What Is The Pulp
Pulp is a gelatinous organic material composed of connective tissue, nerves, artery and vein that occupies the tooths center in a hollow cavity called the pulp chamber. The pulp is the heart of the tooth, providing blood to the tooths root.
The tooths pulp is surrounded immediately by dentin, which comprises the largest part of the tooth. Enamel, the hardest substance in the body, is the thin outer covering of the tooth that protects the dentin and the pulp. The pulp produces new dentin and gives the tooth sensation from heat, cold, sweetness and pressure. The protection of this part of our tooth is crucial.
However, several things can broach the pulp chamber and damage the pulp:
- Caries, or deep cavities
- Bruxism, or grinding ones teeth
Here Are 5 Signs Your Tooth May Be Infected
If you have a fever and suspect a tooth infection, you should seek treatment immediately from a medical professional. A tooth infection can be a serious health issue. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your body.
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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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.
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 patientsâ 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.
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Important Care Tips For A Dental Abscess
A dental abscess is the result of an infection and can form inside the gums, teeth and even in the bone that holds the teeth in place. A dental abscess is the accumulation of infection and bacteria in a pocket of space and can cause you a lot of pain and discomfort. An abscess is the result of an infection that has either spread to the root tip or around the root of a tooth. When an abscess forms, it means that you have an active infection and need to treat it right away. It is very important that you seek treatment fast, as infections can be unpredictable and rapidly spread.
An abscess can either be a tooth abscess or an abscess located in the gum . This is determined by where the infection originated. A gum abscess differs in source and location since it starts in a pocket in the gum that is next to the root but outside of the tooth.
Anyone who currently has a dental abscess or has experienced one in the past knows that it is in a category of its own.
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Signs Of 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 colour? 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
How to cure a tooth infection
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Relieving Pain From A Dental Abscess
While youre waiting to see a dentist, painkillers can help control your pain.
Ibuprofen is the preferred painkiller for dental abscesses, but if youre unable to take it for medical reasons, you can take paracetamol instead.
Aspirin should not be given to children under 16.
If 1 painkiller does not relieve the pain, taking both paracetamol and ibuprofen at the doses shown in the medicine leaflet may help.
This is safe for adults, but not for children under 16.
It may also help to:
- avoid hot or cold food and drink if it makes the pain worse
- try eating cool, soft foods if possible, using the opposite side of your mouth
- use a soft toothbrush and temporarily avoid flossing around the affected tooth
These measures can help relieve your symptoms temporarily, but you should not use them to delay getting help from a dentist.
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When Should I Visit The Dentist For Tooth Abscess
If you notice any of the symptoms of tooth abscess listed above, you should come in to see us as soon as possible, and we will make every effort to set aside a same day appointment for you. Because of the dangers associated with tooth abscess, one of our dentists may even recommend coming into the office outside of regular hours. Dont wait for the pain or infection to spread. Get help right away.
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What Should I Do For An Infected Tooth
First, youll need to schedule an appointment with our emergency dentists in Grand Rapids, MI. Our dentists are always willing to squeeze you in for a dental emergency.
Next, manage the pain with over-the-counter pain medication until its time for your appointment. If you notice any swelling, a warm or cold compress can also help. Try eating easy-to-chew foods like mashed potatoes until youre able to come into our office. Only our dentists can solve the problem permanently.
Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection Spreading To The Body
Poor oral health, an untreated cavity, gum disease, or even common dental procedures can lead to a tooth infection, also called a dental abscess.
While tooth infections are painful, they typically respond well to treatment by a medical professional.
In many cases, dentists prescribe antibiotics for tooth infections, though other treatments may be necessary if the infection is severe.
In rarer casesusually when the abscess is left untreateda tooth infection can spread.
Dental infections often spread locally. However, if the abscessed tooth isnt treated, the infection can continue to spread to other areas of your body and potentially cause .
Thats why its so important to seek medical care right away if you think you may have a tooth infection.
In this article, Ill cover the symptoms of tooth infections, and whether they can spread to other parts of your body.
Ill outline how long a tooth abscess can go untreated, and symptoms that indicate its spread.
Finally, Ill help determine when its time to contact a doctor, and explain some of the treatment options for a tooth infection thats spreading.
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Causes Of A Tooth Infection
Most of the time, a dental abscess is a secondary condition. It usually occurs after the bacteria are able to access the dental pulp and inside the tooth, bone, and gum tissue.
These are common causes for a tooth infection:
- Trauma or injury to the tooth
- Cracked, broken, or chipped tooth
- Dental treatments, such as a root canal or deep fillings
Another cause for a tooth infection is when a tooth only partially comes in or erupts. This is often the case with wisdom teeth. Bacteria can get trapped between the crown of the tooth and the gum tissue, causing an infection.
You can be more prone to getting a tooth infection if you do not keep up with good oral hygiene. This puts you at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease, which are often precursors to a tooth infection. Smokers also have twice the risk of developing a tooth abscess.
If you have a dry mouth, this can allow bacteria to build up. Saliva is also not working as well to wash it away.
A weakened immune system also puts you at a higher risk for a tooth infection.
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Treating Your Tooth Abscess: What Are Your Treatment Options
In most cases, a tooth abscess will be treated with a root canal. First, the abscess will need to be cut and the pus, which contains the bacteria, drained away. In order to do this, your dentist will likely administer a local anaesthetic.
What happens during a root canal? During a root canal treatment, a drill will be used to bore a hole into the dead tooth so that the pus can drain. Any damaged tissue will be removed from the pulp and a root filling will then be inserted into the space to prevent any future infections.
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Signs & Symptoms Of Tooth Abscess
You should seek treatment for a tooth abscess as soon as possible to avoid the spread of this infection. Some of the warning signs that indicate youre dealing with tooth abscess include the following:
- A severe toothache or tooth pain with dull pressure, aching, and throbbing or sharp pain
- Pain with or without chewing
- Redness and swelling of the gums
- In advanced infections, swelling of the jaw
- Sensitivity of the teeth to temperature change hot or cold
- An open, draining sore in the gums that may also cause a bitter taste in the mouth
Top 3 Signs Of A Tooth Infection
Keep an eye on the following if youre experiencing any discomfort:
1. Throbbing Pain
Throbbing pain, whether its in the tooth, jaw, ear, or even neck, can be a sign of an infection. Pain from an infection is also likely to increase if youre lying down.
Your body is trying to fight off the inflammation, which may lead to swelling in the cheeks or lymph nodes. Any visible changes in the body can be a symptom of a progressing infection.
An infection in the mouth can lead to a mild or moderate fever. If youre experiencing any chills or fatigue, even a slight fever can be a sign of infection.
Please note that people with poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, and a high-sugar diet are more likely to experience tooth infections. Its important to monitor symptoms of tooth infection, as theyre liable to start off mild. Whether the tooth becomes infected through a cavity or chip, you cant let the pain go untreated.
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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:
How Long Before Antibiotics Work On An Infected Tooth
You will be given a full round of antibiotics. The effect of antibiotics is cumulative and must be sustained for the full length of prescription to ensure the infection is properly killed. Continue taking your antibiotics as prescribed until you run out. Do not stop taking them early even if symptoms have subsided.
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What Are Wisdom Teeth
On average, adults have 32 permanent teeth. This includes eight incisors , four canines eight premolars and 12 molars .
Wisdom teeth are part of your molars. They are usually the last to grow in, showing up between the ages of 17 and 21. Usually, adults have four wisdom teeth in each corner of the jaw. Some adults have only two wisdom teeth, and some have none at all.
Although wisdom teeth were once essential for the early human diet of raw meat, plants, and roots, they are no longer necessaryâespecially considering that most people use utensils to cut up their food into smaller pieces.
Whatâs more, because modern-day human jaws are getting progressively smaller, they may not be able to accommodate our wisdom teeth. This can lead to many dental problems, such as an increased risk of a tooth infection.
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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How To Treat A Wisdom Tooth Infection
If you experience any of the above symptoms, then you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Although some minor tooth infections can subside on their own, you will significantly decrease your chances of further complications if you see a professional for treatment. Depending on how severe the infection is, your dentist will likely treat you using a combination of medication and dental procedures.
When you come in for treatment, your dentist will thoroughly cleanse the infected wisdom toothâin addition to the surrounding gums and teeth. Next, they will prescribe a round of antibiotics to help with killing the bacteria that caused the infection. Finally, your dentist will likely perform a dental procedure such as a root canal or an extraction.
While a root canal is the most common procedure for infected teeth, wisdom teeth present a slightly different problem. This is because they have roots that are either not separated from one another or roots that are oddly shaped. If the roots of your wisdom teeth are not straight, then it can be incredibly difficult to perform a root canal.
Most likely, your dentist will recommend a full extraction. This will not only get rid of the infection but prevent you from risking another infection or experiencing damage to the surrounding teeth. Read up on what you can expect from a tooth extraction procedure with Flossy.