Symptoms of an Infected Tooth
How do you know that your tooth has become infected? Here are some symptoms to look for:
- Severe discomfort
- High sensitivity to pressure or temperature
- Tooth is discolored
- Foul taste or chronic bad breath
- Pimple-like sore on the gums
- Oozing pus from tooth or gums
- Localized warm spot
Pain is probably the most recognizable symptom of an infected tooth. Most people with an infected tooth will experience a toothache that makes it hard to sleep. Pain may be spontaneous, or pain from pressure and temperature sensitivity may be more than usual.
But not everyone who has an infected tooth will experience a toothache. That’s why you need to watch for the other symptoms and get a dentist’s opinion if you have one or more of the other symptoms of a tooth infection.
An Infected Tooth Is Serious
It is not an exaggeration to say that an infected tooth can threaten your life. The tooth is a protected environment where harmful bacteria can thrive. Left alone, the population of bacteria can grow large enough to spread to other parts of the body. They can attack your bone, and may even use that route to infect nearby teeth. They can spread to your sinuses, brain, blood, or lungs. This can lead to an acute, life-threatening situation.
But even if an infected tooth doesn’t cause this kind of infection, it should be treated. A chronic tooth infection, like gum disease, puts stress on your immune system. It has been linked to an elevated risk of heart disease, while root canal therapy can reduce that risk.
Root Canal Therapy at Advanced Dentistry of Edgewater
Root canal therapy has a reputation for being painful, but that is an outdated perception. Modern dental technology allows dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Edgewater to perform this procedure with minimal to no discomfort. Most people find that their discomfort after the procedure is much less than it was before the procedure. And they just keep getting better rather than worse.
We will use x-rays and potentially a CT scan to determine the number and shape of the root canals in your teeth. After applying a local anesthetic to reduce discomfort, we will create an access to the living portion of the tooth, the pulp chamber. Then we will remove the infected material from the inside of the tooth. We may decide to fill the tooth immediately or we may apply medication and wait to allow the infection to subside. Once the tooth is ready for filling, we will place a material that resists infection inside the tooth. We may also add a support to ensure the tooth is as strong as it was before. Then we will usually top the tooth with a dental crown.
Root Canal vs. Dental Implant
When you have an infected tooth, you have to decide whether to save it with a root canal procedure or replace it with a dental implant. Both procedures have very high success rates. Both produce generally long-lasting results. When you preserve a tooth with root canal therapy, you can always get a dental implant later, but the opposite is not true. However, a root canal treatment is not always an option, whereas dental implants can be used in any situation.
If you are suffering from the discomfort of an abscessed or infected tooth in Edgewater, NJ, please call (201) 943-6644 or email Advanced Dentistry of Edgewater to schedule a root canal consultation today.