3 Facts Regarding Tooth Infections And Treatment

If your dentist has diagnosed you with a tooth infection, you may have a lot of questions. While infections in teeth are common, they must be treated soon before they become a dental emergency. If you would like to know more about tooth infections and how they are treated, check out these three facts:

They Can Be Extremely Painful

A tooth infection is basically an infection inside the tooth. If you have an infection, you may notice pain, inflammation, swelling, or even pus coming from the tooth. Unlike with cavities, cold water usually reduces the pain for a short time. The reason a tooth infection hurts is because it is putting pressure on the tooth's pulp, which is where all the nerves are stored. In many cases, the tooth may simply feel tender at first, but as the infection worsens so does the pain, turning your infection into a painful dental emergency.

There Are Two Treatments Available

The only way to treat a tooth infection is to remove the tooth's root, either by extracting the tooth completely or removing the pulp of the tooth with root canal therapy. If you extract a tooth, you will need to get a partial denture, dental implant, or dental bridge, unless you are comfortable with the side effects of having a missing tooth. Root canal therapy saves the tooth by only removing the affected part of the tooth. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help with the infection, but this won't treat it completely. The goal is to help your body eliminate as much pus as possible before treatment -- this makes the process easier for the dentist. You will need a dental crown after treatment to protect and strengthen the tooth.

Sedation Dentistry Can Make the Process a Breeze

Many people fear going to the dentist, especially for a procedure like a root canal treatment. Root canal therapy requires all the tooth pulp and roots to be removed. As a result, you need a lot of Novocain to numb the area; in fact, your dentist may have to administer more if you start to feel pain in the tips of the tooth roots. However, sedation dentistry can make the entire process a breeze.

If your tooth is infected, you need to get it treated soon. Even if there is no pain the infection may get worse, causing more pain or even spreading to other teeth or other parts of your body. If you are already in severe pain from the infection, contact a local emergency dentist today.