Tooth pain is one of the most uncomfortable, disruptive, and destructive sensations many of us will experience. While any form of pain can be distracting and upsetting, pain from a tooth infection has an unfortunate tendency to make many other activities a lot more difficult. That includes talking, sleeping, and eating. What’s more is that due to the large nerves attached to the teeth, it can be especially severe.
What Are the Symptoms of Tooth Infection?
There are many different causes of tooth pain, but one of the most serious is infection. A tooth infection occurs when bacteria enters the area. The body will then fight to drive out the invaders, which will in turn cause swelling, redness, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms.
Fortunately, many cases of tooth infection are highly treatable using antibiotics. The only challenge is ensuring that you identify the possible infection early, before it is allowed to spread. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most common tooth infection symptoms, to help you do just that.
Common Tooth Infection Symptoms
As mentioned, the symptoms associated with a tooth infection are actually caused largely by the body’s own immune response. This is your system attempting to drive out the invading bacteria, which in turn leads to a host of unwanted side effects. One of these is inflammation: the infected area will swell as the body sends more blood and nutrients there, along with antibodies. This can become quite uncomfortable and may make it difficult to talk or to place pressure on the area. It can also lead to a visible lump on the side of the face.
Applying a cool compress to the area may help to reduce swelling by causing vasoconstriction (narrowing the blood vessels), but some swelling can actually be a good thing as it allows the body to accelerate healing.
Redness is the result of increased blood flow to the affected area. It can be difficult to see this as it is in the mouth, but you may notice it around the gyms, or even outside on the cheek.
One of the key ways to tell apart an infection from other causes of tooth pain is the presence of fever. Fever affects the whole body by increasing your temperature. This is intended to create a less hospitable environment for any bacteria, and to thereby drive it out of the system.
Fever itself is not a problem, but it can be dangerous if it exceeds 103F in adults. It’s important to keep drinking water in order to prevent dehydration too. This fever might also be accompanied with feelings of lethargy, muscle soreness/stiffness, weakness, and general malaise.
Of course, the most notable symptom of a tooth infection is pain. This is caused due to the infection affecting the nerves. This will be a severe and sharp pain, which can also radiate outward as a dull ache. It is likely to worsen when chewing or placing any pressure on the area (which is what makes sleeping so difficult.)
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