How Do You Know If You Have a Tooth Infection?

Emergency Dentist Plymouth Mi

Are your teeth sensitive to hot and cold foods? Does it hurt to bite down when you chew? If so, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with one of our emergency dentists in Plymouth, MI, to determine if you have a tooth infection or other health issue.

The longer you wait to seek emergency dental care, the more opportunity you give the problem to worsen.

Here’s how to recognize the signs you have an abscess tooth, as well as what your next steps should be to restore your oral health.

What is a Tooth Infection?

A tooth infection (also called an abscess) is a pocket of pus trapped within your tooth. If left untreated, the infection will spread to the tips of your tooth roots. At this point, your only option would be a root canal or emergency tooth extraction.

You may be at higher risk for an abscess tooth if you neglect oral hygiene. Once a cavity is deep enough to penetrate the inner chamber of your tooth, you’ll develop an abscess. This means that the live tissue (pulp) inside your tooth is infected.

Related: What is the Fastest Way to Relieve a Toothache? →

What Does a Tooth Abscess Look and Feel Like?

A tooth abscess is painful. In fact, your teeth may be throbbing and keeping you awake. We always recommend our patients come to us before they’re in unbearable pain. That way, we’re able to catch issues when they’re small and at their most treatable.

Signs you have an infected tooth include:

  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain when biting down
  • Fever
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes in the neck or jaw
  • Swollen face or cheeks

Recognize any of the above symptoms? If so, schedule an appointment with our emergency dentists. The longer you ignore an abscess tooth, the more you jeopardize your health. Call our dental practice today to request emergency dental care.

Don’t think that the abscess is gone if the pain subsides. While you can manage some of the pain from home, our dentists will need to remove the infected dental pulp. They’ll then have to reseal the tooth and cover it with a crown. If they can’t salvage the tooth, they’ll extract it before the infection spreads to your jaw.

Can an Infection Go Away On Its Own?

No, a tooth infection will not go away on its own. Instead, it’ll only get worse until the abscess bursts. When this happens, the infection will spread to your jawbone, as well as the rest of your head and neck. You may even develop sepsis, which is life threatening.

Do NOT ignore the symptoms of a tooth infection! If you suspect you have an abscess tooth, you’ll need to call our emergency dentists as soon as possible. The sooner you call, the more likely we’ll be able to save your tooth.

For example, our emergency dentists may be able to treat a small abscess with a root canal. Otherwise, you’ll need emergency tooth extraction.

Schedule an Emergency Appointment

Suspect you may have a tooth infection? If so, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with one of our emergency dentists in Plymouth, MI. Please call Plymouth Dentistry at (734) 459-7110. For non-emergencies, you may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.