When it comes to your teeth, even the slightest ache could be a sign of a much larger problem. This is most evident when it comes to a tooth infection. In many cases, a tooth infection starts with a simple cavity. For the majority of patients, that’s where it stops. The cavity is found during their routine examination, removed, and filled at their earliest convenience. However, for those who don’t regularly visit their local dentist, the situation can easily escalate. Are you waiting to treat a tooth infection?
When left untreated, the cavity will slowly spread. It will work its way down through the layers of enamel and dentin before reaching the tooth’s pulp. The pulp comprises the center and root of the tooth. It contains all of the blood vessels and nerves that supply the tooth itself. As a result, giving bacteria direct access to the pulp of your tooth can have serious consequences.
How Does an Infection Occur?
Once the cavity has permeated the pulp, any bacteria introduced to your mouth have open access to your tooth’s sensitive core. The bacteria will infect the blood vessels and nerves, causing you considerable discomfort. The pain may start slowly, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Now that the bacteria is inside your tooth, there will be no way to reverse the infection without professional help. It can only get worse.
At the first sign of pain, you should make an appointment with your dentist at Valley Alder Family Dentistry, your center for cosmetic dentistry in Bloomington. You will likely require a root canal treatment and an antibiotic, but your tooth may still be salvageable at this point. The initial infection is not dangerous on its own. However, you have to be wary that the infection can spread through your jaw, into your neck, and further into major bodily symptoms, which could result in a life-threatening condition.
When Do You Require Emergency Treatment?
Right away! Don’t keep waiting to treat a tooth infection. When a tooth infection is left untreated, you will eventually develop a dental abscess. A root canal in Bloomington may be in order. An abscess is a collection of pus caused by the bacterial infection, and you will usually see them along the gum line or near the root of the tooth. Either way, they can be incredibly painful with pain radiating throughout the rest of the mouth. This is considered a dental emergency, so you should contact your emergency dentist immediately.
Without a history of treatment, it may be difficult for your dentist to initially judge how far the infection has spread. Their first priority will be to assess the damage. In most cases, a simple x-ray can be used to determine how far the infection is spread. From there, treatment will begin. Your emergency dentist will start by draining the pus from the abscess. Then they will perform a root canal treatment. At this stage, your dentist will be able to determine whether or not your tooth can be saved. If it cannot, you will need to discuss options for replacement. You will then be given an antibiotic to treat the infection itself.
The Importance of Regular Dental Visits
Maintaining your oral health is dependent on good practices, and that includes paying your dentist a visit at least once every six months. For patients who maintain a regular examination schedule, serious oral health issues are rare. Our teeth are designed with layers of defenses, and an infection has to get through all of them to cause serious harm. So next time you’re experiencing discomfort or pain, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your dentist. It may not be the most convenient part of your schedule, but it could save you a truly dreadful ordeal down the road.