Experiencing a persistent, throbbing toothache that just won’t go away? You could be suffering from a tooth infection! A tooth infection, or a tooth abscess, is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection. They typically occur when a cavity is left untreated. Here are some other symptoms you might experience when suffering from a tooth infection:
- A severe toothache that radiates to the jawbone, neck, or ear
- Sensitivity to pressure, like when chewing or biting
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Swelling in face or cheeks
- Swollen, tender lymph nodes
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Please see your dentist right away if you notice any combination of these symptoms. If you have trouble breathing or sleeping, or are experiencing facial swelling, we recommend going to the emergency room first as this could indicate that the infection has spread deeper into your jaw or any of the surrounding tissue.
If you have a simple infection, your dentist, or an endodontist, will remove the infection by performing a root canal. This is a simple procedure, which eliminates the infection and protects the tooth. However, if the abscess is too large, your dentist may need to drain it first by creating a small incision and rinsing the area with a saline solution.
After the infection has been cleaned out, your dentist may install a cap or crown to protect the top layer of the tooth and ensure you don’t get another abscess.