What is a dental infection?

Abscess Tooth vs healthy tooth

A dental infection is basically a pus pocket, caused by a bacterial infection roaming inside or underneath a tooth. It may, more commonly be referred as tooth abscess. For various reasons the abscess can occur in different parts of the tooth. Periapical abscess occurs at the tip of the root. Body understands that the tip contains an infection and proceeds to attack that area with large amount of white blood cells. When these cells die thay create a puss along with other dead tissue and bacteria. There is also Periodontal abscess which occurs, on the gums or on the root itself and may be covered in one of our future articles. In the text below we will talk more specifically about periapical abscess

The product of a non-treated tooth cavity, infection or previous dental work is typically a periapical tooth abscess.

Dentists can treat the abscess of the tooth by extracting and removing the infection. You can save your tooth by treating your root canal, but in some situations you have to cut the tooth

Symptoms of periapical abscess

The symptoms and signs of abscess of the tooth include:

  • Extreme, persistent, sparkling denture which can radiate to the jaw, neck or ear
  • Hot and cold temperature sensitivity
  • Chewing or biting pain sensitivity
  • Face or cheek swelling
  • Tender, swollen lymphatic glands under your jaw or neck
  • Sudden rush of flawed, flavorful, salty mouth fluid and pain relief as the abscess breaks down
  • Breathing or sweeping problems

When to see an online dentist?

Online dentist appointment

Check with your dentist for signs or symptoms of tooth abscess. If your face has fever and swelling and cannot reach the dentist, go to the ER

If you have respiratory or swallowing issues, also go to the ER. These signs may mean that the infection has spread more deeply into your jaw and tissue or even elsewhere across your body

What to consider

When bacteria enters the dental pulp, the innermost portion of each tooth containing blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, becomes infected causing periapical dental abscess.

Bacteria either enter a tooth cavity or a chip potentially spreading form one tooth to the next. The infection of the bacteria can cause inflammation and swelling at the root end.

One of our online dentists will be able to tell you right away if you case requires an emergency procedure.

Factors of risk

These factors will increase your tooth abscess risk:

  • Bad hygiene of dentures. If you do not treat your teeth or your gums properly – such as brushing and flossing your teeth regularly – your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth abscess, and other mouth and dental problems will increase.
  • A high-sugar diet. Foods high in sugar, such as candy and sodas, often accelerate the onset of a tooth abscess.
  • Dry mouth – With a dry mouth, your risk of tooth failure can increase. Side effect of certain drugs or ageing conditions can sometimes be attributed to dry mouth.

Why are tooth infections dangerous

Without care, a tooth abscess will not go anywhere. The pain may decrease dramatically when the abscess breaks – but you still need dental care. If the abscess does not drain, your jaw and other areas of your skin and neck could become infected. You may also develop sepsis, a life-threatening, body-wide infection.

You are at a risk of infection spreading, if you have a compromised immune system and if you leave your tooth abscess untreated.

Preventive measures

Same principals applied to avoiding tooth decay can and should be applied to avoiding tooth abscess. The best advice here is to basically take good care of your teeth:

  • Use drinking water containing fluoride.
  • Use a Fluoride toothpaste 2x per day
  • Dental floss or an interdental cleaner may be used regularly to clean between teeth.
  • Substitute your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or when the bristles are split.
  • Eat nutritious food, restrict sugar and snacks. eat healthy food.
  • For routine inspections and professional cleaning visit your dentist.
  • Take an antiseptic rinse or a mouth fluoride to provide an additional layer of tooth decay safety.

Feel free to set up a quick chat with one of our online dental specialist in order to get a more accurate assessment of your condition.

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