A dental infection can cause various symptoms including gum inflammation; a bad taste in your mouth; tooth sensitivity when eating sweet, cold, or hot foods; and severe pain. Fortunately, dental pain is very treatable. However, you will need to see your dentist right away because doing so will help ensure that your infected tooth can be saved. Here are some effective treatment interventions to help ease your pain if you have a dental infection.
If your tooth is infected, your dentist will clean out the infected debris and prescribe antibiotics. Untreated bacterial tooth infections can rapidly spread to other parts of the body, including your sinuses and throat. In rare cases, untreated dental infections can raise your risk for a systemic serious blood infection known as sepsis. They may also heighten your risk for heart valve damage in rare cases.
A common antibiotic that is often used in dental practices is doxycycline. While this antibiotic is effective in eliminating tooth infections, it can cause adverse reactions such as abdominal pain, nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea. Eating a couple of tablespoons of yogurt an hour or so before taking your doxycycline can help promote the production of "good bacteria" in your gastrointestinal system, which will help ease or even prevent antibiotic-related digestive symptoms.
Rinsing your mouth out with salt water can also alleviate the pain associated with a dental infection. Saltwater rinses can relieve the pain and inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding your infected tooth and they also have antibacterial properties. To make a saltwater solution, just add a pinch of regular table salt to a cup of warm water and stir. Swish the liquid around your mouth for a few seconds and then spit it out.
Be careful not to swallow the salt water because it can cause digestive problems if too much is ingested. To augment the pain-relief benefits of saltwater rinses, use an over-the-counter numbing gel. These gels are generally very safe and are often recommended to reduce teething pain in babies.
If you have a dental infection, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. When tooth infections are recognized and managed early on, they are less likely to spread and you will be more likely to respond to conservation treatment options. If left untreated, your dental infection may destroy your tooth. If this happens, your best treatment option may be extraction.
Contact a local dentist to learn more.