How Can You Tell If A Tooth Is Infected – Tooth decay is not something anyone should take lightly. Poor oral health not only ages you prematurely, it can also lead to gum disease and other life-threatening illnesses. With that being said, the development of cavities is actually quite a long process, and depending on your diet and how you care for your teeth, it can sometimes take up to five years for the initial decay to develop into a full-fledged cavity. You may be wondering whether or not you really need fillers, and ultimately it all comes down to a few key factors.
Advances in dental technology have allowed dentists to detect tooth decay at an early stage. Tooth decay is usually caused by two different factors. It could be mineral leaching due to very acidic foods, which destroy tooth enamel. Plaque-forming bacteria can also be responsible for eating enamel. It can be a combination of both.
How Can You Tell If A Tooth Is Infected
As mentioned earlier, cavities can take years to develop, and if tooth decay is caught early, the process can be reversed. In fact, a recent study showed that using preventive care can reduce the need for filling cavities by 35-50%.
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Fluoride treatment is critical to help reintroduce important minerals into the enamel. You may also need to change your diet, such as avoiding acidic and sugary foods and drinks. Practicing proper oral hygiene at home is key. You should use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day, and rinse and rinse your mouth at least once a day.
Even if your teeth are in great shape, you should visit your dentist regularly. This is especially true if you have children or are pregnant. A dentist is essential for early detection and can often see things you wouldn’t see looking in a mirror. Tooth decay can be prevented if you stay on top of it, so if you need a dentist and you live near Columbia, South Carolina, consider seeing Dr. Adam Hahn at Smile Columbia Dentistry. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call (803) 781-9090 today.
Our office will be closed for the holidays November 23rd to 25th, December 22nd and 26th and January 2nd. We hope you and your family have a wonderful winter! Happy Holidays! Call (803) 781-9090 with questions or to make an appointment. OkOur recommendations are independently selected and approved by the dentist. We may earn a commission if you buy something. Why trust us?
All teeth have a nerve inside them, and it’s totally possible to damage that nerve. If the damage is severe or if it lasts a long time, the tooth may die.
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Before you get too worried and to calm your nerves, I want to assure you that a dead tooth doesn’t always mean you should have it removed, and I’ll discuss your options later.
Having a dead tooth can worry you, but this article will explain how to determine if your tooth is dead, what causes it, and what to do if you think your tooth is dead.
You may be worried about having a dead tooth. There are some common signs and symptoms if a tooth is dying or dead and you should read on for more information.
Certain changes occur when a tooth dies. The pulp inside the tooth is the part that contains the nerve as well as the blood that goes to the tooth. How your tooth feels depends on what’s going on in that pulp.
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Ultimately, your dentist will need to perform several tests, including a cold test and x-rays, to confirm that your tooth is dead.
Back to that pulp I was talking about earlier. When this part of the tooth becomes infected with bacteria, your own body sends out many cells to try and save the tooth.
This process is called inflammation and it takes place throughout the body to try to protect it. When this inflammation occurs within the pulp, it is called
Eventually all the extra cells inside the nerve cause pressure to build up in the pulp and this is what causes the pain.
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Such pulpitis is painful – sometimes cold, sometimes hot. Sometimes it’s hard to even say. This is good news because it is just the first stage of tooth decay. When caught early enough, steps can be taken to slow or even reverse the process.
Sometimes filling your teeth with large fillings irritates the nerve, causing damage, and sometimes it goes away on its own. This reversible nerve irritation, also known as pulpitis, may not require treatment other than an examination by a dentist.
Irreversible pulpitis can be incredibly painful at first, but the pain usually goes away within a few days. Make no mistake, you still need to see your dentist!
A dead tooth no longer has a live nerve and therefore will feel different than a live tooth. You might not be able to explain why it looks different, but there are some common feelings about a dead tooth.
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A dead tooth is usually not painful because there is no nerve in the tooth to feel pain. But a dead tooth can become infected in the underlying bone. It’s called an infection.
If you feel pain when biting, you may have an infection in the bone at the tip of the root. The infection can lead to an abscess with pus and swelling, and the bone around the tooth can be painful to the touch. Our article on abscesses goes into great detail about abscesses and how to treat them.
A dead tooth can become loose in the mouth. The tooth can come off if you touch it with your finger or when biting. It may feel like a tooth is missing in your mouth, but without pain.
To the untrained eye, a dead tooth can look like a normal tooth. If there is no pain in the tooth, you may not realize that you have a dead tooth.
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Not all discolored teeth are dead teeth. Teeth naturally yellow and darken with age, and you can learn more about yellow teeth and their causes in our article. Your teeth can become heavily stained from food and drink, as well as from smoking. Another common cause of tooth discoloration is a tooth with a large metal filling. These teeth sometimes darken with age as small amounts of metal leak out, but that doesn’t mean you have a dead tooth.
If you are concerned that your teeth are dead, it is important that you see a dentist. If the tooth is not painful, this may not be urgent and you can wait a few weeks for an appointment.
It is always best to have a professional examination to confirm that a suspected dead tooth is indeed dead. You can know that you are not worried about anything and that the tooth is completely healthy!
At home, if you’re worried about having a dead tooth and waiting for an appointment, there are a few things you can do:
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If your tooth is painful, make an emergency appointment with your dentist so they can try to relieve your pain.
Although a dead tooth has no nerve, it shouldn’t be painful and you may experience some symptoms by this stage.
A dying tooth can be very sensitive to high temperatures. If this happens, avoiding hot or cold foods and drinks can help prevent pain.
A dying tooth or a dead tooth with an infection at the root could be a bite. If the tooth hurts to bite, avoid hard or sticky foods and try to eat on the other side of your mouth.
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Some teeth are more painful when you lie down, because blood can flow more easily to your head. Because of this, it may be more comfortable to prop your head up on multiple pillows at bedtime.
Over-the-counter pain relievers are great for managing toothaches. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are the most common pain relievers and can be purchased from most supermarkets and pharmacies. Be careful not to overdose, but these may help manage your pain until you see a dentist. if you have questions
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