Can a tooth injury cause an infection? An injured tooth is always a potential risk for infection. Both a fracture and a cavity can break through your protective enamel. It can go past the dentin and into the pulp of your tooth. This pulp houses the blood vessels and nerve endings that connect your tooth to your jaw and the surrounding soft tissues. So it’s pretty important. With an opening created by a crack or a cavity, bacteria have an open highway. They can then then travel directly into the pulp where they can infect the blood vessels and nerves.
Are Infections Common? Can a Tooth Injury Cause an Infection?
If you visit your dentist at least once every six months and follow through with any suggested treatments, then you are unlikely to ever experience a tooth infection. Your teeth’s natural defenses are quite good, so it can take months for a cavity to become a serious problem. There is one exception: a fracture. That being said, as long as the fracture is treated properly and quickly, you also are unlikely to experience a tooth infection.
Dealing with a Fractured Tooth
If you accidentally crack or break a tooth, then there is the risk that bacteria are given immediate access to the tooth’s sensitive core. That is why your response after the break matters so much. When you lose a tooth or even a piece of it, you should immediately try to recover the missing piece. Once you’ve found it, you will need to disinfect it. Rinsing it with milk or saline will do the trick. Then you will want to replace the missing piece or tooth to the best of your ability. Hold it in place by gently biting down on a clean napkin or medical gauze.
At this point, you will need to contact your dentist in Burbank at Coastland Dental for emergency dental care. From there, your dentist will assess the damage, disinfect the area, and help you determine the best course of action. If you’re lucky, then a crown may be sufficient, but it depends on the placement and severity of the fracture. All of this is designed to ensure that bacteria do not have easy access to your blood vessels, nerves, and jaw. Without this treatment, a tooth infection can be painful if not downright dangerous.
Recognizing the Signs of a Tooth Infection
Without consistent dental treatment, it is all too easy for cavities to expand without your knowledge. For many patients in this situation, the first indication of a tooth infection is a toothache. It may start as a slight soreness localized in the affected tooth, allowing many people to shrug it off. However, if it is left untreated, it can easily expand to a searing pain that fills your entire mouth and radiates into your skull.
At this point, your dentist is likely to find an abscess at the site of the infection. A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that forms in response to the infection. They are generally found at the gum line or near the root of the tooth. Either way, they can be exceedingly painful and warrant a trip to your emergency dentist for a root canal in Burbank.
Treating a Tooth Infection
When a tooth is infected, your dentist’s first priority is to assess the extent of the damage and drain the pus from the abscess. They will use x-rays to determine how far the infection has spread and what treatment plan is required. From there, your dentist will disinfect the affected area. If you’re lucky and the infection hasn’t spread too far, your dentist may be able to use a root canal treatment to save your tooth. When a root canal is not a viable option, your dentist will remove what is left of your tooth and discuss replacement options with you.