Ways Your General Dentist Treats Tooth Infections

Dentist Blog

Tooth infections can cause throbbing pain, inflammation, bleeding of the surrounding gum tissue, bad-tasting drainage, and jaw pain. In some cases, tooth infections may not produce any pain. This may be caused by a severe infection called an abscess that can destroy the nerve inside the pulp of your tooth. Tooth infections need to be evaluated and treated as soon as possible or you may risk losing the tooth or having the infection spread to other parts of your body. See your general dentist at the first sign of a tooth infection so that they can implement the following treatments. 

Imaging Tests And Removing Infectious Material

While an oral examination will usually alert your general dentist to the presence of a tooth infection, they may need to take x-rays to locate the exact location and to evaluate the extent of the infection.

Bitewing X-rays are the most common type of dental imaging test, however, your dentist may need more detailed images of your teeth and jawbone if a severe abscess is suspected. In this case, panoramic X-rays may be recommended.

Your dentist will also remove as much of the infectious material from the tooth as possible. Purulent drainage that contains pus is often present in tooth infections. Your tooth and the surrounding area will be thoroughly cleaned with a tool called an oral irrigator or water jet.

Antibiotic Therapy

Your general dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to treat your tooth infection. Amoxicillin is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for dental infections. Amoxicillin is a penicillin-type of oral antibiotic and it is typically well-tolerated by most people.

If amoxicillin alone is ineffective in treating your tooth infection, your dentist may prescribe a combination antibiotic containing both amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. While also well-tolerated by most, this combination antibiotic may cause minor side effects such as abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Your dentist may recommend taking over-the-counter probiotics or eating yogurt a couple of hours before or after taking your antibiotic because doing so may help repopulate your gastrointestinal system with "good" bacteria and alleviate side effects. 

If you develop any of the above symptoms of a tooth infection, see your general dentist as soon as possible. When dental infections are recognized and treated at the first sign, you may be less likely to develop infection-related complications such as the spreading of the infection, dental pulp damage, nerve problems, loosening of the affected tooth, and tooth loss. 

Contact a local general dentist to learn more.


25 April 2023

Mouth Rinses Are Not Just for Bad Breath

I have always brushed and flossed my teeth daily, but I still had the occasional cavity when I visited the dentist for a check-up. He told me it was normal to have a cavity on occasion and that I shouldn't let it stress me out too much. Well, I am not one to just accept any problem I am having, so I started looking into how to improve my oral hygiene even more. I had always thought mouthwash was just to improve your breath, but I found some that said they helped keep cavities away. I started using one every day before bed. I haven't had a cavity in two years now, and I think the mouth rinse is the reason! I created this blog to remind other people that even if they brush and floss regularly, they can always find ways to take even better care of their teeth.