A tooth infection is an area of the mouth containing pus that develops due to an infection of bacteria. Different types of abscesses can develop in different parts of a tooth, depending upon its cause. For example, a periodontal abscess is found in the gums and the side of a tooth root, while a periapical abscess occurs on the tooth’s tip. Left untreated, you may need a root canal procedure performed by an endodontist, or root canal dentist.
Getting to the Root of a Major Dental Problem
An infection of a tooth begins simply enough due to a cavity or early gum disease. Fortunately, each condition can be treated easily by your root canal dentist. If such a significant condition is not treated, it can develop into a serious health concern that involves more than just your mouth. Tooth cavities will grow worse and periodontal disease will start spreading. A serious infection like an abscess can form, spreading infection to underlying bone.
A tooth infection can even spread systemically throughout the body if left untreated. Oral bacteria can move into the bloodstream, infecting heart valves. This makes them more vulnerable to infection and inflammation that can even threaten one’s life.
Symptoms of a tooth infection may include:
• Severe toothache
• Sensitivity to extreme temperatures
• Pain or discomfort felt when chewing or biting
• Facial swelling
• Swollen lymph nodes around your neck or under your jaw
Treatment of Tooth Infection
A root canal dentist will treat this type of infection through the drainage and removal of infected tissue. In most cases, a root canal procedure will save the tooth, but in some instances it must be extracted. As extreme as it may sound, it is sometimes preferable to extract a tooth, rather than allowing a serious infection to spread throughout the body.
Preventing Tooth Infections
Clearly the best way to protect your teeth is to not allow a tooth infection to gain a foothold. Make sure that your teeth remain as strong and healthy as humanly possible so that bacteria cannot exploit vulnerable areas. Here are a few measures that you can take to prevent tooth infections:
Form Proper Oral Hygiene Habits
It will come as no surprise that we recommend that you brush and floss your teeth regularly to ensure that your teeth remain healthy. Brush twice a day and floss once a day at a minimum. Ideally, brush following every meal and snack. If you find yourself away from home and your toothbrush, you can still rinse your mouth out with water to remove food debris that would otherwise feed oral bacteria that can attack your teeth.
Visit Your Dentist
The best way to avoid a visit to a root canal dentist is to visit your regular dentist every six months so that they have an opportunity to detect any problems before they gain momentum. When it comes to protecting your teeth from infection, this is Prevention 101.
Contact Liberia Dental Care to learn more about preventing tooth infections with routine dental care. Call 703-260-1200 or request an appointment online. New patients are always welcome!