Do you suffer from jaw pain, swelling, redness in the gums, bad taste in the mouth, or fever? This may be a way your body is telling you that you have an infection in your gums or tooth, which has spread to the bone around your tooth. Some of the signs and symptoms you may see are:
- Tooth discoloration or dark stains on tooth- this may be a sign that you have a cavity.
- Fractured or cracked tooth- your tooth may crack or fracture due to a gross decay, habits like bruxing (clenching), traumatic occlusion, or chance.
- Difficulty chewing- Since the bone and the periodontal ligaments are infected, chewing may be painful when the tooth slightly depresses and moves within the bone.
The hallmark/ultimate sign of an infected tooth is an abscess or pus, which is caused by bacteria in the dental pulp (the only living tissue in the tooth, in the innermost layer) which has spread to the bone, or bacteria in the gums (periodontal origin).
How do I know I have an abscess and what is the severity?
You may have an abscess if your gums appear red and swollen, or you have a swollen jaw, bad taste in your mouth, or a fever. Because we have anatomical sites in the soft tissues around our jaw called fascia and spaces, abscesses can easily spread to different locations. They can spread upwards to the head, or downwards to the chest (ludwig’s angina), and both have proven to be fatal.
What to do if I have an infected tooth or an abscess
You definitely want to make an appointment with your dentist,as this is a dental emergency. Your dentist will usually first take an x-ray to confirm the infection or abscess, they may want to prescribe antibiotics, drain the infection, clean the space between your gum and tooth (if from gum disease) or perform a root canal treatment
Learn what a root canal treatment is by clicking here
You can significantly decrease your risk for dental infection and emergencies if you routinely see your dentist every 6 months.
At Smile League Dental, we are here to service all your dental needs, and accept walk-ins or dental emergencies as priority cases. Make your appointment with us today by calling us on 815-782-6243. Visit smileeaguedental.com for more information