Infections of the mouth can have life threatening complications
Your mouth is vulnerable to infection in all corners of its space. The lips, tongue, palate, cheeks, gums (periodontal infection), and areas within and below teeth (endodontic infection) can become infected in the mouth and can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening complications when left untreated. Most infections are created when the teeth become cracked or chipped allowing bacteria to enter the tooth’s pulp (core containing nerves, tissues, and blood vessels) and travel to the surrounding bone or tissue creating a dental abscess.
Signs of a Dental Infection:
- Swollen gums, jaw, or glands of the neck
- Severe & persistent toothache
- Foul smelling breath
- Bitter taste in mouth
- Teeth sensitivity to hot or cold, or sensitivity to the pressure of chewing
If you have both swelling and fever, or trouble breathing or swallowing you should seek immediate medical help because you may have a serious infection.
45 Years of helping patients from Ventura County
Our dental team at Carson & Carson, DDS has over 4 decades of experience in diagnosing and treating dental infections. Feel comfortable and pain free being treated at one of the best dental offices that Oxnard has to offer with our professional and courteous dentists Dr. LeRoy Carson & Dr. Derek Carson. Call or make an appointment today with our Oxnard location at (805) 983-0717.
Good oral hygiene habits are key in preventing dental infections and maintaining a healthy mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day and visiting the dentist at least twice a year are habits that can keep your smile looking pearly white and healthy. Flossing everyday keeps the mouth clean by killing bacteria that could otherwise penetrate into tooth enamel and create cavities.
If an infection or abscess is found in your gums, there are a few treatment options which can be offered to remedy the infection:
- Perform Root Canal on tooth. Your dentist will drill into the tooth removing infected pulp and then draining the abscess. Afterward, the tooth is filled and sealed, and a crown is typically placed over the remaining tooth to protect it.
- Incise & Drain Abscess. Some abscesses are close enough to the surface of the gums that they can accessed by simple incision (cutting) into the gums. These abscesses are cut into, drained, and then washed with a saline solution to prevent further infection.
- Pull Affected Tooth. A tooth may have be pulled to allow proper access to an abscess below it. The affected tooth would be extracted, abscess drained, and saline solution used to prevent further infection in the cleft left by the abscess.
Further Tips in Treatment
- Antibiotics will most likely be prescribed to combat local infection. Always take prescribed antibiotics exactly as instructed, finishing the set even if you feel normal before it’s finished.
- To treat pain, take pain medication as needed. Avoid Take Tylenol or Advil instead of Acetaminophen.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with warm water and hold this mixture in your mouth where the infection is. Along with icing of the face, this can help draw the infection towards the surface of the gums so it can drain and help the healing process.
- Avoid the use of heating pads and smoking until the infection has disappeared.
Dental infections can take many forms and have several causes.
When severe, the face can get extremely swollen, and the eyelids can shut. The cause for the infection must be eliminated as well as antibiotics to be used before It can be controlled. It takes a minimum of four days to get an infection under control.
This girl was treated a quarter of a century ago. Her mother neglected her permanent first molars and they became infected. I opened up the tooth to allow the puss to drain out. With antibiotics, she was under control in about five days. The man below had a failed root canal from the dentist across the street. His case required me to cut into the abscess to get drainage. This case, again took about five days on antibiotics to control the infection after the drainage. Sometimes I had to do IV sedation on these patients because the pain was so unbearable, but at least with IV sedation, they did not remember anything.