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Symptoms of a Dental Infection that Require an Emergency Dentist

Dental Infections

Dental infections can be extremely painful and, if left untreated, may lead to serious complications. Recognizing the symptoms of a dental infection that require immediate attention from an emergency dentist is crucial for maintaining oral health and preventing further complications.

Life Dentistry - Patient with a dental emergency

Understanding Dental Infections

Dental infections occur when harmful bacteria invade the tooth or surrounding tissues, leading to inflammation and infection. There are several types of dental infections, including:

Causes of Dental Infections

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Untreated dental decay or cavities
  • Trauma to the tooth or gums
  • Gum disease (periodontitis)

Types of Dental Infections

Tooth Abscess:

A pocket of pus that forms within the tooth or in the surrounding bone.

Gingival Abscess:

An infection that occurs in the gum tissue without affecting the tooth’s root.

Periodontal Abscess:

An infection that affects the supporting structures of the tooth, such as the bone and ligaments.

Symptoms of Dental Infections

Recognizing the symptoms of a dental infection is essential for seeking timely treatment. Some common signs include:

Pain and Discomfort

Persistent toothache that worsens with pressure or chewing.

Any swelling that is visible to the naked eye.

Any swelling of the face or neck that does not subside within 24 hrs.

Sensitivity to Temperature

Increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages.

Bad Taste or Odor in the Mouth

Foul taste or odor emanating from the affected tooth or gums.

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When to Seek Emergency Dental Care

While not all dental issues require immediate attention, certain symptoms indicate the need for urgent care. It’s important to consult an emergency dentist if you experience:

Severe Pain that Doesn't Subside

Intense, throbbing pain that persists despite over-the-counter pain medication.

Swelling that Affects Breathing or Swallowing

Significant swelling of the face or neck that impairs breathing or swallowing.

High Fever Accompanied by Dental Pain

Fever above 100.4°F (38°C) along with severe dental discomfort.

Trauma to the Mouth or Teeth

Injuries such as a knocked-out tooth, loose tooth, or joint or jaw pain all require immediate attention.

Treatment Options

Antibiotics

Prescription antibiotics to help reduce the size of the infection and prevent it from spreading until the required dental work can be completed.

Drainage of Abscesses

Incision and drainage of pus-filled abscesses to relieve pressure and promote healing.

Root Canal Therapy

Removal of infected pulp tissue followed by cleaning, shaping, and sealing the tooth’s root canal.

Preventing Dental Infections

While some dental infections may be unavoidable, practicing good oral hygiene and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can significantly reduce the risk. Here are some preventive measures:

  • Brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily to remove plaque and debris between teeth
  • Limiting sugary foods and beverages
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleanings every six months

Conclusion

While some dental infections may be unavoidable, practicing good oral hygiene and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can significantly reduce the risk. Here are some preventive measures:

  • Brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily to remove plaque and debris between teeth
  • Limiting sugary foods and beverages
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleanings every six months

FAQ

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At Life Dentistry, serving Mill Woods, Summerside, Walker Lakes, and South Edmonton, we prioritize your oral health and well-being. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing personalized care and effective treatments for dental infections and other concerns. Whether you’re experiencing severe dental pain or suspect you may have an infection, we’re here to help. Our compassionate dentists and staff are committed to ensuring your comfort and satisfaction throughout your visit. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and experience the difference our expertise and care can make for your smile.

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