Even if you take great care of your teeth, you can still get the occasional toothache. But how do you know if it’s something serious? We’ve all heard horror stories of dangerous tooth infections that turn deadly, so it’s important to know what to look out for.

An infected tooth, or tooth abscess, is caused by bacterial infection that can occur for many different reasons. The most frequent causes include an untreated cavity, an injury, or even prior dental work. But there are several measures that dentists take in the face of tooth infections, so don’t worry yet! We’ve put together a simple list of what to look for when it comes to an abscessed or infected tooth:

Clues and Symptoms of Tooth Infection:

  • Hot and cold temperature sensitivity
  • Pressure sensitivity with chewing or biting
  • Swelling in your cheeks or face
  • Fever
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes around your jaw or neck
  • Persistent, severe, throbbing toothache (may radiate through the jaw, ear, or neck)
  • A sudden rush of foul, salty fluid in your mouth (particularly if followed by pain relief if the abscess has ruptured)

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, we strongly recommend a visit to your dentist.

However, if you experiencing face swelling and a fever and you cannot reach your dentist, it’s time to go to an emergency room. You should also head to the ER if you’re having trouble with swallowing or breathing. These particular symptoms could indicate that your infection has spread to other areas of your body, and you should seek immediate medical assistance even if your dentist is unavailable.

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one has a tooth infection or you’re interested in taking preventative measures to avoid these dangerous abscesses, call our office to schedule an appointment at (562) 434-6414.