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How Do I Know if I Have an Infected Tooth? | Beverly CHI

One of the main causes of severe mouth pain is an infected tooth caused by damage extending to the tooth pulp. The tooth pulp refers to the canal extending along small channels located in the centre of the root tooth (root canal). 

It may become damaged in the event of:

  • A large or deep filling 
  • Tooth decay 
  • Leakage under an old filling or crown 
  • Cracks or tooth fracture 
  • Trauma from a sports injury, fall, or accident 

When the damaged or dead pulp is not removed, it becomes infected, and may lead to tooth abscess. If the problem escalates to the point of developing an abscess, it drastically reduces the chances of successful endodontic treatment. In such cases, the dentist will recommend tooth extraction followed by replacement with partial dentures, bridgework, or tooth implant. 

Common Symptoms of an Infected Tooth Include:

  • Pain or tenderness when biting or chewing 
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold items 
  • Swelling of the gum near the infected tooth 
  • A loose tooth 
  • Facial swelling 
  • Darkening of the tooth 
  • Fistula (pimple) on the gum 
  • Pain in the jaw or ear

If you experience these symptoms, your dentist may perform an X-ray of the infected tooth to identify the cause of pain or infection. 

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In some cases, antibiotics can be prescribed to treat root canal infections. But if they’re not effective, the dentist may recommend tooth removal or root canal therapy. Successful root canal treatment can extend the functional life of your badly damaged tooth, preventing tooth removal and additional treatment to fill the gap. 

After treatment and restoration of the tooth with a crown or onlay, you should avoid chewing on it for a couple of weeks. Otherwise, it doesn’t require any special care, as long as you practice good oral hygiene – flossing, brushing, and regular cleanings and checkups.

Learn more about how to treat an infected tooth by contacting your emergency dentist in Beverly CHI today.