Ideally, your teeth are healthy and pain-free, but decay and trauma can lead to many problems, such as cavities. In severe cases, however, the cavity-causing bacteria can reach your tooth's pulp. When this happens, it can easily lead to an infected tooth. If you would like to know more, check out these three signs you have an infected tooth.
1. Pain and Discomfort
Not all infected teeth hurt, but many of them cause severe, intense pain. In some cases, even prescribed pain medications may not be enough to fight the stinging, sharp, or throbbing pain from the infection. One reason for the pain: your tooth is dying. As the pulp dies, it releases gasses, but with no place to escape, the gasses put pressure on the tooth.
The abscess created by the infection is another source of pain. These abscesses often appear on the roots of affected teeth, and they put a lot of pressure on the tooth. You may be able to temporarily relieve the discomfort by holding cool water in your mouth at the site of the affected tooth. The cool water will help reduce inflammation and shrink the gases to help relieve pain for a moment.
2. Pus and Signs of Pus
Naturally, since an infected tooth involves an abscess, you will have pus. An abscess is just a big ball of blood and pus. Depending on the location, you may be able to feel the abscess on the gums. It may feel squishy, and when you push on it, it may release pus. Releasing the pus can drastically help reduce pain.
The infection, however, can cause bad breath, and if the abscess bursts, the odor can become incredibly rotten and intense. You'll also notice a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth if the abscess bursts.
3. Facial Swelling
Infected teeth cause a lot of swelling because of the pus and inflammation. You may have swelling in your cheek where the tooth is located. Even if the swelling is minor, it can be painful because it may not allow your teeth to hit properly.
In some cases, your nearby lymph nodes may also be affected. They can feel tender to the touch or even look swollen too.
An infected tooth needs to be treated with root canal treatment or extraction. Root canal treatment is the ideal choice because it saves the tooth. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area today and ask about root canal therapy.