Sunday, July 14, 2024

How Do I Know If My Tooth Is Infected

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Ways To Tell If You Are Living With An Infected Tooth

How do I know when my Wisdom Tooth should be removed? – Dr. Srivats Bharadwaj

Are you suffering from a debilitating toothache? Perhaps youve noticed a little gum or jaw swelling, or your tooth seems to be a different color? It could be a serious tooth infection.

Your teeth are packed with nerves. Thats why a toothache, though it may only affect one part of your mouth, is excruciating. Whats more, the pain may sometimes be related to a deeper oral health issue.

If your tooth feels sore, sensitive, or youre experiencing sharp pains in your mouth, you may have a tooth infection or a tooth abscess.

Why a tooth becomes infected

There are a number of causes of tooth infections. One of the most common causes is older root canals. When you have a root canal, your dental professional removes a nerve from the affected tooth. Unfortunately, bacteria can grow in that area, leading to an infection that your body struggles to fight off.

Its important to recognize the signs of an infection, so you can seek immediate treatment.

How to tell if your tooth is infected

  • If you experience pain when eating, you may have a tooth infection. The infection or abscess spreads out of the root tip, which causes the gum and bone to be affected. Sometimes the pulsating pain and throbbing may be so severe that pain medication does not relieve your aches. This could be because the infection has spread, and theres more pressure on the gums and bones.
  • Your tooth has turned a darker color compared to your other teeth.
  • How to cure a tooth infection

    How Can I Tell If My Tooth Infection Has Spread

    Untreated infections in your mouth can travel to other areas, including your face, jaw, and neck, which can be life-threatening. Very rarely, infection can travel to your brain. If you have any of the following signs or symptoms along with your tooth pain, get medical help right away:

    • Fever

    • Skin redness or swelling in your neck or face

    • Pain with opening your mouth or touching your jaw or face

    • Sore throat

    • Changes in mood or vision

    • Confusion and extreme drowsiness

    • Severe pain and overall feeling of being unwell

    Untreated tooth infections can also spread to your bloodstream. This can cause a life-threatening infection called sepsis or even travel to your heart.

    If you have any symptoms that might indicate your tooth infection has spread, visit an emergency department immediately.

    How Can A Tooth Get Infected

    Chips, cracks, or cavities are all ways that a healthy tooth can become infected. Additionally, certain factors may put you at greater risk for suffering from a tooth infection:

    • Consuming high amounts of sugar. High sugar intake can cause cavities, one of the main ways tooth abscesses form.
    • Dry mouth. Certain medications and aging cause dry mouth, which puts you at risk for infections because it increases the likelihood of tooth decay.
    • Inadequate dental care. Not taking care of your teeth can have lots of negative consequences.

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    How Long Does It Take For A Tooth Infection To Spread

    Infections can be serious, and it is always important for patients to know when to call their dentist. Infections should always be treated right away to avoid complications, or other issues from developing. If you have a toothache and throbbing pain that does not go away, the infection could spread to other places in the body. At Orange County Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, we are equipped to handle any dental emergency, and offer flexible hours to accommodate our patients.

    Swollen Or Tender Lymph Nodes

    tooth extraction

    The lymphatic system runs throughout the body and acts as a waste removal system, getting rid of cellular waste. When there is infection or inflammation in the body the lymph nodes can swell or become hard. If you suddenly have lumps under your jaw or in your neck that are hard to the touch, you may have inflamed lymph nodes, which could mean you have an infection.

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    What Causes An Abscessed Tooth

    There are many causes for a dental abscess. A very common cause is when a dental cavity becomes so large and deep that it reaches the pulp chamber. An inflammatory process takes place within the tooth. Inflammation of the pulp is usually what is felt as a toothache. Pulpitis is further characterized by tests done by a dentist as reversible or irreversible. Reversible pulpitis means that the pulp is irritated but has an opportunity to recover. Irreversible pulpitis means that it will not recover, and the pulp is dying. Once the pulp is dead , an abscess can form as the infection spreads from the tooth to the gum ligament and jawbone below. Often, a tooth that becomes necrotic can still be saved if steps are taken to resolve the infection at an early stage.

    Other causes for a tooth to become necrotic and abscess are a blow to a tooth, dental treatment such as a crown or a filling that gets too close to the pulp chamber, or trauma to a tooth from grinding or clenching. In every form of a tooth abscess, the pulp is adversely affected and is unable to recover from the insult or injury. A blow to the tooth can immediately sever the tooth’s blood supply. When the blood supply is lost, the nutrient supply is also lost. As a result, the pulp quickly dies. Trauma from grinding or clenching is a slower, progressive injury to a tooth.

    Symptoms Of Tooth Infection Spreading To The Brain

    A dental abscess can also travel to the brain, leading to the development of another abscess. If the infection reaches your brain, it can be life-threatening.

    Since a brain abscess is so dangerous, the condition requires a visit to the hospital or emergency room for urgent treatment. A brain abscess is relatively rare but can occur if the dental infection is left untreated.

    Symptoms of a brain abscess :

    • Fever
    • Going in and out of consciousness


    Dental abscesses can lead to brain abscesses . This is why you should never leave them untreated. Vision changes and body weakness on one side are common with brain abscesses.

    Can an Infected Tooth Make You Sick?

    Poor oral hygiene and neglected dental care allow the harmful bacteria in your mouth to cause infections. Eventually, an untreated tooth infection can make you sick.

    If left untreated, a dental abscess can have serious consequences on your oral health and entire body.

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    What Is A Dental Crown

    A dental crown is a cap customized to cover a patients tooth.

    It can be made from a variety of different materials, depending on the patients needs and preferences.

    The materials you can choose from when you want a crown for your tooth include stainless steel, metals, porcelain-fused-to-metal, zirconia, all-resin, all-ceramic, or all-porcelain.

    Reasons for a dental crown:

    • Restoring a tooths shape and size
    • Increasing a tooths strength
    • Enhancing the performance of a tooth

    The crown is usually cemented into place, making sure that the whole tooth is encased to provide maximum protection.

    These are the scenarios that typically call for the use of dental crowns:

    • Large cavities that cant be filled
    • Missing teeth when a bridge is needed
    • Coverage for dental implants

    What Is A Dental Abscess

    Healing mouth, tooth, gum infection without antibiotics

    An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms within body tissues. Abscesses are the result of an infection, generally bacterial, localized in the area where the abscess forms. They are almost always accompanied by swelling and inflammation. Dental abscesses are abscesses affecting the teeth and adjacent jaw tissue.

    Each tooth is made up of several layers. The outermost layer is the enamel, which covers a softer layer, the dentin. The dentin and enamel are the toothâs protective layers. Underneath the dentin is the pulp, where the toothâs nerves and blood vessels are situated. The pulp runs down the center of the root of the tooth, which connects the tooth to the underlying bone of the upper or lower jaw. Infections in the pulp can therefore easily spread into the bone of the jaw. Likewise, if the gum around the tooth becomes infected, the tooth is at risk of damage as well. Some abscesses affect the pulp first and spread to the bone, while others affect the surrounding tissues of the gum and do not start in the pulp.

    Treatment for dental abscesses involves draining the pus from the tooth and filling or removing the tooth to prevent re-infection.

    There are two major subtypes of dental abscess: periapical and periodontal.

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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. Delays in proper treatment 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 hygiene. Limit your sugar intake, brush your teeth and floss twice daily, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams.

    Periodontal Abscesses: Affecting The Gums

    Periodontal abscesses are more common among adults than children and are often a complication of gum disease. They tend to originate in the alveolar bone and periodontium. Gum disease or injury can cause teeth to become loose and/or inflamed, including the surrounding area. The resulting pocket that forms between the tissue and the tooth is vulnerable to infection by bacteria which can then form a periodontal abscess.

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    Dont Panic Get It Taken Care Of Today

    If you suspect that you have a dental issue that can only be resolved with a root canal, dont worry. Root canals, though not at the top of anyones list of a great time, are common and dont have to be painful. With the right dentist, the experience doesnt have to be a scary one.

    The truth is, it hurts a lot more to continue on with a damaged tooth or teeth than to undergo a root canal procedure. In fact, most patients say the procedure was painless. Though you can expect to feel some minor aches and sensitivity once the anesthetic wears off, these small discomforts will subside within a couple of weeks.

    The best thing to do is call your dentist and schedule an appointment today to get your teeth healthy again.

    How Does A Root Canal Get Infected

    How to treat a Tooth with an Infected Old Crown

    The most common way a root canal becomes infected is due to a deep cavity. If this cavity is not treated promptly, it can spread and infect other parts of the mouth.

    The infection usually starts in the pulp tissue. This soft layer in the tooths center contains nerves and blood vessels. If the infection spreads beyond the root, it may lead to other infections in other parts of the mouth.

    Here are some swelling symptoms that may point to root canal infections:

    • Swelling that lasts for a long period of time
    • A gum pimple-like boil situated in front of or on the root tip
    • The tooth that feels a bit taller than adjacent teeth
    • A recurring pimple that forms on the gums
    • Pronounced swelling.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of An Abscessed Tooth

    In some cases, the area around the tooth hurts, but not always. If it does, itâs usually a sharp, throbbing pain, especially when you put pressure on your tooth. It might also spread to your jaw or other parts of your face on the side thatâs affected.

    You might also notice:

    • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
    • Puffy gums
    • A bad odor when you chew with that tooth

    Sometimes an abscess causes a pimple-like bump on your gum. If you press it and liquid oozes out, itâs a sure bet you have an abscessed tooth. That liquid is pus.

    If you have swelling in your face and a fever, or you have trouble breathing or swallowing, go to the emergency room. The infection may have spread to other parts of your body.

    How To Tell If Your Tooth Is Infected

    Are your teeth sensitive to hot and cold foods? Does it hurt to bite down when you chew? If its a tooth infection, youll want to schedule an appointment with our emergency dentists in Grand Rapids, MI. The longer you wait to seek emergency dental care, the more the problem will grow.

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    Pain Management And Antibiotics

    As abscesses are painful, people may need acetaminophen or to control the pain. Essential oil of cloves has topical anesthetic properties and can be applied to the painful area, although it is very important to maintain strict hygiene while doing this. Home remedies like the above mentioned oil may provide some pain relief, but will not cure an abscess or prevent further infection.

    In uncomplicated abscesses, antibiotics may not be necessary.

    If the infection is severe or has spread, or if the abscess cannot be drained, antibiotics will be prescribed to help bring the infection under control. Antibiotics commonly prescribed for dental abscesses include:

    • Penicillin
    • Metronidazole
    • Cefoxitin

    If the patient is allergic to amoxicillin and/or penicillin, clindamycin may be prescribed. Penicillin is the usual antibiotic used to treat mild or moderate infections. Because antibiotics alone donât always penetrate the abscess very well, the abscess may also be surgically drained.

    Most dental abscesses are straightforward to treat and resolve completely after they are drained.

    How Do You Know If A Tooth Is Infected

    Houston Dentist “How Do I Know If My Tooth Is Infected”

    A tooth infection, sometimes called a tooth abscess, occurs when bacteria invade a tooth. This might occur if a tooth has a cavitya small hole where bacteria have produced acids and eaten through the enamel. Or, if a tooth is cracked or chipped, bacteria can also invade. For that reason, if you have an untreated cavity, or your tooth is cracked or chipped, you have a higher risk of getting a tooth infection.

    There are a few other signs of a tooth infection to keep in mind. If youre not sure, look for the following:

    • Tooth discoloration: if parts of your tooth look brown, black, or dark yellow, you may have a tooth infection.
    • Gum discoloration: if your gums are darker red than normal, or otherwise discolored, its a sign of infection.
    • Bad taste or bad breath: a tooth infection creates pus, which will leave a bad taste in your mouth, and will also cause persistent bad breath.
    • Pain or Swelling: with a tooth infection, youre likely to feel pain in your gums, jawbone, or even your sinuses, depending on placement. You may also notice your gums or cheeks swelling.
    • Abscess: if you have an abscess, a small bump will form on your gums. Sometimes, an abscess can form around the tooth root, so it wont be visible.

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    Do Tooth Infections Go Away On Their Own

    No, a tooth infection will not go away on its own. Instead, itll only get worse until the abscess bursts. When this happens, the infection will spread to your jawbone, as well as the rest of your head and neck. You may even develop sepsis, which is life threatening.

    Do NOT ignore the symptoms of a tooth infection! If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth, youll need to call our emergency dentists as soon as possible. The sooner you call, the more likely well be able to save your tooth.

    For example, our emergency dentists may be able to treat a small abscess with a root canal. Otherwise, youll need emergency tooth extraction.

    Darkening Of The Tooth

    The tooth that is infected may deepen and appear more brown or yellow. When the tissues in the root canals develop an infection, they go dark brown, changing the color of the tooth. Throughout root canal therapy, the dentist extracts the darkened tooth material, and the tooth will be capped with a crown, improving the appearance of the tooth.

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    Infected Root Canal Warning Signs

    When you are concerned that you may have an infection after having a root canal performed, then knowing the warning signs is essential to your good overall health. Root canals are often a necessary procedure in order to save a tooth at risk of being lost. Even though root canal complications tend to be few and far between, they do exist. This makes it essential for you to pay close attention to any warning signs that may be present.

    What Are Wisdom Teeth

    Wisdom Teeth Removal

    Your wisdom teeth are molars. Theyre the large teeth at the back of your mouth, sometimes called the third molars. Theyre the last teeth to grow in. Most people get wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 25.

    Like other teeth, a wisdom tooth can:

    • become
    • get stuck below or in the gumline

    If you have a wisdom tooth infection, youll need treatment from a dentist. But not all pain is the result of a tooth infection. Below we discuss treatments for wisdom teeth infection and pain.

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    Should I Treat My Root Canal Infection Or Extract My Tooth

    Im often asked by patients who are choosing between doing a root canal or extracting their tooth, Alright doc, I get that my tooth is infected, what are my choices? What would you do if it was your tooth? The rest of this post discusses my best recommendations and how to choose between:

    • Doing a root canal to save the tooth or
    • Extracting the tooth and replacing it with a bridge or implant

    This is not an easy choice as it involves treatment issues that may also have health consequences. Every day in my practice I see patients having to make this decision, so I have a lot of understanding about whats involved and what all the considerations may be.

    In the vast majority of cases, root canals are caused by infections, and the bacteria that cause root canal infections are difficult to remove completely, once they get into the tooth and the bone around the tooth.

    However, extracting teeth can be very traumatic and expensive. It is a $4,000 to $5,000 proposition to extract an infected root canal and replace it with an implant and porcelain crown.

    In this article, I will break down the advantages and disadvantages of each choice and give you my best advice on how to approach treatment. And there is good news as well, as you will discover.

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