Tooth infection, also known as tooth abscess, is a collection of bacteria and pus that form inside the tooth or gum. Tooth infections can spread to other body areas without proper treatment, leading to serious and potentially life-threatening complications.
Keep reading to learn how to treat and prevent tooth infections.
Table of Contents
What Causes a Tooth Infection?
Tooth infection is a pus-filled pocket that forms in the tooth’s root or gums, and its causes include:
- Tooth Decay: It is one of the most common causes of tooth infection. When bacteria break down sugars in food and drink, they create acid that attacks the enamel. This can lead to a cavity or tooth decay. If the decay is left untreated, it will eventually reach the tooth’s pulp, causing an infection.
- Chipped or Cracked Tooth: Another common cause of a tooth infection is a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth. Bacteria can seep into any opening in the tooth and spread to the pulp. This is why it’s essential to seek treatment as soon as possible.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease is an inflammation of the tissues around the teeth, and the bacteria gain access to deeper tissues as gum disease progresses. If you have gum disease, you must seek treatment from a dentist or periodontist.
- Tooth Injury: An injury to the tooth can cause tooth infection. Even if there is no visible crack or trauma to a tooth can injure the inner pulp, making the tooth susceptible to infection.
3 Types of Tooth infections Can Cause Abscesses
The three most common types of tooth infection are:
Periapical abscesses are the most common type of tooth infection, and they occur at the tip of the tooth root because of bacteria or a foreign object that has become lodged in the tooth. However, If left untreated, periapical abscesses can lead to serious health complications.
Periodontal abscesses are another type of tooth infection that can occur on the gum next to the root of a tooth. Periodontal Abscesses often spread to the surrounding tissue and bone, which can be very painful.
Gingival abscesses are the third type of tooth infection, and they occur on the gums and are often caused by an infection in the gums. Gingival abscesses hurt badly, so you must see a dentist if you think you may have one.
Symptoms of a Tooth Infection
You may have a tooth infection if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Sharp and throbbing pain in the area around the tooth
- Pain that spreads to your jaw or other parts of your face on the affected side
- Gum redness
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
If you have a pimple-like bump on your gum that oozes pus when pressed, then there’s no doubt – you have an infection! If you have a swell in your face, a fever, or trouble breathing or swallowing, don’t delay getting the treatment you need!
How is An Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed?
In addition to diagnosing the tooth and surrounding tissue for symptoms of infection, your dentist may examine a combination of a physical examination and imaging tests. Your dentist will first look at your teeth and gums for signs of infection and press on or tap your teeth to see if they are sensitive to touch or pressure. In some cases, your dentist may recommend X-rays or a CT scan to assess the extent of the infection.
Once your dentist has diagnosed a tooth infection, they will discuss treatment options with you.
Treatment Options for a Tooth Infection
If you are experiencing pain from a tooth infection, don’t despair. Several treatment options are available to you, depending on the severity of your infection. The most common treatment options for tooth infection are:
- Draining the abscess: Firstly, The dentist might make a small incision allowing the abscess to drain out. Usually, after this, that area is washed with saline. This is often done as a first step in treating a tooth abscess, as it helps in reducing the swelling and pain associated with the infection.
- Performing a root canal: After drilling down into your tooth to remove the diseased pulp, your dentist will drain the abscess and fill and seal your tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. He will then cap it with a crown or another restoration. However, This procedure is often necessary when the infection has spread to the tooth’s innermost parts and is considered a more permanent solution.
- Prescribing antibiotics: If your infection spreads to nearby areas in your mouth, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to stop it. This is usually done with other treatment options, such as performing a root canal.
- Tooth Extraction: If the tooth cannot be repaired, meaning the infection has caused too much damage, your dentist may recommend extracting the tooth. This is generally the last resort, as it will result in the loss of the affected tooth.
These are just a few of the most common treatment options for a tooth abscess. See a dentist as soon as possible if you are experiencing pain or other symptoms associated with an abscessed tooth. They will help to determine the best course of action for you and will provide relief from your pain.
Searching for the Best Tooth Infection Treatment in Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, New Hope, Robbinsdale, Fridley, or Minneapolis? Contact Brooklyn Blvd Dental Today!
A tooth abscess is a serious matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you think you may have an abscessed tooth, don’t wait to get it checked out. At Brooklyn Blvd Dental, we will work with you to determine the best course of action and help relieve your pain as quickly as possible.
So, contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.