Tooth Infections | Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry
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Tooth Infections

Tooth infections occur when bacteria or foreign substances find their way into the tooth and reach the pulp or tooth's root. Cavities, broken or cracked teeth provide a direct route for bacteria and foreign substances to make its way to the pulp. When food particles and bacteria are able to penetrate deeply within the tooth an infection will occur often causing extreme discomfort or pain.

Symptoms of a Dental Infection

  • Toothache
  • Severe, continuous pain
  • Gnawing or throbbing pain
  • Sharp or shooting pain
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Breath odor or mouth odor
  • Possible fever
  • Swollen glands of the neck
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw (this is a very serious symptom and you should consult with Dr. Wilson immediately)

The body will naturally fight the foreign substances within the tooth creating an infection. Often the body will create an abscess in an effort to push out the irritating substances. An abscess is an area where fluid and infection swells under the surface of skin. This can also cause extreme discomfort and pain.

Another possible source for a dental infection occurs when dead cells and tissues are blocked or trapped within the tooth. The body has a natural ability to get rid of dead cells and cellular waste. If your body's natural cleansing system is blocked, then toxins from inside the tooth or around the tooth may turn into an infection.


When an infection develops within a tooth's pulp the body responds by trying to remove the infected substance. This may cause painful inflammation within the mouth. A lump filed with pus and infected debris may form on the gums. Pus is a thin protein-rich fluid that your body uses to trap and contain foreign substances. This lump is known as an abscess and can be very painful.

Some abscesses or infections can be easily healed if your child is in good health. Do not think your child's natural ability to rid itself of infection is the best answer. Avoiding the dentist may cause severe issues in your child's overall health. Never avoid your dentist when an infection is present. Seek professional help immediately. Dr. Wilson can best guide you when an infection is present.