A tooth infection often results in dental abscess due to bacteria, which enter chipped, broken, or decaying teeth.
When bacteria reach the center of your tooth and infect it, pus can accumulate, resulting in a toothache.
Continue reading to learn more about abscessed teeth.
What Makes Tooth Infection Painful?
An abscessed tooth can cause mild to severe pain that can radiate to your ears and neck. If left untreated, it can turn into a life-threatening condition. You should visit the emergency room if you have an abscessed tooth and experience the following:
- Swelling in the face
- High fever
- Trouble swallowing
- Rapid heart rate
Learn about the symptoms of dental infection below.
Symptoms of Tooth Abscess
- A throbbing, intense pain in the affected tooth or gum that gradually worsens
- Pain that spreads to your jaw, ear, and neck on the infected tooth or gum side.
- Pain that increases when you lie down, disturbing your sleep
- Swelling and redness in the face and neck
- A discolored, tender, loose tooth
- Swollen red gums
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth or bad breath
In extreme cases, you may find it difficult to fully open your mouth to the point where you can’t talk or swallow.
How Can I Relieve the Pain?
Most people who suffer from dental infection will need to consult with their dentist or oral surgeon to seek treatment, which may include oral surgery. In the meantime, you can do the following at home:
- Take painkillers
- Avoid hot or cold food and drinks
- Eating soft foods using the opposite side of your mouth
- Using a soft toothbrush and temporarily stop flossing on the side of the infected tooth
Once you visit your dentist or oral surgeon, they can treat the source of infection by draining out the pus. Depending on the location and severity of the abscess, possible treatments include:
- Root canal treatment: A procedure to remove the abscess from the root of an infected tooth before filling and sealing it.
- Surgically removing an infected tooth through extraction; this may be necessary if you’re ineligible for a root canal.
- Incision and drainage: Your oral surgeon may make an incision in your gum to drain the abscess. However, this is only a temporary solution, and you may need to receive additional treatment.
Your surgeon might numb your mouth using a local anesthetic, which will only affect the treated area. If you’re undergoing a more invasive procedure, they may apply general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep. Although general anesthesia may sound intimidating, some patients prefer it because they would rather be unconscious during surgery.
Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help
A tooth infection may start small, but it can impact your daily life as it spreads. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah specialize in tooth extraction, bone grafting, dental implant insertion, and more. We promise to provide you with the best surgery experience possible while prioritizing your comfort. We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today.