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When Tooth Pain is a Tooth Infection

Posted on 6/5/2015 by Raymond Liu
A woman suffering from tooth pain.A tooth infection is nothing to take lightly - it can cause eventual tooth loss if you do not have it cared for right away. More often than not, the pain is so bad that you would not put it off, but if you were ever to consider it, think about the consequences.

Reasons for Tooth Infections

Tooth infections can happen for a wide variety of reasons, but the most common include:

•  Excessive tooth decay
•  Damage to the tooth through trauma (falling, car accident, etc.)
•  Gum disease

Each of these scenarios need to be rectified on their own, but when you add a tooth infection into the mix, the issues are exacerbated. If there is any opening in the tooth that is allowing the bacteria into the gum line, it could eventually affect the pulp of your tooth; the root; and even the bone.

How do you Know you Have a Tooth Infection?

There are a few common symptoms that you will experience when you have a tooth infection. Of course, like any illness, no two people are the same, but here are a few of the most common things to watch for:

•  Excessive pain in one area
•  Difficulty chewing
•  Overall feeling of illness despite not having a physical illness
•  Presence of a fever
•  Swollen area of the mouth
•  Difficulty handling hot or cold foods

Diagnosis and Treatment
Every situation will differ, but the common denominator is that you need to be seen. Every patient will need to be evaluated to determine how far the infection has gone and what the appropriate treatment will be. If the infection has spread to the roots of your tooth, a root canal will be necessary to remove the infected roots and fill it in with appropriate material to ensure that it stays healthy, allowing you to keep your natural tooth. A root canal is not always necessary, however; sometimes we can simply drain the area and prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the infection - every situation differs.

Preventing Tooth Infections

Just like an infection in your body, it is not 100 percent possible to prevent them from occurring, but there are a few simple ways you can decrease your chances of obtaining one.

•  Practice proper oral hygiene. Make sure that you are brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis. Never skip this process, performing it at least twice a day. This is the best way to prevent bacteria from infecting your teeth and gums.
•  Change your toothbrush every three months. Even if you think your toothbrush is fine, there are hidden germs on there - change it regularly to eliminate the risk of infecting your mouth again.
•  Dislodge any food that is stuck right away. Do not let lodged food sit in your mouth. Find a way to remove it right away, even if you just rinse with warm water until it is removed. Leaving food to fester will promote infection.
•  See us right away if you experience any type of trauma to the mouth, such as a car accident or a slip and fall.

Tooth infections should not be ignored. If they are, you could eventually lose your tooth and have to face even more dental procedures as a result. The quicker you see us when the pain settles in, the easier the treatment will be and the higher the likelihood of you being able to keep your natural teeth.

If you think you have an infected tooth, please call us today to get an appointment and to get back on the road to good oral health!
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