Why Would a Tooth Become Infected?

How confident are you about the status of your oral health? Have you suffered from cavities and gum disease over the years? Or are you one of the lucky few who seems to have inherited a trouble-free mouth? 

Unfortunately, most of us fall into the first category. While issues such as cavities are indeed troublesome, the fact of the matter is that more serious conditions may arise on occasion. 

One common example involves a tooth infection. What might cause such an infection? What are a handful of symptoms to recognise? 

What Causes a Tooth Infection?

Tooth infections may result from a handful of situations. Perhaps the most well-known involves a cavity that has been allowed to progress to the point where underlying tissues become damaged. If bacteria are allowed to penetrate into the pulp and the nerve, an infection can occur. This will require immediate treatment in order to avoid even more problems. 

An injury (such as chipping or cracking a tooth) may also allow bacteria to enter the tooth. Even teeth grinding (known as bruxism) can increase the chances of developing an infection. Thus, even seemingly small imperfections should be examined by a professional to determine if any issues are present. 

Damage to a dental restoration such as a bridge or losing a filling are other scenarios to recognise. In either of these cases, sensitive portions of the teeth and/or gums may become exposed to harmful bacteria. If you suspect that a restoration has broken or become dislodged, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. 

What Symptoms May be Present?

Although there are times when you will not feel any type of pain, most individuals will begin to experience discomfort in the event of an infection. Here are some common signals that a dentist is needed:

  • Sensitivity in one or more teeth.
  • Pain that seems to radiate towards the ear, neck or jaw.
  • A foul taste or smell within your mouth.

Even seemingly minor infections can soon evolve into more worrying situations. There are even times when an infection may spread to other portions of your body. This is why it is always better to be safe than sorry. Schedule an appointment with your dentist at the first sign of trouble.