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What Causes a Tooth Infection?

Did you know that you can develop an infection in your tooth? A tooth features a hard outer shell called enamel that can protect its more vulnerable interior layers from external threats. For instance, your mouth contains a significant number of bacteria that can hurt your dental structure in many ways.

If enamel weakens, the bacteria can start to eat away at the tooth and cause decay. If bacteria reach the pulp, the central cavity of the tooth, then it could infect the soft tissue there.

Damage from the infection can cause pus to fill the tooth pulp and create a pocket called an abscess. Tooth infections can be serious and will not go away on their own. So you will need to seek urgent treatment from your dentist for this type of dental emergency.

You can feel more confident obtaining the dental care you require when you know more about this condition and what to expect from your dentist. Read on to learn details about tooth infections and abscesses, including symptoms, treatments, and prevention tips.

What Causes a Tooth Infection

Signs of an Infected Tooth

When bacteria eat away at the nerves and blood vessels within the pulp due to a tooth infection, one of the primary symptoms that patients notice is pain. Tooth pain of any kind is abnormal, but many patients may experience intense or throbbing pain in a tooth during an infection.

Patients can also see swelling as bacteria inflame the tissue around the tooth. An infection can also cause a fever or malaise. If these symptoms sound familiar, you should contact a dentist for an emergency evaluation.

Treatment Options for a Tooth Infection or Abscess

Treatment for an infection of any kind may involve taking a prescribed antibiotic to kill excess bacteria. If you suffer from a tooth infection, damage from the bacteria is often irreversible. To eradicate the infection, the dentist may need to perform root canal therapy.

The process involves the dentist clearing out the infection within the pulp of the tooth and then covering the tooth with a dental crown to protect it from further harm. Visit your dentist to learn details about the treatment plan that will help restore the health of your tooth.

Reduce Your Risk of a Tooth Infection

A tooth infection comes from excess bacteria reaching the pulp of the tooth. So you can reduce your chances of contracting this infection when you keep your teeth strong and eliminate excess bacteria in your mouth.

You can accomplish both of these goals by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice per day and floss on a daily basis to remove plaque from your smile. This sticky film will breed and spread oral bacteria that can then eat away at your dental structure.

You can also balance the bacteria in your mouth by rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Introducing this product to your routine can boost your oral hygiene while fighting infections. Learn more about preventive dental care when you give your dentist a call.