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.
Surrounding Bone Gets Infected
The bones in our face are unable to tolerate the presence of an infection for a long time.
Leaving an infection to spread to your facial bones may eventually necessitate surgical removal to stop it.
Even in minor cases, a tooth infection can cause the bone structures of your jaw to weaken, making it hard to support your teeth.
Signs Of Tooth Infection Spreading To Body
To understand what a tooth infection feels like and how to recognize when it is starting to spread throughout the body, you should be aware of the general symptoms that you will first encounter. A tooth infection may be mild and not very painful, or the symptoms may be severe. Either way, it is important to get in touch with your local dental professional if you have any of the following:
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, especially food and drinks
- Pain that radiates from the tooth outward
- Swelling in the cheeks or gums
- Constant bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Pressure or pain when biting down
These symptoms indicate an underlying oral health issue. Get in touch with your dentist so you can wipe out any signs of infection before it spreads.
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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.
What Causes A Tooth Infection
The Canadian Dental Association says that most tooth infections are a result of untreated decay or cracked teeth. In either circumstance, when bacteria penetrates through your tooths enamel, it can cause an abscess. Tooth infections can also be a result of gum infection, as seen in some cases where gum diseases are present. If you experience bleeding when flossing or brushing your teeth, it may be a sign that there is an underlying dental problem.
You may be at higher risk for tooth infections if you consume a high-sugar diet. Sugary foods create a plaque buildup that produces an acidity that will eventually eat away at the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities or abscesses.
Tip: If youre suffering from pain or have an infection, see your dentist sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more complicated the infection will get.
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Best Antibiotics For Dental Abscesses
Antibiotics alone do not cure dental abscesses. They are taken after the root canal or extraction procedure to help clear up the infection.
Commonly prescribed antibiotics for dental abscesses include amoxicillin and penicillin. Other antibiotics prescribed to people with tooth abscesses include:
- Ticarcillin and clavulanate
The course of treatment for most antibiotics is 10 to 14 days. They must be taken for the entire course of treatment, even if your symptoms go away.
Most people experience relief after about 48 hours on an antibiotic. Significant improvement occurs within three to five days.
Keep in mind that antibiotics help reduce dental infections but do not eliminate them. The only way to get rid of a tooth abscess infection is to remove the nerve or extract the abscessed tooth.
How To Treat Tooth Infection
The only effective way to treat an infected tooth and get rid of it for good is antibiotics. However, there are a few remedies you can try at home to alleviate some of the pain while you wait to see a dentist. These include:
- Warm salt water rinse to clean the mouth and kill off some of the bacteria
- Over the counter pain killers
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How Does A Dentist Check For Infection
An X-ray of the aching tooth can help identify an abscess. Your dentist may also use X-rays to determine whether the infection has spread, causing abscesses in other areas. Recommend a CT scan. If the infection has spread to other areas within the neck, a CT scan may be used to assess the extent of the infection.
How Do You Know If A 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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Risks Of Leaving A Tooth Infection Untreated
When an oral infection is left untreated, the bacteria can infect the dead tooth and cause dental abscesses. Signs of a tooth abscess include swelling, severe pain, and tooth loss. And if the infection spreads to other areas of your body, it can cause other serious and sometimes life-threatening health risks.
Signs that an infection has spread to other areas of your body include:
When To Call A Dentist
If you have the symptoms of a tooth infection, its vital to visit a dentist for prompt treatment. Natural remedies will help ease the pain, but you still need to see a dentist about the infection. The dentist can take x-rays to ascertain if you need root canaltreatment and gauge the severity of the condition. You may also need a course of antibiotics.
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How Do I Know If My Tooth Extraction Is Infected 8 Signs
Even if your tooth extraction is simple and straightforward, there is a chance of complications. One of the more serious complications is tooth extraction infection, a painful condition that can lead to sepsis. Worldwide, sepsis is fatal in a third of the people who contract it, with survivors sometimes suffering lasting health issues that include PTSD and chronic pain. Dont let it go that far. Here are eight signs of tooth extraction infection .
What Is A Tooth Infection
A tooth infection is a pocket of pus trapped within your tooth. If left untreated, the infection will spread to the tips of your tooth roots. At this point, your only option would be an emergency root canal or extraction.
You may be at higher risk for an abscessed tooth if you neglect oral hygiene. Once a cavity is deep enough to penetrate the inner chamber of your tooth, youll develop an abscess. This means that the live tissue inside your tooth is infected.
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Types Of Tooth Infections & Abscesses
Periapical abscess: An abscess a the tip of your tooths root. It can be caused by a cracked tooth or cavity and spreads from the pulp inside of your tooth
Periodontal abscess: An abscess on your gum next to a tooth, caused by an infection that spreads to the bone and supporting tissues around your teeth.
Gingival abscess: An abscess resulting in an infection in your gums.
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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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.
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 :
- 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.
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How Do You Know If You Have A Tooth Infection
Are your teeth sensitive to hot and cold foods? Does it hurt to bite down when you chew? You may have a tooth infection.
The longer you wait to seek emergency dental care, the more severe your problem will become. Dr. Piotrowski and Dr. Cohen will do everything in their power to treat your tooth infection in a timely manner so you dont risk losing your tooth.
Is My Tooth Infected How To Detect A Tooth Infection
Posted on: September 30, 2020 | Blog
A tooth infection is a painful condition that can damage your teeth, jaw, and even other parts of your mouth and face. This is a dangerous condition that can also spread and worsen if it isnt resolved. However, there are other conditions that are similar to a tooth infection, but arent. If youre wondering if your tooth is infected or if the abscess is spreading, heres how to tell.
What Is A Tooth Abscess
First of all, let’s talk about what a tooth abscess is. Simply put, it is a pocket of pus in your tooth. Though it can occur anywhere in your tooth, it is common to see it at the tip of the tooth’s root.
The following symptoms are indicators that you have an abscess.
- A nagging toothache
- Sudden, extreme sensitivity to hot or cold
- Sensitivity while chewing and biting
- Facial swelling
- A pocket of pus on your gum line near the affected tooth
- Swollen lymph nodes under your jaw
With proper treatment, a tooth abscess doesn’t normally get too severe. Your dentist will simply drain the infection. To save the tooth, you may need a root canal. It’s not the most fun way to spend an afternoon, but it’s a relatively simple fix.
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 Is A Dental Abscess
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 Signs Of An Infection After A Tooth Extraction
A boneinfection after tooth extraction is a dangerous ailment. If not treated, a patient can go into sepsis. Sepsis is an infection caused by anything that enters the bloodstream and can impair flow to the vital organs in your system. As the sepsis infection worsens, it can impact your breathing, affect the oxygen levels throughout your body, can cause dehydration, and can even lead to mental and emotional distress. If you are worried that you have signs of infection after oral surgery, please call your dentist for an appointment.
If you suspect that you could have a bone infection after a tooth extraction, it is best to see your dentist immediately. The risk for sepsis increases the longer a bone infection is left untreated, as such several dentists offer same day, urgent care treatment of this serious condition. Saltwater rinses can help with pain while youre waiting for an appointment. Your dentist will drain the infection, if possible, to speed up the healing process and then prescribe an antibiotic.
An infected socket after tooth extraction is a different story. It is caused by the bacteria infecting the gumline around the exposed socket within one or two days of the extraction, causing swelling and redness. An infected socket can be just as serious as a bone infection after tooth extraction, so its best to call your dentist right away. An infected socket after tooth extraction can lead to sepsis if not taken care of quickly
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