Symptoms of an Infected Tooth

How do you know if you have an infected tooth (also called an abscessed tooth)? There are many common symptoms that can warn you, including:

  • Severe toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity to pressure, temperature or sweets
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Tooth that turns discolored
  • A pimple-like sore on the gums
  • Localized warmth
  • Fever

Many people assume that an infected tooth is mostly related to pain, but not everyone gets a toothache from their infected tooth. Sometimes the infected tooth drains so that the living nerve is never under the type of pressure that causes pain. Other times, pain might only be related to certain stimuli. Don’t assume you don’t have an infected tooth just because it doesn’t hurt.
When bacteria develop inside a tooth, they create an excess of sulfur compounds, which smell bad. You might notice this as a bad taste in your mouth, or others might complain about your bad breath. The infected tooth might also turn dark because of the bacteria growing inside it or bleeding of the pulp.
Infection can spread from tooth to your jawbone, which creates a pimple-like sore on the bone and/or gums. This sore can burst and ooze. You might also notice warmth in the area of the infection because of the growing bacteria or the body’s immune response.
If you experience fever linked to your tooth, see a doctor or dentist immediately.

Root canal therapy was first used before we had reliable dental anesthesia. It can involve removing some living nerve from the tooth. Without anesthesia, this was painful, but now people experience little, if any, discomfort.

Antibiotics aren’t effective on an infected tooth because there’s not enough blood supply to bring it to the tooth. Even if the antibiotics work, the tooth is also prone to getting infected again.

Root Canal Therapy Can Save Your Life

If you have an infected tooth, it can turn into a deadly situation. Bacteria growing in your tooth can spread from there to other parts of the body. Deadly infections in the brain, blood, or lungs have developed from tooth infections. Even if you don’t develop a deadly acute infection, infected teeth can increase your risk of heart disease.
So if you have been diagnosed with an infected tooth or suspect you might have one, take it seriously and see a dentist as soon as possible. Treat a related fever as an emergency.

Root Canal vs. Dental Implants

If you have an infected tooth, you might consider just pulling it and replacing it with a dental implant. Both procedures have a high success rate, and create a long-lasting functional result.
Root canal therapy is better in some situations because:

  • Your natural tooth is better than an implant
  • You retain the option of getting an implant later

However, we might recommend an implant if the infected tooth is badly damaged or the infection is so serious that we must extract the tooth immediately to save your life.

Root Canal Therapy in Coachella Valley

If you are looking for a dentist who can perform root canal therapy in Coachella Valley, please call (760) 832-7915 today for an appointment with Dr. Rod Strober at Country Club Dentistry in Rancho Mirage.