When tooth infection develops, it starts manifesting its presence in the form of throbbing toothache and high sensitivity to heat and cold. Even chewing or biting produces sensation in the teeth, causing pain. In some people, fever may accompany these symptoms, and in some, swollen face or neck. Other symptoms include swollen lymph nodes under the jaw area and that of the neck and foul breath.
As mentioned, the infection is caused by a bacterium. It basically invades the dental pulp. This pulp refers to the soft, innermost part of the mouth, that is comprised blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Now, factors which trigger the invasion of bacteria are known to be untreated dental cavity, or a crack or chip in your tooth. So once there, the bacterial begins the infection and this gives rise to swelling and inflammation. If the inflammation has taken in a tight space, it forces pus into the pocket and that is why the condition is known as teeth abscess. Some people may even experience tooth extraction infection, which refers to an infection which may occur post an extraction of a tooth.
Treatment Options for Tooth Abscess
As aforementioned, the goal of the treatment is to eliminate the bacteria and drain the abscess. The treatment involves methods such as performing a root canal, extracting the affected tooth or use of antibiotics.
During the root canal procedure the dentist drills down into the affected tooth and gets rid of the infected pulp. Thereafter, he drains the pus or the abscess. Having done with this, the pulp chamber and root canals are filled and sealed. The final touch would be capping the treated tooth with a gold or a porcelain crown. This process does not only help in eliminating the infection, but also saves the tooth from getting extracted.
Another treatment method is to getting rid of the infected tooth altogether. If there is no way the tooth can be saved or the patient do not prefer to go for a root canal, then the affected tooth will be pulled out and the abscess will be drained, in order to get rid of the infection.
Antibiotics come into use, if the infection has managed to spread to the nearby teeth, the jaw and other areas. And if the infection is only about the abscess, then antibiotics may not be necessary. People with a weak immune system, may also have to use antibiotics.
Managing Tooth Infection At Home
The following methods may not cure the infection, but are helpful in managing its painful symptoms.
- Soak a cotton ball in clove oil and place it over the aching teeth. Do this whenever you feel the pain
- Boil some margosa leaves in water. Apply the solution to the affected teeth. It would not only reduce the pain, but also fight the pathogen
- Drinking herbal teas several times a day, strengthens the immune system thus, aids in fighting the infection
As far as prevention is concerned, inculcate the habit of brushing your teeth twice a day, use dental floss, drink fluoridated water and replace your brush every 3-4 months. Eating a balanced diet and going for regular dental checkups, are also some of the methods which can keep ailments such as tooth infections at bay.