When most people think of a dental emergency, they think of a broken or chipped tooth or a lost crown, but a tooth infection is also a dental emergency. This infection requires treatment and if you think you have a tooth infection, you should seek emergency dental care immediately to avoid the worsening problem.

What is a Tooth Infection? 

A tooth infection, also called an abscess, is a pocket of puss trapped around your tooth. It is usually formed when a cavity is left untreated and becomes so deep that it penetrates the inner chamber of your tooth. This breach allows the living tissue, or pulp, inside your tooth to become infected. 

Common causes of a tooth infection are:

  • Neglected dental hygiene 
  • Dental injury
  • Prior dental work

A tooth infection will not go away without treatment. The sooner they are diagnosed and treated, the best chance of saving your tooth.

Signs You Have a Tooth Infection/Abscess

While a throbbing and painful tooth is a common sign that you have a tooth infection, there are others, including: 

  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain when biting down
  • Fever
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes in the neck or jaw
  • Swollen face or cheeks

Sometimes the pain will diminish but the infection still remains, and you must see a dentist as soon as possible to begin treatment. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your jaw or to other areas of your head and neck.

If you think you have a tooth infection, contact Petrone Family Dentistry immediately to schedule an emergency dental visit. We provide emergency care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are here when you need us.