Each tooth has a nerve that is attached to the root of it and if the nerve becomes damaged, the tooth and surrounding tissues can become infected. Bacteria will spread to the surrounding bone and tissue as the infection spreads. 

Untreated dental infections can lead to life threatening problems. If you have any symptoms of a dental infection, it’s imperative that you see a dentist. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you

Common Symptoms of an Infection

Symptoms of a dental infection may include:

  • Pain anywhere in your mouth
  • Swelling in the mouth, jaw or even head
  • Tenderness in the mouth or jaw
  • Temperature of over 100 °F

The only way to determine if you have a dental infection is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis, and give you their recommended treatment plan.

Common Causes of an Infection

Any time the root or inside of a tooth is exposed is an opportunity for an infection. A cavity, root canal, cracked tooth or chipped tooth can all expose the inside of the tooth to outside bacteria. 

Large fillings, extractions, and gum disease can all also lead to infection. And oral trauma can cause nerve damage to a tooth, which often leads to infection.

How to Prevent an Infection

Good oral hygiene is the first step to preventing infections. Remember to brush twice a day to remove plaque. Floss once a day to remove any buildup between your teeth. Having a professional cleaning by your dentist every 3-6 months will also greatly contribute to a healthy smile. Your dentist can recommend a suitable brush and mouthwash for you to use. And ask your dental hygienist for the best way for you to brush your teeth.

Unfortunately, not all infections can be prevented. If you have been in an accident, sports injury or even simply bite down too hard on a food, your teeth or jaw may have been injured. And accidents may lead to dental infection. 

Who Treats an Infection?

To treat a dental infection, your general dentist or specialist will need to clean out the bacteria. They will typically need to perform a root canal or extraction in order to clean the area. Antibiotics will also most likely be prescribed to assist in getting rid of the infection. If you have any of the above symptoms, call us today. To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.