What is a tooth infection?

Infections in the teeth can be extremely painful occurrences when left untreated. It’s normally the result of an injury or from decay in the tooth and while often there are many symptoms, teeth infections can hide in the background for years. With an abscess being the most commonly reported tooth infection, no matter what the problem, infections need specialist treatment in order to prevent further complications.

One of the biggest risks of teeth and gum infections are the fact that they can spread to other parts of the mouth and really cause havoc. Normally, the signs of a tooth infection are localized swelling, pain and pus which can happen both inside the tooth and under the gums. Because of the fact that many tooth infections can be hard to detect, it’s important to visit a dentist regularly for check-ups and whenever you feel any pain or discomfort in your teeth..

Normally, the treatment for a tooth infection is for the dentist to remove the infected material by trying to drain the tooth / infected area of any pus and then debride it to ensure that any bacteria is removed. Antibiotics and painkillers are normally prescribed and depending on the severity of the infection, the tooth may need to be extracted. Alternatively, after the infection has resolved itself, the dentist may recommend root canal therapy to preserve the existing tooth.

For many, the discomfort of an abscess is all too common. Abscesses are essentially infections that eventually swell up to a blister liked bubble that’s filled with pus. Due to the fact they can happen at the gum level, inside the tooth and even at the roots of the teeth, they can be incredibly painful. Treatment is normally the same as a tooth infection, i.e. drainage and then removal of the affected tooth.

Preventing tooth infections are quite simple. For many, the easiest way is with good dental hygiene and regular check-ups. The use of a good mouthwash is essential in killing bacteria that gather in the mouth and it helps to ensure that cavities and decaying teeth don’t get infected. Likewise, if you have an accident that chips / fractures a tooth, it’s important to visit a dentist as soon as possible in order to seal the hole and prevent bacteria from getting to the roots.

Sometimes, in rare occasions an infection might happen because of a tooth extraction or something similar. Using a good mouthwash after an extraction and rinsing gently minimizes the risk and ensures the wound gets a chance to heal. Within just a week or two, the gum will have settled over and over time the hole will eventually fill in.

Ultimately, the only way to minimize tooth infection and the likes is by good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. It might seem expensive to have your teeth cleaned by a dentist every few months, but sadly there’s no other way to remove plaque and tarter build up that causes decay, infections and eventually the loss of your teeth.

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