nerve runs from your brain to the different organs in your body, including your heart and lungs. It passes through your jaw.
When To Call The Dentist
Ideally, youll call the dentist as soon as you notice any symptoms. A severe infection can cause anything from difficulty breathing to chest pain to mental confusion, so its important to be on the ball from the very beginning. Plus, scheduling a consultation can stave off everything from larger health problems to more intensive treatments in the dentists chair.
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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.
The Effects Of Antibiotics On Toothache Caused By Inflammation Or Infection At The Root Of The Tooth In Adults
This Cochrane Review has been produced to assess the effects of antibiotics on the pain and swelling experienced by adults in two conditions commonly responsible for causing dental pain. The review set out to assess the effects of taking antibiotics when provided with, or without, dental treatment.
Dental pain is a common problem and can arise when the nerve within a tooth dies due to progressing decay or injury. Without treatment, bacteria can infect the dead tooth and cause a dental abscess, which can lead to swelling and spreading infection, which can occasionally be life threatening.
The recommended treatment for these forms of toothache is removal of the dead nerve and associated bacteria. This is usually done by extraction of the tooth or root canal treatment . Antibiotics are only recommended when there is severe infection that has spread from the tooth into the surrounding tissues. However, some dentists still routinely prescribe oral antibiotics to patients with acute dental conditions who have no signs of spreading infection, or without dental treatment to remove the infected material.
One trial reported side effects among participants: one person who received the placebo medication had diarrhoea and one person who received antibiotics experienced tiredness and reduced energy after their treatment.
Quality of evidence
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Cavities Periodontal Disease Or Abscesses
When it comes to tooth and ear pain, the most frequent types of dental issues to cause referred ear pain are those associated with infected upper back teeth . If there is an abscessed tooth, serious gum disease, or a severe area of tooth decay, the pain can seem as if its coming from the ear.
This type of tooth pain can range from dull, chronic aches to sharp, acute pain. There may also be swelling along the gums, or visible fistulas that give off a salty taste as they come and go. Gums may bleed when youre brushing and flossing.
The best type of treatment will depend on the specific type of tooth infection you have. For periodontitis, that would be a deep cleaning and any other gum therapies. For cavities, you would probably need a filling. Abscessed teeth will typically need endodontic therapy if they can be saved. More serious stages of these infections might require a tooth extraction.
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
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Can You Die From A Gum Abscess
In very rare cases, an oral abscess can be fatal. This is because if the infection is left untreated, it can reach the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. An abscessed tooth is known to have caused widespread organ failure in one case and swelling of the brain in another, both leading to death.
Don’t worry though the fact that you’re reading this article means you have the chance to seek medical attention before you reach this serious stage. If you’re worried you have a tooth or gum abscess, get straight to a dentist to have it checked.
Will A Gum Abscess Go Away On Its Own
A tooth abscess can burst on its own but this doesn’t mean the infection is gone. An abscess might originate at the root of your tooth or deep inside your gum pocket.
If your abscess has already burst, it may heal on its own. However, it’s still a good idea to visit a dentist to ensure the infection has cleared. At the very least, be on the lookout for signs that your mouth infection has returned so you can get it looked at straight away.
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What Causes An Abscessed Tooth
Your mouth naturally contains bacteria, and when not cleaned well this forms plaque on your teeth and gums. Teeth infections develop when the acid produced by plaque starts to decay the teeth, or when it gets trapped in the gums.
The main tooth abscess cause is untreated tooth decay that’s left to spread. Other possible reasons for infection include:
- Complications from dental surgery such as implants, root canal treatment and extractions
- Rough tooth brushing or flossing
- Food stuck between teeth and gums
People with poor dental hygiene are more susceptible to dental abscesses due to an increased build-up of plaque. Any injury or surgery to teeth and gums can increase the chances of infection as delicate parts of the mouth are exposed to bacteria.
In addition, people with a weakened immune system are at greater risk of developing a dental infection. The immune system is affected by certain underlying heath conditions, such as diabetes. Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, also reduce a patient’s natural immunity.
While none of these things will automatically lead to a tooth or gum abscess, they are all factors which increase the risk of infection.
Gum Abscess Home Treatment
Although the only way to be sure of effective treatment is with a visit to the dentist, there are some home remedies which can help alleviate the pain and stop infection spreading further while you wait for your appointment. So, how can you treat a tooth abscess at home?
The best form of tooth abscess pain relief is ibuprofen, but paracetamol is second best. If you find just one of these ineffective, you may take both ibuprofen and paracetamol up to the maximum doses shown on the packets.
Other tooth abscess home remedies include:
- Rinsing and gargling with warm salt water
- Avoiding flossing around the affected area
- Using a soft toothbrush
It’s not possible to purchase antibiotics for tooth infection over-the-counter in the UK they must be prescribed by a dentist. If you don’t seek professional treatment for your abscess, it is likely the infection will keep spreading. This can lead to serious damage to your teeth, periodontal ligament and jaw bone. The infection might even spread to other parts of your body via your bloodstream if left for long enough.
Remember that just because an abscess has burst or drained and the pain has subsided, this doesn’t mean the infection is gone. You still need to visit a dentist.
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Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection Spreading To The Rest Of The Body
Did you know that you can die from a toothache? That’s a sobering thought.
Most of the time toothaches are caused by infections that are merely painful inconveniences. But if the infection worsens and spreads to the rest of the body, it can be serious. For a small number of people, it’s even deadly.
To avoid this happening to you, you can simply learn the symptoms of a tooth infection spreading to the body. Then you’ll know when to seek immediate medical attention for your annoying toothache.
Warning: Never Ignore These Oral Health Symptoms
Were all taught that there are certain health symptoms that you shouldnt ignore chest pain, for example. Thats because a seemingly innocent symptom can actually be a sign of something far more serious pain in the chest can be indicative of a heart attack. But what about our oral health? Are there symptoms that occur in the mouth that should raise a red flag for us? The answer is a resounding yes. Consider the following oral health symptoms that you should never ignore:
Snoring. Does your partner often complain of a restless night of sleep due to your snoring? Snoring which is the sound that results when the airway is partially blocked during sleep is extremely common. Most people arent aware, however, that snoring can negatively impact oral health. How? Snoring can lead to dry mouth, which is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Without the proper amount of saliva to moisten the mouths tissues, a host of oral health problems can develop, including decay, halitosis, periodontal disease, and sores in the mouth. Simply put: snoring is more than a nuisance that interrupts your partners sleep at night. If youre a chronic snorer, its time to consult your doctor.
- Clenching and grinding of the teeth otherwise known as bruxism.
- Frequent earaches.
- Jaw pain and tenderness.
- Inability to open the mouth wide.
Because TMD is progressive, its important to seek treatment early when you first start to experience symptoms.
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