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I think my tooth might be infected, what are the signs and symptoms?

If you are concerned that your tooth might be infected, it is worth booking a check-up with your dentist to find out. If you do have an infection it is better to have it treated as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.

But how do you know if you have a tooth infection or not? You can experience tooth pain or other issues with your mouth and gums that could be a symptom of something else.

Because your teeth are packed with sensitive nerves anything that can affect them negatively can cause pain. You may be experiencing toothache, gum soreness or tooth sensitivity anywhere in your mouth either in just one single tooth or the whole side of your jaw.

If you experience any of the following, these are common signs and symptoms of an infected tooth:

  • Gum or tooth soreness
  • Sharp pains anywhere in your mouth
  • Throbbing tooth pain
  • Any unusual swelling of the gums

Can I just leave the infection to heal by itself?

It is important to not ignore early signs, as often the better outcome is from early intervention

Many people choose to ignore a mild toothache or will take over the counter pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to help manage mild discomfort. However, by ignoring or delaying the issue you could end up making the problem worse.

Experiencing a throbbing pain in your tooth when you eat or drink anything hot or cold can be caused by tooth sensitivity. This can be from a cracked or chipped tooth, or from receding gums that expose the tooth root, it is still always worth booking an appointment with your dentist to rule out.

What happens if I don’t see the dentist and my tooth is infected?

If left untreated, the body will try to fight the infection through your immune system response. This means you may experience a raised temperature or high fever, swelling to the affected area and a reddening of the gums.

You can experience these signs without actually feeling any pain or toothache. You may even notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth or you develop bad breath, despite brushing your teeth regularly.

If you know that you have a chipped, cracked or broken tooth, infections can set in and go undetected for quite a while deep within your tooth without you realising it. Some people have been surprised to discover that they are carrying a tooth infection after their dentist detected it during their regular dental check-up.

This is why it is so important to look out for symptoms other than a painful toothache that could indicate an infection is present. Even a minor cavity can progress to a tooth infection rapidly if left unchecked.

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