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5 Telltale Signs of a Tooth Infection

5 Telltale Signs of a Tooth Infection

Not every toothache becomes a problem requiring a trip to the dentist, but some certainly do. You may wonder how to tell the difference. Dr. Stephen Hiroshige and his staff put together this list of five common signs of a tooth infection. If you have these, it’s time to see Dr. Hiroshige and schedule a root canal

How infections develop

Infections can occur for multiple reasons. For example, if you have a chipped or cracked tooth, bacteria can infiltrate and cause an infection. It can also happen if you have a cavity.

Once bacteria reaches the inner part of your tooth, the pulp, it can cause a small pocket of pus called an abscess. You may be able to see a small bump on your gum, but not always.

An infected tooth can be dangerous because the bacteria can potentially enter your bloodstream and reach other parts of your body. It can even become a life-threatening situation without treatment! 

If you have a toothache, along with any of the following five problems, call us and schedule an appointment. 

1. Throbbing pain

The infected tooth may hurt, your gums may hurt, and you may also feel throbbing pain in your jawbone, ear, or neck — or all those areas may hurt. Throbbing pain is different from a slight twinge. 

Your pain may also worsen when you lie down when you have an infected tooth. So, if you notice that your toothache seems to encompass more than your tooth and is worse when you try to rest, it could indicate an infection. 

2. Swelling

You may notice that your cheek is swollen, and you may notice some tenderness or swelling in your lymph nodes in your neck as well.

Swelling is part of your immune system’s defense, as your body tries to fight off the bacteria, and it is a sign of a possible infection. 

3. Fever

Another element of your body’s defense system is a fever. In some cases a fever can indicate that the infection has traveled to other parts of your body, particularly if your temperature reaches 103 degrees or more.
4. A bad taste and bad breath

If you have an unpleasant taste in your mouth, even right after you brush your teeth, it could be a sign of infection. Similarly, if you seem to have bad breath all the time, regardless of how often you use mouthwash or mints, it could be a sign of an infected tooth.

5. Sensitivity

Sensitivity to cold or hot foods and beverages can be caused by numerous issues, and one of them is infection. If you have one of the other symptoms of an infected tooth and sensitivity, it’s a good indication that you have an infection. 

 Get help

Don’t put off scheduling an appointment because you aren’t sure if you have a problem or not. It’s far safer to get an exam and learn that you have a cavity without an infection than to wait and let an abscess develop. A root canal can save your tooth, and if your tooth can’t be saved, Dr. Hiroshige also offers tooth replacement options such as implants.

Schedule your appointment today, and find out why your tooth hurts.

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