Ways of Knowing if Your Tooth is Infected : Are you suffering from a devastating toothache? Perhaps, you’ve noticed a slight swelling of the gums or jaw, or you’ve seen that the tooth appears to be a different colour? This can be the indication of a serious tooth infection.
Your teeth are full of nerves. Although it may affect only part of the mouth, a toothache can be unbearable. In addition, pain can sometimes be associated with a deeper oral health problem. If your tooth is sore and sensitive, or if you have severe pain in your mouth, you may have a tooth infection or an abscess.
How to Tell if Your Tooth is Infected
An infected tooth can cause mild to severe pain in a specific area of the mouth, depending on the degree of the tooth infection. Pain is generally continuous and acute. Some dentists describe it as a kind of burning pain, throbbing pain, or sharp pain. This pain radiates up and down along the face in places such as the ear, jaw, or head. If you feel pain while eating, you may have dental inflammation. Infection can spread from the root tip, affecting the gums and the bones. Sometimes, a pulsating pain is so strong that painkillers do not relieve the pain. This may be due to the infection spreading, which puts more pressure on the gums and bones in the mouth.
- Tooth Sensitivity
Some sensitivity to heat and cold is normal for teeth. This is due to small holes in the tooth enamel called “caries” which do not require special treatment. However, an infected tooth becomes very sensitive to hot and cold substances. For example, you will most likely feel severe pain if you eat a hot bowl of soup; you may feel a stinging pain that persists after you stop eating. In addition to hot and cold substances, eating sweet products can also cause pain because sugar can irritate the infected tooth. All these repetitive sensations can affect the sensitive tooth, igniting the entire vascular and nerve system. In most cases, this damage is irreversible, and you will likely need a root canal to fix it.
- Pay Attention to Swelling or Pus
If your gums are swollen and filled with pus, this is a sure sign of infection. Check that the gums around the tooth are not red, swollen, or tender. You might see boiling gums or a pimple-like formation near the infected tooth. You can also see white pus in the wound or around the tooth; pus actually causes pain because it puts pressure on the tooth and gums.When the pus begins to drain, the pain may subside slightly. You will want to pay attention to tooth discolouration. An infected tooth may change from yellow to dark brown or grey. This change in colour is caused by the death of the pulp in the tooth, namely “bruising” of dying blood cells. Dead pulp releases toxic products that break down and extend through the porous channels in the tooth until they reach the tooth surface.
Other Signs of Tooth Infection
- Your tooth has a darker colour than your other teeth.
- You have a swollen jaw, face, or surrounding lymph nodes. You may also experience jaw pain due to swelling.
- You have a bad taste in your mouth or a very particular kind of bad breath.
- You have difficulties moving and opening your mouth because of pain or swelling.
- You have a general feeling of being unwell. If the infection is severe, it can cause malaise or fever.
How to Treat a Tooth Infection
If you suspect that you have a tooth infection, you have several options. One of them is to save the tooth with a root canal. Even if the infected tooth is the result of an old root canal, your dentist in Baton Rouge, Lousiana may be able to treat it again and remove the infection.
Alternatively, your dentist can perform a surgical extraction to remove the infection which will prevent it from recurring. If your tooth is healthy (except for the infection), your dentist may give you prescription antibiotics to help get rid of the infection quickly.
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