What Does an Infected Tooth Look Like?

woman with tooth infection pain

There are few dental problems that are worse than an infected tooth. Not only do infected teeth hurt, but if they aren’t treated quickly, they could even kill you.

Spotting an infected tooth early could save you a lot of pain and stress. Today, we’ll go over a few signs that suggest a tooth might be infected and tell you how you can manage the infection at home while you wait for your dentist to take a look at it.

What Are the Signs of a Tooth Infection?

There are a few things you can look for to determine if your tooth might be infected.

If the infection is due to a large cavity, you may be able to see signs like holes in your tooth, surface stains or dark shadows under your enamel. However, some cavities (even bad ones!) can’t be spotted with the naked eye.

Infections can also happen to cracked or broken teeth that without significant decay. Because of this, it’s a good idea to look for other symptoms that might help you figure out what’s going on.

Most tooth infections produce a bad smell or taste in the mouth due to the presence of bacteria. If the infection is severe, you might spot a painful, pus-filled bump on your gums called an abscess. Don’t touch or try to drain this bump – that’s a task best left to your dentist. The gums around your infected tooth might also be red and swollen, just like an infected skin injury would be.

Unfortunately, infected teeth aren’t always easy to spot. Always get your dentist to check out any unexplained tooth pain just in case. It could save your life!

Home Remedies for Infected Tooth Pain

If you think your tooth might be infected, it’s important to schedule a dentist appointment right away. The infection won’t heal without a root canal or extraction and a course of antibiotics.

You may not be able to see your dentist for your tooth infection right away. If so, there are a few things you can do to control the pain while you wait. Try using:

  • A saltwater rinse. Mix a half-teaspoon of salt into half a glass of warm water, then swish that water around in your mouth for around two minutes. If you want some extra antibacterial power, you can add a half-teaspoon of baking soda to the mix too.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide and water together in equal parts, then swish the mixture around your mouth. Be careful not to swallow the mixture when you’re doing this.
  • Oregano and clove oil. Apply some of these oils to a cotton ball and gently hold the cotton ball against the gums around your infected tooth.
  • A cold compress. Wrap ice cubes or an ice pack in a dry towel and apply the compress to the side of your face where the infected tooth is located. Do not use a hot compress – this will actually make the infection worse.

Get Quick Relief from All Your Dental Difficulties

When a tooth infection strikes, it can be a big relief to know that your dentist will soon have it under control. Coscarella Dentistry’s caring staff are always happy to help you through all your dental problems. Contact us today to book an appointment for an exam or cleaning and let us help you achieve better dental health.


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