Over the course of a lifetime, practically everyone is going to develop some form of tooth decay. When that oral health problem is caught early on, dentists are often able to clean out the damaged material and then use fillings to improve the integrity of the teeth. Unfortunately, tooth decay isn’t always caught right away, and the plaque will continue to eat away at the tooth until the pulp is reached. When that occurs, the tooth is going to become infected, and the patient might need to undergo a root canal or have the tooth removed entirely.
Protecting Your Teeth From Damage
Even though tooth decay is very common, that oral health issue can often be avoided with a few simple habits. The most important step in the process is keeping your teeth as clean as possible at home. That includes brushing and flossing at least a few times a day. It is also a good idea to use a high-quality mouthwash that is going to kill germs on contact. Patients should also schedule regular appointments with a dentist so that their teeth can be professionally cleaned. Brushing and flossing at home is a great start, but your dentist will be able to remove some of the debris that you weren’t able to reach. If flossing is too time-consuming for you, this dentist who does dental implants in Chattanooga TN recommends using interdental brushes instead.
Signs of a Tooth Infection
No matter what steps you take to protect your smile and keep your teeth clean, there is a fairly good chance that you will experience tooth decay at some point. That is why it is so important to always keep an eye out for any signs that one of your teeth might be damaged or infected. One of the most common signs of a tooth infection is general discomfort. At first, it might feel as if there is a dull ache in your mouth. Over time, that dull ache could escalate into ongoing pain that makes it nearly impossible to eat or speak. Other common signs of a tooth infection include discolored gums, swollen gums, discolored teeth, and halitosis.
To learn more about all of the treatment options for a tooth infection, you will need to schedule an appointment with a dentist. In most cases, an infected tooth can be treated with a root canal as long as the root of the tooth isn’t severely damaged. During a root canal, the dentist will carefully clear away the damaged areas of the tooth as well as the infected pulp. They can then fill in the tooth with a unique material that coats the inside and kills off any lingering germs. The appearance of the tooth is then restored with a composite resin.
For severely infected teeth, an extraction might be necessary. While that might sound intimidating, modern tooth extractions are very advanced, and your dentist will be able to use powerful numbing agents that desensitize all of the nearby nerves. Once the tooth has been extracted, it can be replaced with a dental implant or a bridge that is fixed to the nearby teeth.
Restoring Your Your Smile
When it comes to damaged teeth, you should never ignore the early warning signs. A tooth infection can impact almost every facet of your health as well as your daily life when it is left untreated. Luckily, there are many different treatment options available to those who are struggling with this oral health issue. Your dentist will be able to help you come up with a treatment plan that minimizes your discomfort and restores your smile.