Have you had an ongoing toothache? Observed a change in color in your teeth or swelling in your gums? Or had some other signs that lead your mouth to feel different than the way it has always felt? If you said yes to any of these questions, there’s a chance you could have a tooth infection.
Your teeth are full of nerves, which is why they feel pain during infections and also why it’s extremely important to diagnose and stop infections in their tracks — Nerve infections can often have negative health impacts and sometimes life-threatening effects that extend beyond just your mouth, so it’s never as simple as a toothache
Here are 7 key ways to determine if you have a tooth infection, so you know when to reach out to a dentist to prevent the problem from spinning out of control.
1. Increased Tooth Sensitivity
Increased tooth sensitivity is one of the most common symptoms related to tooth infection. This can be observed as sensitivity to extreme temperatures like hot or cold food, or foods that are high in sugar or acidity.
2. Pain When Chewing
Experiencing pain while chewing or biting is another key sign of a tooth infection. It’s helpful to use this as a good way to identify where in your mouth the discomfort is originating from.
3. Change in Tooth Color
If the tooth that has been giving you trouble has changed in color, it’s usually indicative of an infection. Watch for graying or darkening of the teeth as a tall tail sign that an infection has occurred.
4. Constant Bad Breath
If you have constant bad breath or a sour taste in your mouth that feels impossible to get rid of, regardless of how much you brush, rinse, or use mouthwash, that’s another way to determine if that tooth pain is from an infection. That smell or taste is likely from a decaying tooth.
Tooth infections can trigger swelling in the jaw, mouth, gums, or face, which can serve as one of the more outward-facing indicators of a tooth infection.
6. Throbbing or Pulsing Pain
Infections can spread, which places pressure on the rest of your mouth. That pressure leads to constant pain that can feel like a throbbing or pulsing sensation.
7. Other Symptoms
Feeling sick, having a fever, headache, or constant earaches, are all ways a tooth infection can manifest as a problem outside of a typical oral health setting. If any of these symptoms persist alongside some of the ones mentioned beforehand, it could be a result of a tooth infection.
Preventing a tooth infection is as simple as maintaining good dental health. South Charlotte Dentistry has some great resources on ways to protect your teeth, so you can read up in length here. Though, a simple rule of thumb is to attend check-ups, schedule regular cleanings, and improve your dental cleaning habits, as these are all ways to make sure that an infection is not in your future.
Tooth infections do not go away on their own, so it’s vital that you seek out medical treatment as soon as you examine these symptoms, especially if they are ongoing. Finding a dental professional that’s equipped to help with all of your problems is equally as important. So, if you’ve been constantly plagued with symptoms and discomfort common with a tooth infection, don’t deal with them alone, schedule an appointment with South Charlotte Dentistry and get on track to returning to peak dental health!