What Causes a Tooth Infection?

A pain in your tooth can prove incredibly distracting and severely impact your day. Even if you think you can tolerate oral discomfort, pain of any kind in your tooth is not normal. It could be a sign of a serious dental problem like a tooth infection.

Your mouth contains a significant number of bacteria, and oral bacteria can penetrate weak spots in your enamel to eat away at the interior of your teeth. You may be familiar with cavities, a type of dental decay that points to damage in the outer layers of the tooth. But if bacteria reach the tooth’s pulp, you could form a serious infection known as an abscess.

As bacteria from the infection continue to damage the pulp and the rest of your tooth, you can experience inflammation and intense pain. The tissue in the pulp will die in the wake of this infection and require extensive dental work to treat.

Resolving an infection in a tooth requires prompt intervention from a dentist. You can feel more inclined to talk to your dentist about this issue when you know more about it. Learn details about tooth infections and abscesses that can encourage you to seek the urgent dental treatment you need when you read on.

What Causes a Tooth Infection

Signs of an Infected Tooth

An infection in a tooth will begin on a small scale and spread and worsen over time. You can prevent serious complications when you know the early signs of an abscess or infection in a tooth. Symptoms of an infected tooth include:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Severe toothache
  • Bite dysfunction
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Fever or malaise

If these symptoms sound familiar, you should contact your dentist right away for an examination of the tooth. The dentist can evaluate the progression of an infection inside a tooth using x-ray imaging they can take in their office.

Treatment Options for Tooth Infections

Treatment for an infected tooth may vary depending on the severity of the infection. A dentist may prescribe antibiotics, for instance. They can also make an incision to drain an abscess and then flush and clean the area in an infection’s early stages.

In many cases, damage from a tooth infection is irreversible. To resolve the issue, the dentist may need to perform root canal therapy to clear out the damaged pulp cavity. They finish this treatment by protecting the tooth from further harm with a dental crown.

If the tooth suffers too much extensive damage, then the dentist might need to extract the tooth. Pulling the infected tooth will ensure the bacteria do not spread to hurt the rest of your smile. Make sure you discuss tooth replacement options with your dentist to avoid complications caused by missing teeth.

Tooth Infection Prevention Tips

The key to preventing a tooth infection is to keep oral bacteria balanced. You can get rid of excess bacterial build-up by removing plaque from your teeth in a timely fashion through proper oral hygiene.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once per day. Attend regular check-ups at your dentist’s office for professional-grade teeth cleaning along with an oral exam that can diagnose potential dental problems promptly. Find more preventive dental advice when you visit your dentist.