Tooth infections can be very serious and sometimes even life-threatening. An infection in your head should not go ignored.
Tooth infections are caused by bacteria that have gotten around your tooth and are normally caused by two things: the nerve in your tooth dying or severe gum disease.
The nerve in your tooth usually dies due to trauma from an accident or due to tooth decay. Once the nerve has died, bacteria invade the space where the nerve was and need to be dealt with by removing the bacteria. This can be done by removing the whole tooth or going in and selectively removing the nerve, disinfecting the space where the nerve was and putting a filling material there. This is known as a root canal.
The other type of tooth infection is caused by severe gum disease. If you have untreated gum disease, sometimes the bacteria can rapidly multiply around the root of your tooth causing severe pain and swelling. This is referred to as a periodontal abscess and based on the severity, can be treated by deep cleaning around the tooth or removing the tooth.
Whatever the cause of your tooth infection, it’s important to get it resolved at least temporarily with antibiotics and then permanently so you don’t face the possibility of a recurrent infection.