Tooth Infection Symptoms How To Know If You Have An Infected Tooth
Do you have a toothache? Does it hurt when you chew food? Are your teeth sensitive to hot and cold? It sounds like you have a tooth infection and will need to schedule an emergency dental appointment with your dentist. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get. This article discusses why teeth become infected, tooth infection symptoms, and treating the condition with the help of root canal therapy.
How Is An Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed
In addition to examining the tooth and surrounding tissue for signs of infection, your dentist may:
- Recommend an X-ray. This can help identify sources of dental disease that may have led to the infection. Your dentist can also use X-rays to determine if the infection has spread and may be affecting other areas.
- Recommend a CT scan. If the infection has spread to other areas within the neck, this will help to identify the extent of the infection.
- Tap and press on your teeth. A tooth with an abscess is often sensitive to touch or pressure.
- Thermal tests. These tests will help your dentist determine the health of your pulpal tissues.
Will A Tooth Infection Go Away On Its Own
A tooth infection will not go away on its own. Your toothache may stop if an infection causes the pulp inside your tooth to die. The pain stops because the nerve isnt functioning anymore, so you may not be able to feel it. However, the bacteria will continue to spread and destroy surrounding tissue. If you have tooth infection symptoms, see your dentist even if you no longer have pain.
Don’t Miss: What To Do For Tooth Infection Pain
How To Cure Tooth Infection Without Root Canal Surgery
A tooth infection is one of the most painful sensations most of us will ever experience. The best way to get over the discomfort is to go to a walk-in dentist as soon as possible. If, by any chance, you live in Palatine, IL, you could handle any dental emergency at Clock Tower Dentistry, or any of the nearest dental offices that offer a range of infection treatment methods. That being said, we are also aware that most people are apprehensive at the thought of seeking emergency dental services.
Too often, we see patients who are deathly afraid of simple procedures like root canals. But is there a way to avoid having to remove the pulpy core of an infected tooth? The answer to that question is: sure but only in some cases. Still, if you want to know how to cure tooth infection without root canal treatment, youve come to the right place.
Now, before we talk about root canal procedures, we should explain how people get tooth infections. Usually, it has to do with improper dental hygiene, which encourages bacteria to eat through the hard surface of our teeth. Once that happens, getting past the dentine, the soft material under the enamel, into the root of the tooth is only a matter of time.
Thats also why we need to address issues like an occasional cracked or broken tooth as they occur. Not treating a chipped tooth is basically an invitation for bacteria to get through the porous dentine and to the sensitive pulpy core it surrounds.
The Life Cycle of a Tooth Infection
Symptoms Of A Dental Abscess
Depending on the type of dental abscess and how long it has been progressing, common symptoms may include:
- Severe toothache and throbbing near the affected tooth that comes and goes spontaneously
- Pain in the gums, roots of the tooth, or referred pain
- Painful, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and/or jaw
- Redness, swelling, and inflammation near the abscess
- Swollen, inflamed, and shiny gums
- Pain that worsens when lying down and interrupts sleep
- Tooth sensitivity to cold, sweet, or hot substances
- Consistent bad breath, even after brushing or rinsing the mouth
- A loose tooth or multiple loose teeth near the infection site
- Severe ear, neck, and/or jaw pain
- Pain when biting down or chewing
- Difficulties swallowing and breathing
- Facial swelling
If the abscess ruptures, you may notice a foul taste and smell in your mouth. You will also feel pain relief in the infected tooth. If this occurs, call your general dentist immediately.
If you experience severe pain and difficulty breathing, call your local emergency department or 9-1-1.
The primary symptom of a dental abscess is severe pain near the infection site. Swelling, redness, and inflammation around the abscess are also common.
Don’t Miss: Does Monistat Clear Up Yeast Infections
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.
What Is A Tooth Nerve
There are several different layers to the tooth, ranging from the enamel, which is the outermost layer, to the root and pulp, which is the deepest part of a tooth. The tooth nerve sits in the pulp of the tooth, deep down into the tooth. When the pulp becomes infected, it causes the tooth nerve to become infected as well.
In most cases, a tooth nerve is treatable with proper, prompt dental care. However, it is important to see a dentist anytime a tooth nerve may be infected to ensure the infection does not spread to other parts of the tooth and the mouth.
You May Like: How To Stop An Ear Infection From Getting Worse
Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection Spreading To The Rest Of The Body
Did you know that you can die from a toothache? That’s a sobering thought.
Most of the time toothaches are caused by infections that are merely painful inconveniences. But if the infection worsens and spreads to the rest of the body, it can be serious. For a small number of people, it’s even deadly.
To avoid this happening to you, you can simply learn the symptoms of a tooth infection spreading to the body. Then you’ll know when to seek immediate medical attention for your annoying toothache.
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.
Read Also: Steroid Pack For Ear Infection
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.
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:
- General discomfort, uneasiness or ill feeling.
Recommended Reading: Strep Throat And Ear Infection
How Can You Know If You Have A Tooth Infection
If youâve had any type of trauma to your tooth such as a crack, chip, or break, itâs always best to have the issue evaluated by your professional dentist. Although it may not feel like you need treatment at the time, these issues can worsen and eventually lead to a tooth infection in some cases.
While most patients will have symptoms with their tooth infections, some wonât. By regularly seeing your dentist and paying attention to your oral care, you can help detect any potential abnormalitiesâsuch as swelling in the faceâbefore they have a chance to become life- threatening.
Your dentist can help you detect a potential tooth infection early to minimize your treatment and help save your tooth. Remember that not all dental issues have symptoms, making regular checkups important and potentially even life-saving!
What Are The Treatment Options
The main treatment option for a tooth nerve infection is endodontic therapy, otherwise referred to as root canal therapy. In essence, root canal therapy is performed by removing the infected pulp and replacing it with an inert material.
Root canal therapy is successful in almost every occasion. The only other alternative to root canal therapy is a tooth extraction, in which a bridge, implant or denture can replace the tooth.
Don’t Miss: What To Take For Bladder Infection Pain
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:
- removing the affected tooth this may be necessary if root canal treatment isn’t possible
- root canal treatment a procedure to remove the abscess from the root of an affected tooth before filling and sealing it
- 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 .
Antibiotics aren’t routinely prescribed for dental abscesses, but may be used if the infection spreads or is particularly severe.
Can A Bad Tooth Give You A Fever
A dental infection, or a tooth abscess, develops when dangerous bacteria cause a buildup of pus around or inside a tooth. If left untreated, it could kill the tooth or lead to more serious health conditions. Alongside a fever, signs of a dental infection include: Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache.
Also Check: Dry Sinus Infection Without Mucus
Can I Just Leave The Infection To Heal By Itself
It is important to not ignore early signs, as often the better outcome is from early intervention
Many people choose to ignore a mild toothache or will take over the counter pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to help manage mild discomfort. However, by ignoring or delaying the issue you could end up making the problem worse.
Experiencing a throbbing pain in your tooth when you eat or drink anything hot or cold can be caused by tooth sensitivity. This can be from a cracked or chipped tooth, or from receding gums that expose the tooth root, it is still always worth booking an appointment with your dentist to rule out.
Increased Heart And Breathing Rate
Do you notice that your heart starts beating faster than normal? What about your breathing? Do you feel like you’re panting to get enough air?
Both of these are indications that sepsis is beginning to set in. If this happens to you, don’t wait to get in to see your dentist. You need to see a doctor right away.
Recommended Reading: Strongest Otc Yeast Infection Medication
Sinus Irritation And Infection Of The Blood Vessels
Because your teeth and sinuses are located close to one another, an untreated, infected tooth can grow into a bacterial sinus infection.
Though rare, an untreated tooth infection can also spread to the blood vessels in your sinuses and cause cavernous sinus thrombosis, a rare and life-threatening blood clot at the base of the brain.
The Importance Of Treating Infected Teeth
Tooth infections happen when the outer layers of enamel and dentin that protect your teeth are damaged or destroyed, exposing the vulnerable pulp inside of your tooth to oral bacteria.âTreating infected teeth is absolutely essential for your oral health. Without endodontic treatment for an infected tooth, your condition will only get worse, and the tooth will eventually die. This can cause excruciating pain and discomfort, too, as the nerves and blood vessels in the pulp decay. You may even be at risk of the infection spreading throughout your mouth and body, which can be life-threatening.âWhen an infection is left untreated and the tooth dies, it may have to be replaced, usually with a dental implant. This is a much more complex, invasive, and costly procedure compared to endodontic care like a root canal. By getting care for an infected tooth early, you can avoid these complications and save time and money.
Recommended Reading: My Tooth Is Infected And My Face Is Swollen
What Causes A Tooth Infection
A dental infection is sometimes called an abscess. An abscess can develop when the bacteria thats part of tooth decay gets inside a tooth or a part of the gums and becomes an infection. The infection will get worse as the bacteria feed on the sugars that are typically found in your mouth. When dental infections arent treated, they can likely eat away at your tooth until the nerve of the tooth is exposed, which is painful. If the infection goes deep into the tooth all the way down to the pulp and kills the pulp, which could lead to severe tooth decay. If there is a lot of damage to the pulp, your dentist may need to do a root canal in order to flush the infection and seal the tooth to help prevent it from getting infected again. The following are three typical causes of dental infections²:
Suspect An Infection We Can Help
An infected tooth is a serious oral health issue, and requires immediate attention. If left untreated, an infected tooth may have to be removed entirely. These infections can also spread to other areas of the head and neck causing serious complications if not tended to quickly. If you suspect that you have an infected tooth, it is important to get help from the team at ONE ENDO. Come see us today, and get the help you need to preserve your tooth and restore your oral health.
Recommended Reading: What Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection
Infection Of The Bone
Not addressing the bacterial infection quickly enough can give the bacteria time to spread to the surrounding bone, causing an infection of the bone, or osteomyelitis.
People with this type of bone infection experience fevers and severe bone pain of the jaw.
Osteomyelitis can be painful, dangerous, and cause permanent damage to the jaw bone. It requires antibiotics via an IV, and sometimes surgery, for treatment.
Home Remedies For A Tooth Infection
Tooth decay, untreated cavities, recent dental work, or injuries can cause a tooth infection, or tooth abscess, at the tip or side of a tooths root.
Dental infections cause inflammation and can cause extreme pain.
They are one of the most common causes of toothache, and if theyre not medically treated, the bacteria can spread to the gums, bone, and even the eyes.
If you think you have a tooth infection, talk to a dentist or doctor who can diagnose and properly treat the problem.
But if youre in pain and cant get to a doctor or dentist immediately, home remedies for tooth infection can help manage the pain and keep the infection from spreading.
In some cases, your provider may also recommend home remedies to manage your pain while theyre treating your infection.
While some of these home treatments arent likely to cause major medical concerns, its important to talk to a healthcare provider before attempting to treat your abscessed tooth.
You May Like: How Many New Hiv Infections Per Year
Typical Tooth Infection Symptoms Include:
- The tooth is darker in colour than the other teeth
- It hurts to eat. The abscess or infection spreads out from the tooth root affecting the gums and jawbone. A patient may experience throbbing or pulsating pain that cant be relieved with pain medication. This happens when the infection spreads, placing pressure on the gums and bones.
- The jaw, surrounding lymph nodes and face are swollen. The jaw may also be painful because of the swelling.
- Another indicator of tooth infection is bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
- The gums may be swollen and filled with pus.
- Another red flag is difficulty opening and moving the mouth due to pain or swelling.
- Generally not feeling well. A severe infection not only makes a person feel unwell but can also cause fever.
So now youre aware of tooth infection symptoms, what are the treatment options?