A multitude of people fails to understand the seriousness of a tooth infection. The amount of misinformation out there on matters relating to dental health is astonishing.
A tooth infection occurs when there is tooth decay or breakage of teeth. Bacteria then start breeding under or inside the tooth causing a tooth abscess.
An abscessed tooth can be very painful. Medical attention has to be sought immediately. If tooth abscess is left untreated it might not only infect your teeth and gums but could infect your jaws too.
Infection that has traveled to the jawbone causes pain on the jaws and mouth and can have serious health repercussions if left untreated. The infection could also travel from the jaw to other areas like the head, neck and face.
When the infection spreads from the jaw to the face, persons may suffer from cellulitis. This is a life-threatening condition that is characterized by the swelling of the face.
There are various ways dentists use to deal with a tooth abscess. It all depends on the severity of the infection.
- Root canal
Endodontic treatment, more usually called a root canal treatment involves drilling of the tooth, removing the pulp and draining off the abscess. The dentist will then fill the tooth’s pulp chamber. This is the best treatment for saving a tooth. With proper care, the tooth can last a lifetime.
In order to achieve a successful root canal, a patient has to go for 1 to 3 consecutive dental visits. The dentist will prescribe the number of visit depending on the severity of the tooth infection.
After the root canal procedure, patients are urged to take it easy. They should rest and avoid hot and cold drinks due to tooth sensitivity. These effects last for a couple of hours to a few days and can be alleviated through the use of over the counter drugs like ibuprofen.
The dentist will perform a small incision around the infected tooth and allow the pus to drain. The dentist will then clean the gum with saline and most probably, insert a small rubber drain that will allow more drainage of pus as the area decreases in swelling.
Tooth extraction is one of the last resorts of dental illnesses. This happens when the tooth cannot be saved. The dentist will pull out the infected tooth then drain the abscess.
There are cases where tooth inflammation is mild. In such cases, the dentist will prescribe some antibiotics to prevent the abscess from spreading to other teeth and to the gums.
WHEN TO CALL 911
There are some tooth infection scenarios where you may need to call emergency
- When the swelling and pain is not only on the jaw but spread to the face and neck
- When you have swelling on your eyelids and they begin to shut
- When you experience severe headaches and stiff neck
- In the case of drowsiness
- When you experience high fevers