Despite the advancements in dental care, tooth infections still impact a number of people. An infection, also referred to as an abscess, results in a pocket of on or near your tooth. This is caused by a bacterial infection which results in swelling, irritation, and inflammation. An untreated tooth infection can cause a number of issues with your dental health and overall health. Below you will find the dangers of a tooth infection and when to call your dental provider.
Dangers of a Tooth Infection
Tooth infections can go beyond just the infected tooth as it can cause other dental issues, in addition to harm to your overall health. It is important to understand that tooth infections do not go away on their own and they require treatment from a dental professional. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your other teeth, gums, and even result in tooth loss. In some cases, a tooth infection can be life-threatening as it can spread to your jaw, neck, and head. Infections should not be ignored and prompt treatment is necessary to get your oral health back on track.
Tooth Infection Symptoms
Due to the dangers of tooth infections, it’s important to understand the warning signs. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your dental provider as soon as possible.
- Sensitivity or discomfort when eating or drinking foods at hot or cold temperatures
- Pain or discomfort while chewing
- Throbbing felt in the affected tooth, your jawbone, neck, or ear
- Bad breath
- Swelling on the side of your face or neck where the infected tooth is
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes (neck and jaw areas)
In addition to the common symptoms of a tooth infection above, you may also experience the infection rupturing. If the pus-filled sack bursts you will likely experience fluid that smells bad and tastes like salt. If this happens, contact your dental provider right away. They can provide you with instructions on any next steps that need to be taken and how soon you should be treated. If you experience any issues breathing or swallowing, contact your medical provider or call the emergency room right away.
Understanding your level of risk can help you take steps to reduce the likelihood of getting a tooth infection. Consider the most common risk factors.
Poor oral hygiene is the most common risk factor for a tooth infection. This includes your daily oral care routine, in addition to regularly visiting the dentist.
Sugar and Processed Foods:
A diet high in sugar or other highly processed foods can increase your risk of infection. This is because diets high in sugar can increase your risk for cavities which can ultimately turn into an infection if left untreated.
Staying hydrated has a number of benefits. Dry mouth can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause an infection. Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day to reduce your risk.
Treatment for a Tooth Infection
The severity of your infection will determine which treatment is best for you. This is why it’s important to get treatment as soon as you experience any symptoms of a tooth infection. Saving your natural tooth is the ultimate goal so long as it’s good for your dental and overall health.
A root canal can save your natural tooth and treat your tooth infection. Root canal treatment in La Mesa is highly effective in addressing tooth infections and can help you get your oral health back on track. If you are interested in a root canal or cosmetic dentistry in La Mesa, contact the dentists at Smiles of La Mesa for an appointment!