Tooth pain is severe and hard to describe, but you know it when you feel it. When your tooth becomes infected, it becomes sensitive to everything from hot foods to cold drinks to everything in between. If left untreated, the tooth infection can spread.
In most cases, tooth infections are caused by harmful bacteria. When this happens, the tooth becomes very painful. Let’s take a look at what causes tooth infection and the signs or symptoms that it may be spreading.
What is a Tooth Abscess?
A tooth abscess is a scientific word for a tooth infection. This problem occurs when bacteria builds a pocket of pus inside the tooth. There are different types of abscesses that can form on your teeth depending on where the infection occurs. In some cases, this is at the tip of the tooth root, whereas in other cases, it is on the gums.
This Mayo Clinic guide goes into more detail about periapical (root tip) abscesses and explains that they form when cavities and tooth rot goes untreated.
What are the Symptoms of a Tooth Infection Spreading?
Tooth infections are often painful. But there are other symptoms associated with a tooth infection as well. Be on the lookout for:
- Pain that gets worse when you lie down or lean forward
- Extreme sensitivity to temperatures
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Throbbing pain in the gums, jaws, or neck
- Swollen cheeks
- Bad breath
If any of the above signs and symptoms persist, the infection might spread. Your symptoms will be exacerbated, especially if you feel unwell and feverish. Continued swelling in the face is a sign that you are dealing with a spreading infection.
Other symptoms can include increased heart rate, dehydration, and stomach pain. You must get in touch with your doctor ASAP or visit an emergency doctor before the infection becomes dangerous to your health.
How Do Teeth Get Infected?
There are a number of factors and conditions that can lead to a tooth becoming affected. Some of the most common sources of infection include a high sugar diet and poor dental hygiene. Patients who eat a lot of processed sugars and drink a lot of sodas are setting themselves up for tooth infection.
Not taking proper care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily can greatly increase your risk of getting a tooth infection, as well as gum disease. Save yourself from suffering complications of infection by reaching out to your dentist as soon as you start to feel discomfort in your mouth.
How to Prevent a Tooth Infection
There are measures you can take to prevent yourself from having a tooth infection or tooth decay. Our dentist recommends:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Using fluoride in your drinking water
- Investing in a healthier diet by limiting sugar intake
- Visiting your dentist regularly for checkups
- Flossing between your teeth every day
In the event you are already dealing with a tooth infection, it is important to schedule some time to see your dentist right away. Letting an infection spread can cause complications that are more difficult to reverse over time, leading to serious health issues.
Thousand Oaks Dentist
At the office of Lombard Dental Studio, we are dedicated to giving you lasting health and confidence. Tooth infections are painful, debilitating, and often a sign of danger. Get in touch with us right away for comprehensive and minimally invasive treatment plans that can help your teeth and gums fight infection. Contact us online to schedule an appointment!