Everything You Need To Know About Tooth Infection Emergencies And Treatment

11 August 2022
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Oral health is incredibly important, and while you may know a lot about cavities, there are more issues that can arise. Dental infections are a common issue that can lead to severe pain and an emergency. If you would like to know more, keep reading.

What Causes Tooth Infections?

The naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth love food particles, especially sugars and carbohydrates. Normally, when you brush and floss regularly, you remove most of the bacteria, preventing tooth loss, tooth infection, and gum disease. If you don't brush and floss regularly, bacteria starts to eat away at the tooth, and if it reaches the tooth's root, the tooth becomes infected.

In some cases, sudden trauma allows bacteria to sneak inside. Certain foods like acidic foods can weaken enamel, making it easier for bacteria to break through the tooth's dentin. Factors that increase your risk of tooth infection include:

  • Diets high in sugar and carbohydrates
  • Dry mouth
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Impacted tooth/non-fully erupted tooth

What Are the Symptoms of an Emergency Tooth Infection?

Whether or not a tooth infection is an emergency depends on the symptoms. Some people don't know they have a tooth infection because it presents with little to no symptoms. In the case of an emergency tooth infection, however, the patient is typically in severe pain from the abscess putting pressure on the tooth and tooth nerves.

You may also have pus, bad breath, and a metallic bitter taste. In some cases, the abscess causes severe swelling in the face. The swelling cause extreme pain when you bite down on food or the teeth. If left untreated, the pain will continue until the infection fully kills the tooth. In extreme cases, it can spread to other parts of the body, or even cause sepsis.

What to Expect When You Seek Emergency Dental?           

Treatment for tooth infection typically involved root canal therapy, which is usually performed by an endodontist. You may need a referral before seeing an endodontist for your insurance to cover the costs. For this reason, in some cases, your dentist will schedule a quick appointment to drain the abscess and prescribe antibiotics.

Regardless, after the infection is drained, the dentist fully removes the pulp to prevent the infection from returning. Your dentist may also recommend a dental crown after treatment, and while not an emergency, it's important to get the crown soon to prevent the tooth from shattering.

A tooth infection is a serious matter, and it can lead to severe pain, tooth loss, and sepsis. Treatment should start immediately. For more information on emergency dental treatment, contact a professional near you.