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Tooth Infection – Symptoms And Causes

Usually, it starts with a toothache. If your sore and throbbing pain is left untreated, then it could become infected. If your tooth becomes infected and it is not treated, then the infection could spread to other parts in your body. You have an increased risk of getting tooth infection if you do not have good dental hygiene. You need to take a good care of your teeth. You should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least two times per day. You need to floss your teeth at least once per day. You should decrease your intake of sugar.

You need to eat a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, so in this way you can avoid the tooth infection. You should avoid the usage of tobacco products. You should always drink fluoridated water. If you have noticed that your tooth infection is getting worse, then you should ask for help from denturist.

tooth infection treatment

Tooth infection symptoms

The symptoms of an infected tooth can include:

  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Tender or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Cheek swelling
  • Sensitivity to pressure in the mouth
  • Pain that worsens when you lie down
  • A throbbing pain in the jawbone, ear or neck (typically on the same side as the tooth pain)
  • Throbbing tooth pain

Also, there can be symptoms which happen when the tooth infection spreads to other parts in the body. If the tooth infection is not treated, then it can spread elsewhere in your body and it is potentially life – threatening. Below are mentioned signs and symptoms that the infection in the tooth has spread [1,2]:

  1. You feel unwell:
  1. You run a fever:
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Skin flushing
  1. Your face swells:
  • Swelling that impedes breathing
  • Swelling that impedes swallowing
  • Swelling that makes it difficult to fully open your mouth
  1. You become dehydrated:
  • Confusion
  • Darker urine
  • Reduction in frequency of urination
  1. Your heart rate increases [1]:
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid pulse rate
  1. Your breathing rate increases:
  • Over 25 breaths per minute
  1. You experience stomach pain:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Not all toothaches can be a problem for which you should be concerned. But, if you are experiencing constant toothache, then you should take a professional dental care before it gets worse. If the toothache lasts longer than a day or if it is accompanied by other symptoms (like pain when chewing or biting; red gums; difficulty swallowing; trouble breathing; swelling; fever), then you should see your dentist right away.

You should avoid drinking hot or cold drinks and eating hot or cold foods. You should avoid chewing on the side of the toothache. You should eat only cool and soft foods. Your doctor will give you the best treatment for your tooth infection. You should tell your dentist if you have used some medication or home remedy for the tooth infection, so he will give you the proper diagnosis. If you or your child has high fever, then you should seek emergency help as soon as possible.

Also, you should seek for emergency help if the fever is accompanied by pain when urinating, chest pain, persistent vomiting, difficulty breathing and unexplained skin rash. [3]

Tooth infection risk factors

The tooth can become infected when the bacteria gets into the tooth through a chip, crack or cavity. Also, there are some factors which can increase your risk of getting tooth infection, such as

  • A dry mouth, which is often caused by aging or as a side effect of certain medications
  • A high sugar diet, including sweets and drinking soda [4]
  • Poor dental hygiene, including not brushing your teeth 2 times a day and not flossing [5]


If you leave the tooth infection untreated, then it could potentially travel to other areas of the body, which is resulting in a potentially life – threatening infection. Some signs that the tooth infection is spreading to other parts of the body include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Increased breathing rate [3]
  • Increased heart rate [3]
  • Dehydration
  • Swelling
  • Fever

You should call your denturist for a same – day appointment if you or your child is experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms in a addition to a toothache.


[1] Santana MDR, de Souza ACA, de Abreu LC, Valenti VE. Association between oral variables and heart rate variability. International Archives of Medicine. 2013;6:49. doi:10.1186/1755-7682-6-49

[2] Harvard Health Publishing. Hidden tooth infections may be warning sign of heart disease. 2016. Retrieved from

[3] University of Helsinki. Hidden tooth infections may predispose people to heart disease. Science Daily. 2016. Retrieved from

[4] Cheng R, Yang H, Shao M, et al. Dental erosion and severe tooth decay related to soft drinks: a case report and literature review. Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE B. 2009;10(5):395–9.

[5] Colorado State University. The microbes in your mouth, and a reminder to floss and go to the dentist: Oral microbiome was subject of crowd-sourced study. Science Daily. 2020. Retrieved from

Neem Mayur
Neem Mayur
Mayur Neem, a certified dietician having more than 5 years of experience in the field of diet practice. He is working as a diet expert and offering services to body builders, sports persons, celebrities, etc. He is lover of natural remedies and loves to spend most of his free time in his organic farm and offers expert advice on organic farming to local farmers. He is available through [email protected]


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