Tooth infections can be really painful and can cause your day to go from going well to not going well at all in the matter of hours. Luckily, it is not difficult to spot a tooth infection. Also called an abscessed tooth, a tooth infection happens when a cavity causes a hole in your tooth that extends to the center of the tooth, or the tooth pulp, and introduces bacteria to the sensitive nerves that reside there. Most of the time, a tooth infection will make itself known by being moderately to severely painful, but there are several other ways to recognize and spot a tooth infection.
How To Spot A Tooth Infection: Symptoms
As mentioned previously, a tell-tale sign of a tooth infection is acute pain in a tooth that can also extend to the neck, jaw and ear. This pain will often be accompanied by swelling of your jaw or cheeks, difficulty biting down or eating and a hard time eating cold or hot foods. In addition to swelling in your jaw, you could find that the lymph nodes in your neck may also become swollen. Another common symptom of a tooth abscess is a fever or a splitting headache. Tooth infections can cause headaches because tooth infections can cause your jaw to clench, which is another possible symptom you could have if you have a tooth infection.
How To Spot A Tooth Infection: Causes
Oftentimes, tooth infections can be easily prevented. The most common cause of tooth infections is bad dental hygiene. This includes forgetting to brush your teeth twice a day or floss. Taking good care of your teeth, tongue and gums is very important for preventing tooth infections. If you do not go to your planned dentist appointments, you may also be at further risk of tooth infections and tooth decay because the dentist will not be able to identify or take care of any cavities if they come.
Another common cause of tooth infections is a diet loaded with sugar. If you drink a lot of soda or eat tons of sweets, you are at a higher risk for tooth decay. Try to limit the amount of sugar that you consume and brush your teeth after eating a lot of sugar. Also consider keeping your sugar snacking to a minimum throughout the day. Eating sugar all day when you are unable to clean your teeth off gives the bacteria in your mouth much more time to create cavities. Lastly, older age causes your teeth to be at greater risk of dry mouth which can also cause cavities.
How To Spot A Tooth Infection: Health Risks
If you do not spot a tooth infection early, it can lead to some serious health problems. Unfortunately, tooth infections do not go away on their own, so make sure to see a dentist as soon as you can. If a tooth infection is not taken care of as soon as possible, the infection can move to the jaw and neck or contaminate your blood causing sepsis which is an infection that can cause organ failure and death. Make sure to see a dentist as soon as you spot a tooth infection in order to avoid any further complications with your health.
How To Spot A Tooth Infection: Prevention
Now that you know the causes and the symptoms associated with tooth infections and cavities, be sure to take the proper actions to prevent future tooth infections. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash. It is also advisable to replace your toothbrush regularly and to attend your dental appointments. Lastly, be mindful of the amount of sugar that you put in your mouth and drink a lot of water.
Do You Have A Tooth Infection?
Here at Jenson Family Dental, we have all the resources available to help you prevent and remove tooth infections and abscesses. If you have more questions regarding tooth infections or what preventative measures you can take to avoid getting a tooth infection, we are happy to help. For more information or to get a tooth infection looked at, contact us today!