Signs And Symptoms Of An Infected Tooth
You may have an infected or abscessed tooth if youre experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Painful throbbing in your tooth, jawbone or near your neck
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Sensitivity to the pressure
- Swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or neck
- A salty fluid taste in your mouth
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Contact your dentist if you think you may have an infection, and consider the below home remedies to soothe your symptoms until then.
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.
Six Ways To Get Rid Of A Tooth Abscess Without Going To The Dentist
If bacteria reaches the centre of your tooth, it can cause many problems. If pus accumulates in the tooth, you can experience a very unpleasant toothache! If you think you might have a tooth infection or abscess, its important to take action quickly. Early action is the best way to prevent any further issues that might occur as a result of your initial infection.
If you have a tooth infection or abscess, the best thing you can ever do is visit a dentist. You may not like the idea of sitting in the dentist chair or the costs associated with it. But, they are trained professionals. They have dedicated years of their lives training to help you with issues just like this. Its always better to see a professional dentist than to try and solve an oral problem by yourself. It is your health, after all!
We would always recommend booking an appointment and consulting a dentist if you are experiencing pain or can identify a tooth abscess. In the meantime, here are 6 ways to help reduce the problem of a tooth abscess!
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Delaying A Root Canal
When people try to push the limits of how long they can go without getting a root canal, theyre basically playing with fire. Root canals have a bit of an undeserved reputation for being painful, so the thought of undergoing the procedure can be scary for some. In reality, the procedure is very similar to having a cavity filled in that there is very little discomfort due to the use of a local anesthetic.
In terms of delaying theprocedure, it is important to understand that any damage to a tooths pulp or nerve tissue can lead to the formation of bacteria inside the tooth. Left unchecked, the bacteria will multiply, which can lead to a variety of complications.
AbscessAn infection in your tooth can lead to the formation of an abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus that develops at the end of a tooths root. If you develop an abscess, you will require emergency treatment.
BonelossIf you wait a long time to undergo a root canal, bacteria will attack the tip of the tooths root, causing serious bone loss. Such bone loss can result in tooth loss.
Swelling and pressureAlthough you might begin to feel some pain relief as the nerves begin to die, an infected tooth can ultimately lead to increased pressure and painful swelling in the face, head, or neck.
Tooth lossIn some cases, if you wait too long, aninfection can lead to severe root decay. Once the root decays beyond a certain point, it is not possible to save the tooth.
Loss Of Infected Tooth
Leaving an abscessed tooth without treatment can cause it to become weak, and you will eventually lose it. But if a tooth infection is treated early, you can get a root canal procedure and a crown to save it.
In severe cases, tooth replacements using dental implants are going to be necessary if you wish to restore normal oral function.
However, an implant can only be supported once the infection has been eliminated from the surrounding area.
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How Do You Treat A Tooth Abscess
A tooth abscess can arise from infections that develop inside the tooth. Bacteria can enter the tooth when its chipped, broken, or decaying.
Once the bacteria reach the center of the tooth and the tooth becomes infected, pus accumulates in the tooth. The pus in the tooth swells and results in a toothache.
If not treated, the infection could spread to the gums and bone of the mouth.
A tooth abscess should be treated by a dentist, but some home remedies can relieve the discomfort caused by the infection.
The following home remedies can be applied along with prescribed treatments.
Rinsing your mouth with salt water is an easy and affordable option for temporary relief of your abscessed tooth. It can also promote wound healing and healthy gums.
To use this remedy:
Baking soda is another affordable option for treating an abscessed tooth. You may even already have some in your kitchen cabinet.
Baking soda is excellent for removing plaque in the mouth. It also has antibacterial properties.
To use this remedy:
You can repeat this up to two times per day.
Can You Get Rid Of A Tooth Abscess Without Going To The Dentist
It is not possible to get rid of a tooth abscess without going to the dentist because home remedies are unable to eliminate the source of the tooth infection. The source of the mouth infections usually come from the nerve of the tooth or tooth decay, which only a dentist can get rid of.
If you’re able to get rid of the source of the infection you may not even need antibiotics.
What Happens If A Tooth Infection Spreads To The Jaw
A tooth infection will not go away if it does not receive the right treatment.
You may feel less pain once the abscesses rupture, but dental treatment is still necessary.
If the abscess is not drained by a dentist, the infection can spread throughout the mouth and into your jaw. Infection that affects the jaw can harm the soft tissue surrounding this area.
The following are the potential health concerns that could happen when you leave a dental abscess unattended:
Relieving Pain From A Dental Abscess
While you’re waiting to see a dentist, painkillers can help control your pain.
Use ibuprofen for dental abscesses. If you’re unable to take it for medical reasons, you can take paracetamol.
If one painkiller does not relieve the pain, adults can take both paracetamol and ibuprofen. Always check the doses in the medicine leaflet.
[ii}Do not give both ibuprofen and paracetamol to children under 16 . Do not give aspirin to children under 16.
It may also help to relive pain if you:
- avoid hot or cold food and drink
- eat cool, soft food
- chew on the side of your mouth opposite to the affected area
- use a soft toothbrush and do not floss around the affected area
These can help relieve your symptoms for a short time. But you should see your dentist as soon as possible.
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The Stages Of A Tooth Abscess
A tooth abscess starts local to the tooth and surrounding gum area. The abscess may rupture but you will still need to see your dentist for treatment.
The abscess could spread to the jaw and surrounding areas of your head and neck. You may have a swollen face, or your eye may swell shut. If left untreated, you may even develop sepsis a life-threatening infection that spreads throughout your whole body.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of An Abscessed Tooth
Besides examining your tooth and the surrounding area, your dentist may perform the following actions:
Lightly pat your teeth. If an abscess is found at the tooth root, its typically sensitive to touch or pressure.
Recommend an X-ray. An X-ray of the painful tooth can help identify an abscess. Your dentist may also use X-rays to verify whether the infection has spread, causing abscesses in other areas.
Recommend a CT scan. If the infection has expanded to other areas within the neck, a CT scan may be performed to evaluate how extensive the infection is.
The objective of treatment is to get rid of the infection. Your dentist may perform the following:
Open up and drain the abscess. The dentist will make a small incision into the abscess, so the pus can drain out, and then clean the area with salt water . In some cases, a small rubber drain is placed to keep the area open for drainage while the swelling diminishes.
Do a root canal. A root canal can effectively eliminate the infection and preserve your tooth. First, your dentist drills down into your tooth, takes out the diseased pulp and drains the abscess. The next step is filling and sealing the tooths pulp chamber and root canals. For stability, the tooth may be capped with a crown. If you take good care of your restored tooth properly, it can last for many years, if not a lifetime.
If you think you have a dental abscess, contact us straightaway.
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How Much Should I Take
Youll likely be prescribed a seven-day course of clindamycin for a tooth infection. On each of those seven days, youll likely need to take a dose every six hours or so.
There may be one or two capsules in a dose. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided with your prescription.
You can take clindamycin either before or after eating. Some people experience throat irritation when taking clindamycin, but following the dose with a full glass of water can help you avoid this.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Dental infections that may have migrated to the surrounding facial tissues require an interprofessional team approach, including physicians, dentists, specialists, specialty-trained nurses, and pharmacists, all collaborating across disciplines to achieve optimal patient results. Pharmacists review antibiotic prescriptions and check for drug-drug interactions. They also educate the patient’s about use, side effects, and the importance of compliance. Usually, patients with dental infections initially present to the emergency department, primary care provider, or urgent care. When systemic symptoms are consistent with a deep neck infection or osteomyelitis should be immediately identified and admitted to the hospital after stabilization. Initial stabilization should include IV antibiotics and close monitoring of the airway. Patients stable enough for outpatient treatment should get a referral to a dentist or other specialists like endodontists or oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Delay in treatment can worsen the dental infection and lead to tooth loss or spread of disease.
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Are There Any Complications
Its important to have any abscessed tooth treated by a dentist. Even if its already ruptured, youll want to have the area examined and cleaned by your doctor to make sure the infection doesnt spread.
Left untreated, an infection can spread to your jaw and other parts of your head and neck, including your brain. In rare cases, it can even lead to . This is a life-threatening complication of an infection.
Go to the emergency room if you have an abscessed tooth accompanied by:
Poor Oral Hygiene And Periodontitis
Gum abscesses may be more common in people with poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontitis or periodontal gum disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that 46% of all adults over the age of 30 show signs of gum disease, while severe gum disease affects about 9% of adults.
Gum disease breaks down the gums and tissues in the mouth holding the teeth in place. This can create a space between the teeth and the gums where bacteria can live and multiply, potentially leading to abscesses.
Some other factors can increase the risk of periodontitis. For instance, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research note that smoking is the
- certain medications that disrupt the flow of saliva
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How To Heal An Infected Tooth Naturally
Generally, there are three types of tooth infection: those centered in the gum, the surrounding bone or the inner cavity. Dental infections are not only painful, but dangerous. If the bacteria is allowed to grow unchecked, it can cause tooth loss, facial deformation, blood poisoning and even death. In serious cases, seeking the advice of a dental professional is always ideal. However, there are certain measures you can take to either heal or significantly reduce the severity of your infected tooth.
Brush your teeth. Brushing removes corrosive plague from your teeth and gums prior to treatment. Harmful bacteria, if not removed, can seep back into the tissue, re-infecting the healed area. Use a circular stroke, brushing small areas at a time. Brushing from side to side can actually weaken your gum line and tear down enamel that protects the delicate inner tissue.
Administer several drops of clove oil to the infected area. Oil of cloves has an anesthetic property that numbs the pain associated with an infected tooth. It also contains antiseptic agents that help stop the spread of harmful bacteria.
Make a plantain compress. Do this by gently chewing a fresh plantain leaf and then applying it to the contaminated region. Plantain can draw infected material out from the gum crushing the leaf activates this property.
Supplement your diet with vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals help to fortify the teeth and prevent infection from reoccurring.
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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What Causes A Tooth Abscess
Anything that creates an opening for bacteria to get into the tooth or surrounding tissues can lead to a tooth infection. Causes include:
- Severe tooth decay: A cavity, or tooth decay, is the destruction of the hard surfaces of the tooth. This occurs when bacteria break down sugars in food and drink, creating acid that attacks enamel.
- Broken, chipped or cracked teeth: Bacteria can seep into any opening in a tooth and spread to the pulp.
- Gum disease : Gum disease is an infection and inflammation of the tissues around the teeth. As gum disease progresses, the bacteria gain access to deeper tissues.
- Injury to the tooth: Trauma to a tooth can injure the inner pulp even if theres no visible crack. The injury makes it susceptible to infection.
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What Types Of Tooth Extraction Infection Can Occur
In a simple extraction, your tooth is clear from other teeth and not anchored to the jawbone. Your dentist can extract and remove the tooth with dental pliers. Theyll perform this procedure when youre under local anesthetic. Since its simpler, complications are rare.
A surgical extraction is much more complicated and can vary from patient to patient. Your dentist will need to cut into the gum, again under local anesthetic .
Once the gum is opened, the tooth may have to be removed in sections from the top, or another incision may be necessary in the side of the gum. This allows your dentist access to the tooths roots for loosening and easier removal. After the tooth is extracted, your dentist will clean the extraction site and stitch it closed.
Tooth extraction is a very common procedure, but for both types of extraction, infection is a possibility.
Simple and surgical tooth extraction rely heavily on a post-procedure blood clot to protect the extraction site. This clot covers exposed bone and nerves and keeps bacteria out. If this blood clot is compromised, an infection may result.
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How Can I Get Rid Of A Tooth Infection Without Antibiotics
You can’t get rid of a tooth infection without antibiotics because home remedies do not get rid of the source of the infection but they may offer pain relief until you can make it to the dentist. In other words, it’ll buy you some time and give you some leeway at least in terms of not feeling so much pain.
Dental Abscess – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Pathology