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A tooth can look perfectly normal but still be infected and may be abscessed. An infected tooth needs urgent dental care. The infection could affect your overall health and even become life-threatening without treatment.
Signs of a tooth infection can include the following.
An advanced tooth infection can cause fever, chills, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty breathing or swallowing. If you have these symptoms, please go to your nearest emergency room immediately, as your tooth infection needs urgent medical care.
A tooth infection is caused by bacteria naturally present in the mouth and can occur when these bacteria are allowed to build up, usually because of poor oral hygiene. These bacteria can then cause decay and infection that eventually reaches the central part of the tooth called the dental pulp, which houses the tooth nerve, so the tooth begins to feel painful. Toth pain can also be due to a loose or failing filling or a leaking dental restoration that allows harmful bacteria to get inside the tooth.
You cannot get rid of an infection in a tooth without proper professional dental care. If you recognize any signs of a tooth infection, don’t delay and schedule an appointment with a dentist at Century Dental. The sooner you see a dentist, the more likely we can successfully treat the infection and save your tooth.
Some people will endure the pain of an untreated tooth infection for quite some time, treating it themselves with over-the-counter painkillers rather than seeing a dentist urgently. The pain could disappear if the tooth nerve dies, but the infection will not clear up on its own. Unfortunately, the absence of pain may seem like the infection has disappeared, but it will continue to worsen. While it is possible to leave a tooth infection untreated, it is extremely unwise and could lead to tooth loss, affect general health, or become life-threatening on rare occasions.
If a tooth infection spreads to the jaw, it becomes a dental abscess and can also affect the gums. Types of dental abscesses include:
If an abscessed tooth isn’t treated, the infection can spread into the face and neck and might cause sepsis, potentially putting your life at risk.
When you visit Century Dental, we can perform diagnostic tests gently. These may include lightly tapping the tooth as it is more likely to feel sensitive to pressure or touch. An x-ray will identify If the tooth is abscessed, the extent of the infection, and whether it has affected your gums and jawbone.
Treatment aims to eliminate the infection and quickly help you feel more comfortable.
We will need to make an incision into the abscess to allow the pus to drain out, and the area can be irrigated with saline solution to help clean it out more thoroughly. We might need to leave a small drain in place until the swelling has disappeared.
Ideally, we will perform a root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp and all the tissues extending into the tooth roots. Treatment will eliminate the infection, and we can then seal the tooth permanently and protect it by placing a dental crown. If we cannot save the tooth, it might need removing, which will also allow the abscess to drain.
Antibiotics can form part of a root canal treatment. You will need root canal therapy to eliminate the infection in a root canal, as we must remove all the infected tissues thoroughly and disinfect the treated areas. At this stage, we might pack the empty root canals with topical antibiotics to clear up any remaining bacteria.
If the infection has spread to your gum or jaw, you may need antibiotics to prevent it from spreading further. We might also prescribe antibiotics if you have a weakened immune system or a medical condition that makes it harder to fight infection.
If you have an infected wisdom tooth, we will suggest removing it. Wisdom teeth can become infected and decayed when they only partially erupt and remain partly covered with gum, as the gums can easily trap food and bacteria, and the tooth is tricky to keep clean. Removing the tooth is the best option as you do not need wisdom teeth, and they do not need to be replaced.
A tooth infection should be taken seriously; the sooner you see a dentist, the better. There is a greater chance of saving your tooth, and urgent dental care can relieve the pain and discomfort.
Century Medical and Dental Center is an accredited healthcare facility in NY that operates in accordance with Article 28, a public health law. This law regulates and recognizes accreditation for public healthcare facilities, ensuring they are licensed and operated correctly. By undergoing the Article 28 process and achieving accreditation, Century Medical and Dental Center demonstrates its commitment to meeting the highest standards of care.
As a multidisciplinary medical center, we have highly qualified doctors, nurses, and support staff who are working hard to provide the best medical care to patients in Midtown Manhattan, NY, Downtown Brooklyn, NY, including Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.