What Are Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection
- Throbbing pain that does not subside
- Pain in your jaw, neck, or ear
- Sensitivity when you place pressure on the area
- Pain that gets worse when you are lying down
- Swelling around the jaw or mouth
- Tender lymph nodes
- Bad breath or odd taste in the mouth
Knowing these signs can help treat an infection before it spreads and becomes more serious. Never hesitate to call your dentist when you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. At Orange County Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, we put our patients health first, and provide exceptional care you can trust. Our team is trained to handle any emergency, and we will work to relieve your pain and keep you comfortable.
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:
Skin redness or swelling in your neck or face
Pain with opening your mouth or touching your jaw or face
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.
You Experience Stomach Pain
You should call your doctor if you, your child, or your infant has a high fever. A high fever is defined as:
- adults: 103°F or higher
- children: 102.2°F or higher
- infants 3 months and older: 102°F or higher
- infants younger than 3 months: 100.4°F or higher
Get immediate medical attention if the fever is accompanied by:
A tooth becomes infected when bacteria gets into the tooth through a chip, crack, or cavity. Your risk factor for a tooth infection increases if you have:
- poor dental hygiene, including not brushing your teeth 2 times a day and not flossing
- a high sugar diet, including eating sweets and drinking soda
- dry mouth, which is often caused by aging or as a side effect of certain medications
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Cellulitis And Facial Cellulitis
Cellulitis is an infection of the skin. Facial cellulitis, for example, can be caused by infections of the upper respiratory tract, middle ear infections or tooth abscesses. Although these conditions can increase the risk of facial cellulitis, they do not directly cause it the condition results when an infection spreads to the skin. Symptoms of facial cellulitis include:
- Swollen, red skin on the face, especially the cheek
- Itching and burning of the affected skin
- A painful, possibly swollen, tongue
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have cellulitis or a tooth abscess, you can start a free symptom assessment right now using the Ada app.
Can An Abscessed Tooth Be Prevented
You can reduce the risk of developing a tooth abscess by seeing your dentist routinely and getting regular dental exams and cleanings. Its also important to see your dentist if a tooth becomes loose or chipped. Oral hygiene is very important for dental health. At home, brush teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
What Causes Dental Abscesses
Your mouth is full of bacteria, which form a sticky film on your teeth called plaque.
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
What Is A Dry Socket
The typical scenario for dry socket is the occurrence of throbbing pain about two to four days after the tooth is extracted. Dry socket pain is often accompanied by bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth. With this onset of pain, it is obvious that proper healing has been interrupted.
Dry socket is a condition of inflammation of the jawbone after a tooth extraction. It is also referred to as “alveolar osteitis” and is one of the many complications that can occur from a tooth extraction. The hallmark of dry socket is noticeable pain that occurs a few days after a tooth is extracted. Pain from dry socket is often described as a dull, throbbing pain that can range from moderate to unbearable.
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How K Health Can Help
Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app?
to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
What Happens If The Infection Spreads
There is little chance that a tooth infection will spread to other parts of the body. Patients that have any of the below symptoms should call our office right away. Infections that spread can be life threatening and should be taken seriously.
- Swelling around the face or mouth
Pain that does not subside
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What To Do If You Have A Dental Abscess
You should see a dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a dental abscess.
Avoid visiting a GP, as there’s little they can do to help.
You can get help from:
- your registered dentist if it’s out of hours, they should have an answerphone message with details of how to access out-of-hours dental treatment
- NHS 111 who can give you details of dental services in your area
- your local A& E if you’re having difficulty breathing or swallowing, or there’s swelling around your eye or neck
You may have to pay for emergency NHS dental treatment, depending on your circumstances.
How Long Does It Take For A Tooth Infection To Go Away
Although a person may begin to notice their symptoms go away after a couple of doses, completing the full round of antibiotics helps prevent the infection from coming back or getting stronger. As the International Dental Journal study notes, the majority of acute infections resolve in 37 days.14 Jun 2019
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How Long Can You Go With An Abscessed Tooth
An accessed tooth does not heal on its own and requires antibiotics to clear the infection. Delaying treatment only increases the chances of the infection spreading to other parts of the body and doing more damage to the teeth. Abscesses can lead to an infection that spreads to the eyes, sinuses and brain and can also move into the chest and affect the heart. In cases where the infection spreads, it can be fatal.
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.
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When To Worry About A Tooth Infection
If you suspect you have a dental abscess, dont wait until it ruptures to seek treatment. Dental infections should be treated promptly to prevent the spread of the infection.
Common symptoms of a dental infection that requires urgent dental care include:
- Noticeable sore under the gums
- Swelling and inflammation near the affected tooth
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Loose tooth
- A severe, throbbing toothache that doesnt go away
- Swollen and painful lymph nodes in the neck
- Pain when chewing or biting down
Tooth abscesses are dental emergencies. They need to be drained by a professional quickly to prevent spreading. A noticeable sore and severe, throbbing pain are the most common symptoms.
How Long Can a Tooth Infection Go Untreated?
If you wait too long to treat a tooth infection, it can begin spreading to other areas of your body, including the neck, head, or jaw. A general dentist must professionally drain an abscessed tooth by extracting it or performing a root canal.
Usually, this includes draining pus and bacteria, which is why some people are actually unaware they have an infection. It is unpredictable to determine how long a dental abscess will drain until it stops and causes facial cellulitis .
You should never pop or squeeze an abscess because the infection can be pushed deeper into the tissues of your mouth.
Risks of not treating a tooth infection promptly:
How Do You Prevent A Dental Abscess
Prevention plays a major role in maintaining good dental health. Daily brushing and flossing along with regular dental checkups can prevent tooth decay and dental abscess. Anyone who suffers from frequent dental abscesses needs to be evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine if an underlying medical condition is responsible. Remember there are no home remedies once one develops an abscess, so prevention is the best practice.
- Remember to brush and floss after every meal and at bedtime.
- If tooth decay is discovered early and treated promptly, cavities that could develop into abscesses can usually be corrected.
- Avoidance of tobacco use can help as well.
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Infection Of The Blood Vessels In Your Sinuses
Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis is the infection of the blood vessels in the sinuses resulting in a blood clot at the base of the brain. It is a rare and life-threatening disorder where the infection from the eyes, nose, ears, or teeth runs through the veins around your face and triggers more facial disorders.
Its highly dangerous and should be treated immediately upon diagnosis. The best way to treat this disorder is to identify the source of infection through a series of tests and drain the disease-causing bacteria.
Effects Of The Spread Of Tooth Root Infection To Your Body
Once the disease-causing bacteria from your infected tooth enters the bloodstream, various health conditions may arise. Our body reacts differently when its attacked by bacteria and viruses. While some healthy individuals may go unharmed with untreated tooth infections, other patients may suffer from the following health conditions:
Can An Infected Tooth Infect Surrounding Teeth
In some cases, a tooth abscess can be found inside your tooth, between your tooth root, or between your gum and your tooth. An abscess ruptures, which can cause bacteria from a tooth infection to spread and damage surrounding bones, teeth, and the bloodstream, as well as to move to other parts of the body.
How Does A Tooth Become Infected
The mouth is full of bacteria from plaque, food, and saliva that can sometimes enter into the tooth or below the gumline. This results in a tooth infection, also known as a tooth abscess, which is a collection of pus and bacteria that forms inside the tooth or gum.
The risk for developing a tooth infection increases with:
- Poor oral hygiene
An Infected Tooth Can Cause Mild To Severe Pain In That Area Depending On How Infected The Tooth Is
How to tell if wisdom tooth infected. Severe and painful gum swelling. Fever is one of the clearest signs of some kind of dental infection so if you know that you still have your wisdom. You may be at higher risk for an abscessed tooth if you neglect oral.
It can be caused when only part of the tooth has erupted into the mouth, or if crowding near the wisdom teeth has made flossing and proper cleaning difficult. Keeping you awake) redness and swelling around the wisdom tooth. If the sensitivity is such that the tooth hurts only while it is cold and as soon as the tooth warms up it feels better, thats a good sign.
Wisdom tooth infection symptoms and signs. Wisdom teeth may get infected because theyre harder to clean.food and bacteria can get trapped between the tooth and the gums. What is a tooth infection?
There are ways to tell if a tooth will recover from sensitivity or not. x research source some dentists describe it as a shooting, throbbing, or gnawing type of pain. Well also tell you what you can do for an infected tooth.
If you experience pain when eating, you may have a tooth infection. Symptoms of a tooth infection spreading to the body include: You might also have a sore throat, and the lymph glands.
A tooth infection is a pocket of pus trapped within your tooth. Symptoms of tooth infection spreading to the body. Having an infected wisdom tooth is an unpleasant condition and usually requires immediate attention.
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