Friday, July 12, 2024

How To Tell A Tooth Is Infected

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What Can I Do For An Infected Tooth

Dentist reveals – How To Tell If You Have Chronic Tooth Infection

First, youll need to schedule an appointment with our emergency dentist in Shelby Charter Township, MI. Our dentist is available to answer any questions you might have and can diagnose you properly if your tooth is infected.

The first and most important step you can take is going to your dentist as soon as possible. In the time before you see your dentist you can:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal
  • Drink sage & chamomile tea
  • Swish saltwater 2 to 3 times a day
  • Apply an ice pack

What Happens If Tooth Infection Spreads To Jaw

If the abscess ruptures, the pain may decrease significantly but you still need dental treatment. If the abscess doesnt drain, the infection may spread to your jaw and to other areas of your head and neck. You might even develop sepsis a life-threatening infection that spreads throughout your body.

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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? If so, youll want to schedule an appointment with our emergency dentist in Shelby Charter Township, MI. The longer you wait to seek emergency dental care, the more the problem will grow. Continue reading to learn if you might have an infected tooth.

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What Treatment Is Available

The treatment provided will depend on the severity of the infection. If an abscess is present, we will identify the location of the abscess, and determine how far the infection has spread. Root canal treatment may be necessary to treat an abscess if it is located inside the tooth. If root canal therapy is not enough, our doctor can perform an apicoectomy to open up the gum area near the root, and remove the infected tissue.

Other treatments may involve prescribing antibiotics to treat the infection and stop it from spreading. Our team will monitor your progress on the antibiotics to ensure they are working. If necessary, the type of antibiotics used may need to be changed, and a hospital stay may be required.

Treating an infection is extremely important to avoid complications like sepsis. We encourage you to contact our office if you experience any sign of an infection. Let our team help relieve your pain, and get you on the road to recovery.

Symptoms Of A Dental Abscess

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Symptoms of an abscess in your tooth or gum may include:

  • an intense throbbing pain in the affected tooth or gum that may come on suddenly and gets gradually worse
  • pain that spreads to your ear, jaw and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum
  • pain that’s worse when lying down, which may disturb your sleep
  • redness and swelling in your face
  • a tender, discoloured or loose tooth
  • shiny, red and swollen gums
  • sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
  • bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth

If the infection spreads, you may also develop a high temperature and feel generally unwell.

In severe cases, you may find it hard to fully open your mouth and have difficulty swallowing or breathing.

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Signs And Symptoms That A Tooth Infection Is Spreading

While it is rare for a tooth infection or tooth abscess to spread to other parts of your body, it can happen. And, if it does happen, the consequences can be quite severe. If you suspect that a tooth infection could be spreading, you do not want to put off seeing your dentist, call for treatment as soon as possible. Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for, that may indicate the tooth infection has spread

-swelling to the face, neck or cheeks

-pain in your mouth and tongue

-nausea and vomiting

-itching sensation on your skin

-high fever

-double vision, or loss of vision

-drooping eyelids

-rapid pulse rates and lightheadedness

-your breathing rate increases to over 25 breaths per minute

Signs And Symptoms Of Tooth Infections

One of the first signs of a tooth infection is a sore or throbbing tooth. If left untreated, you will notice swelling, difficulty chewing, pain that radiates to the jawbone, and even fever and swollen neck glands, indicating that the tooth infection is spreading to other parts of your body.

Some other oral symptoms of tooth infection:

  • Bitter taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away by rinsing your mouth with water or a mouthwash
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Open, draining sore on the gums that surround the tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity

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How Can I Avoid Future Oral Health Problems

If you want to stay safe from infections, make sure you schedule routine dental exams on a regular basis. When you do, you put regular evaluations in place that can lead to the early detection and treatment of dental decay. Your dentist can spot a recently-developed cavity, remove the damaged tissues, then protect the tooth with a conservative dental filling!

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection

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If youve never had an infected tooth before, you might be wondering how youd know if your tooth was infected. Pain is often the most common sign of a tooth infection. Unfortunately, this pain isnt always confined to the tooth itself. Because our teeth are connected to so many nerves, pain from an infected tooth can extend into the jaw, face, and neck. Talk about discomfort!

Other signs to look for include:

  • Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, and/or pressure

  • Tenderness around the tooth

  • Swelling of the mouth, jaw, or face

If you have a dental abscess that bursts open on its own, you might taste a strong, salty fluid that could also smell bad.

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.

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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:

  • Fever.
  • General discomfort, uneasiness or ill feeling.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Abscessed Tooth

  • The tooth turns dark in color compared to surrounding teeth. The byproducts of the necrotic pulp that leach into the porous tooth layer cause this discoloration. In many cases, there may be no tooth pain present.
  • There is pain with eating or with pressing on the tooth. The abscess that has spread out the root tip causes the supporting structures to be affected. Sometimes the throbbing or pulsating pain is so severe it can’t be relieved with pain medications. This is usually related to the infection spreading and causing more pressure on the surrounding structures of gum and bone.
  • There is swelling on the gum tissue that is filled with pus. The raised swelling looks like a pimple near the affected tooth. An open pimple is called a “draining fistula” and has ruptured to release pus. This is an obvious sign of infection. Other signs of a tooth abscess are a bad taste or bad odor in the mouth.
  • Swelling of the face, jaw, or surrounding lymph nodes often signals a growing infection. Jaw pain from the swelling can be present, as well.
  • It is also important to note that abscessed teeth may not have any symptoms at all. Because the tooth has lost vitality , there may be no pain associated with it. However, the abscess is still present and could be further spreading the dental infection. On occasion, an abscessed tooth is detected during a routine radiographic exam where the patient has not experienced any telltale symptoms of an abscessed tooth.

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    What Causes Dental Abscesses

    Your mouth is full of bacteria, which form a sticky film on your teeth called plaque.

    If you do not keep your teeth clean, acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can damage your teeth and gums, leading to tooth decay or gum disease.

    The following can increase your chances of developing a dental abscess:

    • poor oral hygiene plaque can build-up on your teeth if you do not floss and brush your teeth regularly
    • consuming lots of sugary or starchy food and drink these can encourage the growth of bacteria in plaque and may lead to decay that can result in an abscess
    • an injury or previous surgery to your teeth or gums bacteria can get into any damaged parts of the teeth or gums
    • having a weakened immune system this includes people with certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, and those having treatment, including steroid medication or chemotherapy

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    You have a fever, which is characterized by reddened, sweaty, and cold skin. Your face swells. Swelling can cause you to have difficulty opening your mouth completely, difficulty swallowing, and inhibit breathing.

    Be aware, some of these organs are at risk of disruption from Tooth infections:

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    The Difference Between An Abscess And An Infection

    A tooth infection can take the form of a cavity, pulpitis, or an abscess. Yes, a dental cavity is an infection. It causes the enamel, or hard surface, of the tooth to begin to break down. This can be painful, if it happens quickly, but many cavities dont cause symptoms.

    If the infection extends into the middle of the tooth the pulp it causes pulpitis. This usually causes a toothache, which can be aggravated by hot and cold foods and liquids.

    Finally, if the infection is not treated and continues to spread, it can form an abscess. After the infection has spread through the middle of the tooth and has nowhere else to go, it forms a pocket of pus, which is an abscess.

    How To Prevent Tooth Infections

    by epickidstoyssmith licensed under CC BY 2.0

    While the dangers of untreated abscesses are certainly real, preventing a tooth infection is preferable to treating an existing one. The good news is that, while requiring daily care and dedication, preventing tooth infections is easy. All you need to do is practice good oral hygiene. Some healthy habits to incorporate into your routine are:

    • Brushing twice a day
    • Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months
    • Making regular visits to the dentist
    • Using mouthwash
    • Minimizing your sugar intake

    There are some other things to keep in mind when caring for your teeth:

    • Dont press down too hard on your teeth when brushing, as this can damage your teeth. Talk to your dental hygienist and ask for tips if this is a concern for you.
    • Only use your teeth for what theyre intended for: eating and drinking. Doing things like opening bottles or cutting string is an easily avoidable way to put cracks in your teeth that can then lead to infection.
    • If youve had any dental work done, such as tooth extraction or a root canal, pay close attention to the area for signs of infection in the days following the procedure.

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    Tooth Infection Treatment Options

    Depending on the cause of the tooth infection, treatment may include:

    Dental Abscess Treatment

    During this procedure, your dentist will make a small incision into your gums and drain the abscess. They will drain all of the pus out before stitching it back up to ensure the bacteria is removed.

    If your tooth is severely damaged or decayed, extraction will likely be necessary. Youll need a dental implant after the tooth is surgically removed, which can cost up to $4,000.

    Root Canal Treatment

    Root canal treatment is necessary if you have a large cavity that has spread to the tooths pulp. This treatment can also involve abscess draining.

    During the procedure, your dentist will remove the infected dental pulp and drain the abscess.

    The root canal is cleaned, shaped, and sealed. Then a dental crown is placed on top of the root canal treated tooth.


    Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat dental abscesses. After the abscess is drained, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the remaining infection. Antibiotics alone do not cure abscesses.

    Depending on the severity of your abscess or infection, you may need oral antibiotics or IV antibiotics.


    If you have a root canal-treated tooth but are still experiencing a toothache an apicoectomy may be necessary. This is a minor dental surgery that removes the apex .

    If you develop sepsis, you’ll need to visit an ICU . Fluids and IV antibiotics will be used to treat this condition.


    How To Treat A Tooth Infection

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    If you think you have a tooth infection, see your dentist or doctor immediately. An untreated tooth abscess can result in serious problems and more extensive infection. The longer an infection goes untreated, the more difficult it will be to treat.

    A tooth infection can be treated with antibiotics. However, the infected tooth may also need to be removed, or the infection will return. This may require an emergency tooth extraction, as well as antibiotics. In some cases, the tooth can be saved with a root canal procedure. Or, the tooth might also be saved by simply filling a cavity or capping a cracked or chipped tooth.

    Your dentist can diagnose a tooth infection and give you the best treatment options. If you notice any of the signs previously mentioned, or if your tooth is cracked, chipped, or weakened, see your dentist as soon as possible. Resolving a tooth infection quickly will keep the problem from getting worse.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Tooth Infection Spreading To Body

    Without early intervention and treatment, a dental infection can spread to your face up to your neck. However, severe conditions also have the potential to spread across other areas of the body. In certain situations, they can develop systemically and affect various tissues throughout the body. Even though these cases rarely happen, it still does, and consequences can be serious.

    The symptoms listed below may suggest that a tooth infection has migrated to other parts of the body.

    How Is An Abscessed Tooth Treated

    Goals of treatment are to eliminate the infection and prevent complications. Treatment options include:

    • Incision and drainage: Your dentist makes a small incision in the abscess to drain the pus. Sometimes a small rubber drain is placed to keep the area open for drainage.
    • Root canal: This option helps to eliminate the infection and save your tooth. This common procedure removes the tooths infected inner pulp, and fills the space with material to prevent another infection. The inner pulp is important when the tooth is growing but once its mature, the tooth can survive without the pulp. After the procedure, your tooth should be back to normal, though you may need a crown to protect the root canal. If you care for the restored tooth properly, it can last a lifetime.
    • Tooth extraction: Sometimes the tooth cannot be saved, and your dentist may need to pull or extract the tooth allowing pus to drain from the socket.
    • Antibiotics: If the infection is limited to the abscessed area, you many not require antibiotics, but sometimes your dentist may recommend them to assist with your dental treatment. It is important to know, that while this medication may help fight off remaining bacteria, it will not get rid of the cause of the infection, which is the affected tooth.

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    Ways To Tell If You Are Living With An Infected Tooth

    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

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