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Tooth Infections

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Tooth infections occur when bacteria or foreign substances find their way into the tooth and reach the pulp or nerve of the tooth. Cavities, broken or cracked teeth can be areas of weakness for bacteria to make its way to the pulp.

What Causes Tooth Infections?

If your tooth is breached because of dental decay, food particles and bacteria are able to penetrate deeply within the tooth. Food or other particles become an irritant within the tooth. Your body will naturally fight the foreign substances creating an infection. Often your body will create an abscess in an effort to push out the irritating substances. Another possible source for a dental infection occurs when dead cells and tissues are blocked or trapped within the tooth. Your body has a natural ability to gets rid of dead cells and cellular waste. If your body's natural cleansing system is blocked, then toxins from inside the tooth or around the tooth may turn into an infection.

Some abscesses or infections can be easily healed if you are in good health but do require help from dental professionals. Never avoid your dentist when an infection happens.  Dr. Poulson is a general dentist in Brighton, Colorado who can help you recover or give dental advise when an infection is present.

What Happens To An Infected Tooth?

When an infection develops within your tooth pulp your body responds by trying to remove the infected substance. This may cause painful inflammation in your mouth. A lump of infected derbies may form on your gums surrounding the infection with pus. Pus is a thin protein-rich fluid that your body uses to trap and contain foreign substances.

Symptoms of a Dental Infection

  • Toothache
  • Severe, continuous pain
  • Gnawing or throbbing pain
  • Sharp or shooting pain
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold that lasts more than 15 seconds
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Breath odor or mouth odor
  • Possible fever
  • Swollen glands of the neck
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw (this is a very serious symptom and you should consult your dentist immediately)

Types of Dental Infections

  • Periapical abscess: Occurs from within the tooth pulp. Typically this requires a root canal to remove the infected pulp.
  • Periodontal abscess: Occurs from the surrounding tissues and bones. The is an infection of the gums and is not typically treated by a root canal.

Steps To Take With An Infected Tooth

As soon as your sense pain and discomfort, avoid sugar foods and caffeine. Schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Poulson to determine where the pain and discomfort may be coming from. Dr. Poulson will help determine if an infection is present and what needs to be done to treat it.

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