6 Signs & Symptoms of a Tooth Infection

BY Dr. McDowell  |  December 18th, 2023
Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

Tooth infections, also known as dental abscesses, are a common dental problem that can cause significant discomfort and potentially lead to serious health issues if left untreated.

Understanding the symptoms of a tooth infection, how it is treated, and when to seek professional dental care is crucial for maintaining your oral health and overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore:

Keep reading to get your tooth abscess under control!

What Is a Tooth Infection?

A woman experiencing tooth pain

A tooth infection, or dental abscess, occurs when bacteria invade the pulp, the innermost part of a tooth that houses nerves and blood vessels. This infection can result from various factors, such as untreated cavities, cracked teeth, gum disease, or dental procedures.

When bacteria infiltrate the pulp, they multiply rapidly, leading to the formation of pus and an abscess. This accumulation of pus can put pressure on the surrounding tissues, causing intense pain and other symptoms.

6 Symptoms of a Tooth Infection

Are you wondering if you are dealing with an infected tooth? Here are 6 of the most common signs.

1) Severe Toothache

One of the most common and noticeable symptoms of a tooth infection is a sharp and throbbing toothache. This pain is typically localized to the infected tooth and can be triggered or worsened by chewing, temperature changes, or pressure on the tooth.

2) Swelling of the Face or Jaw

As the infection progresses, you may notice swelling in the affected area. Swelling can be mild at first but may become more pronounced as the abscess enlarges. It can lead to facial or jaw swelling, which may be accompanied by redness and warmth around the affected tooth.

3) Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is a common early sign of a tooth infection. You might experience a sharp, shooting pain when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages.

4) Bad Breath and Unpleasant Taste

Bacteria in the abscess produce foul-smelling gases, which can result in bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth that persists despite regular oral hygiene practices.

5) Pus Drainage

In some cases, a tooth infection can cause the abscess to rupture, leading to pus drainage. This can alleviate some of the pressure and provide temporary relief from pain, but it’s crucial to understand that this does not mean the infection has resolved. Professional dental care is still needed.

6) Fever and General Discomfort

If the infection spreads beyond the tooth and into the surrounding tissues, you may develop a fever and experience general discomfort or malaise.

How a Tooth Infection Is Treated

Treating a tooth infection typically involves a combination of dental procedures and medications. The specific treatment plan depends on the severity of the infection and its underlying cause. Here are some common approaches:

When to Call Your Dentist

A patient with tooth pain sees her dentist

Knowing when to seek professional dental care is essential when dealing with a tooth infection. Delaying treatment can lead to complications and exacerbate your symptoms. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to call your dentist:

Get Your Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed

A tooth infection can be a painful and concerning dental problem. Recognizing the symptoms and understanding when to seek professional dental care is crucial for timely treatment and preventing complications. If you experience severe tooth pain, swelling, or any other concerning symptoms associated with a tooth infection, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.

Do you need speedy dental treatment from a team you can trust? Wayzata Dental can help. Contact us today to set up your appointment.

Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..