Symptoms of an Infected Tooth
Sometimes a cavity becomes so severe that the bacteria reaches the pulp of the tooth and causes a painful infection. This is called an infected or abscessed tooth. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include:
- Spontaneous tooth pain
- Long-lasting sensitivity to heat, cold, pressure, or sweets
- Discolored tooth
- A persistent foul taste or bad breath
- A pimple-like sore on the gums
- Localized heat in the tooth or gums
An infected tooth can be very serious. The infection can spread from the tooth to the sinuses, brain, lungs, or blood. Once this happens, the infection can become life-threatening. Even if the infection doesn’t become immediately life-threatening, it can damage your heart, increasing your risk of heart disease long-term.
If you have an infected tooth, you must seek dental care to assess and resolve the infection.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal can stop the pain and save an infected tooth. This involves removing the decayed parts of the tooth, pulp, and nerve, and then sealing up the pulp chamber to prevent future infection. Dr. Collins then places a dental crown on the tooth to protect and provide a natural-looking repaired tooth. Root canal therapy gets a bad rap for being a very painful procedure, but it can actually be done quite comfortably with the proper use of anesthetic.