Is A Tooth Infection A Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies in Mission Valley are those situations where you need to see a dentist right away. Whether you’re in a lot of pain, are experiencing bleeding, or are at risk of losing your permanent tooth, contacting your Mission Valley dentist at Rio Vista Family Dentistry right away can help you address your discomfort and restore your oral health.

One of the most common types of dental emergencies is tooth infections. If you’re unsure why, continue reading this short blog post to understand why you should never ignore a tooth infection.

What Is a Tooth Infection?

A tooth becomes infected when bacteria get inside the tooth and start attacking the healthy tissue, eventually making their way down the root of the tooth.

Infections don’t happen overnight. In most cases, they start as cavities, which are tiny holes in the tooth created by harmful bacteria in the mouth feeding on food particles. As the hole gets bigger, bacteria eventually make their way inside your tooth and may become infected.

Tooth infections can present with the following symptoms:

  • High levels of pain
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Inflammation
  • Loose tooth
  • Cracked tooth
  • Discoloration
  • Abscess formation above or below the tooth

Why Is a Tooth Infection an Emergency?

The symptoms of tooth infection are much more severe than the ones you may experience during a cavity, for example. Many patients can experience very high levels of throbbing pain that can even keep them up at night.

As a result, tooth infections are a dental emergency for the simple reason that they can cause extreme discomfort. Getting the tooth cleaned is the only way to remove that pain.

Moreover, a tooth infection, when left unchecked, can also lead to permanent tooth loss, and the infection can also spread to other teeth. And in very severe cases, a tooth infection can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening complication.

How Is a Tooth Infection Treated?

Treatment for tooth infections generally depends on how severe the infection is. Usually, treatment will follow these steps:

  • Assessment - The dentist takes an X-ray of the tooth to determine the size of the infection and the best way to treat it;
  • Cleaning - All the infected tissue and bacteria are removed from inside the tooth. Sometimes, a root canal is necessary to clean out the infection from the small chambers in the root;
  • Treating - Antibiotics may be applied directly on the tooth if the infection is bigger or has spread to the jawbone;
  • Sealing - Once the tooth is clean, the dentist can either restore it with a dental filling or recommend a crown.

For Any Dental Emergency, Contact Rio Vista Family Dentistry

If you are dealing with a tooth infection or any other dental emergency, the Rio Vista Family Dentistry team is here to help.

Call us at (619) 299-1122 for immediate help.

For a regular appointment, you can easily book your visit online.

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