Wondering when a tooth infection is considered a dental emergency? Read on to find out. This review discusses the situations in which an infected tooth is considered a dental emergency and requires immediate treatment from a dentist.
When is an infected tooth a dental emergency?
An infected tooth that is not properly treated in a timely manner can lead to some severe issues, including the loss of the tooth and the spread of the infection to other parts of the mouth. Of course, an infected tooth is likely to cause a fair amount of discomfort if left untreated, as well. The following are some of the situations in which an infected tooth needs prompt treatment:
The infected tooth causes severe discomfort
A tooth infection typically occurs in the deeper layers of a tooth, which contain nerves and blood vessels. This can lead to a severe level of discomfort that is not likely to go away until the issue is treated by a dental professional. Any discomfort that is caused by an infection of your tooth due to bacterial attacks should be considered a dental emergency.
The infected tooth has not improved within 48 hours
In some minor cases, an infected tooth may improve on its own relatively quickly if the person thoroughly disinfects their mouth. One great way to accomplish this is by using a saltwater rinse several times throughout the day. If the symptoms go away, then it may not be considered a dental emergency. Keep in mind, however, that it is still important to visit the dentist to find out why the infection developed in the first place and to prevent future instances of an infected tooth.
The infected tooth has begun to affect your gums
Gum complications such as swelling, sensitivity, and discoloration can occur as a result or in addition to an infected tooth. In particular, if the areas around the infected tooth begin to swell, then it is important to call a dental professional that offers treatment for a dental emergency.
The infected tooth has led to fever and/or swollen lymph nodes
An infected tooth can also lead to a fever and other general health symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, especially if the infection begins to spread to other areas of the mouth. This is a sign of a severely infected tooth that requires dental emergency treatment. A dentist may recommend antibiotics to treat the concern, which can reduce fever and other symptoms. If the tooth is severely damaged, then a root canal procedure or tooth extraction may be required, as well.
FAQs about treatment for an infected tooth
For more information, here are answers from a dentist about dental emergency treatment for an infected tooth.
How can a dentist treat an infected tooth that is a dental emergency?
There are several ways a dentist can help treat an infected tooth. They can prescribe antibiotics, drain the abscess, perform root canal therapy, or extract the tooth. Depending on the type of treatment needed and the dentist’s specialty, they may recommend treating the concern on a follow-up visit or visiting a specialist for treatment.
However, on the initial visit for symptom relief, the dentist can clean the affected area to kill as much bacteria as possible and prescribe a mouth rinse to help keep the mouth clean until restorative care is provided.
Which infected tooth treatment is right for me?
The dentist can assess the severity of the infection and tooth damage during the emergency visit and offer a professional recommendation for treatment. Most dentists recommend attempting to save the tooth when doing so is possible, although there are times when an extraction is the only option.
What are the risks of leaving an infected tooth untreated?
Aside from the severe discomfort that most infected teeth cause, the result of an infection in many cases is the loss of the tooth when treatment is not provided in a timely manner. On the other hand, prompt care for an infected tooth usually results in the long-term protection of the tooth and the ability to avoid reinfection.
Get in touch with us today for dental emergency treatment
Contact our dental clinic today if you have an infected tooth and are in need of time-sensitive care. We can promptly assess the severity of your tooth infection and provide the necessary treatment to alleviate the initial symptoms and help ensure the long-term health of your tooth.
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