A tooth infection is a painful condition that can begin with gum disease or a cavity. Both conditions are treatable, but if you fail to get help they can lead to issues like gum infections.
Even worse, an untreated infection can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, causing serious health problems, so it is important that you take a stand against infections.
Signs of a Tooth Infection
If you suspect a tooth infection, there are a variety of signs that you can look for:
• Movement of the tooth
• Pain when chewing
• Discoloration of the tooth or the surrounding gums
• Fever and other flu-like symptoms
• Presence of pus
• A pimple-like bump in your mouth near the tooth with the suspected infection
• A bitter taste within the mouth
If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your dentist immediately. To ease your symptoms until you can be seen, try rinsing out your mouth several times per day with a saltwater solution, and apply cold packs to your cheek to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Visiting Your Dentist for a Tooth Infection
If your dentist determines that you have a tooth infection, there will be four treatment options available depending on the severity of the problem:
• Draining. In some cases, the abscess will need to be drained via an incision made in the swollen gums.
• Root canal. This procedure will remove the infected area before cleaning out the inside of the tooth and sealing it to prevent further damage.
• Surgery. Surgical procedures might be needed to remove infected materials from the tissue found around the root.
• Extraction. If the infection is so severe that the tooth cannot be saved, you may need to have it removed.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can prevent infections before they begin. Make oral hygiene a priority, use fluoridated drinking water, and go easy on the sugary snacks. Additionally, please contact our office regularly to help protect your oral health.