How Do You Know if You Have a Tooth Infection?

Grand Rapids Emergency Dentist

How Do You Know if You Have a Tooth Infection?

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Toothache Emergency Dentist Grand Rapids MI

Are your teeth sensitive to hot and cold foods? Does it hurt to bite down when you chew? You may have a tooth infection. 

The longer you wait to seek emergency dental care, the more severe your problem will become. Dr. Piotrowski, our emergency dentist, will do everything in his power to treat your tooth infection in a timely manner so you don’t risk losing your tooth.

What Is a Tooth Infection?

A tooth infection (also called an abscess) is a pocket of pus trapped within your tooth. If left untreated, the infection will spread to the tips of your tooth roots. At this point, your only option would be an emergency root canal or tooth extraction.

You may be at a higher risk for an abscess tooth if you neglect good oral hygiene habits, like brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Once a cavity is deep enough to penetrate the inner chamber of your tooth, you’ll develop an abscess. This means that the live tissue (pulp) that resides within your tooth is infected.

Symptoms of Tooth Infection

A tooth abscess is painful. In fact, your teeth may be throbbing and keeping you awake.

We always recommend our patients come to see us before they’re in unbearable pain. That way, we can catch issues when they’re small and at their most treatable.

Signs you may have a tooth infection include:

  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain when biting down
  • Fever
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes in the neck or jaw
  • Swollen face or cheeks

Recognize any of the above symptoms? If so, schedule an appointment with our emergency dentist. Don’t wait and further jeopardize your health—call right away to receive emergency dental care as soon as possible.

Can a Tooth Infection Go Away on Its Own?

No. A tooth infection will not go away on its own. Instead, it will only get worse until the abscess bursts.

If your abscess bursts, the infection will spread to your jawbone as well as the rest of your head and neck. You may even develop sepsis, which is life-threatening.

Even if your pain subsides, that doesn’t mean your tooth abscess has gone away. You may be able to manage your pain at home, but our dentist will still need to remove the infected dental pulp. He’ll then reseal the tooth and cover it with a crown. If Dr. Piotrowski cannot salvage the tooth, he will extract it before the infection spreads to your jaw.

What Can I Do for an Infected Tooth?

The best thing you can do is call our emergency dentist to schedule an appointment. Dr. Piotrowski is available for dental emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This means he’ll be able to treat you as soon as possible—often the same day you call.

Save Your Tooth from Infection

Our Grand Rapids, MI, emergency dentist will do everything in his power to treat your tooth infection and save your tooth. Call Precision Family Dental today at (616) 207-1280, or contact us online to request an appointment.

This blog post has been updated.