Top 5 Warning Signs of a Tooth Infection You Can’t Ignore

signs of a tooth infection

Oral health is an essential part of keeping the body healthy. You avoid problems like cavities, periodontal disease, and oral cancers when you care for your teeth. 

An infected tooth means something is wrong with your tooth and needs care immediately. When you don’t seek out care for infected teeth, you risk larger health problems. 

If you’re wondering, “Is my tooth infected?”, here are some signs of a tooth infection that you need to know about. 


Pain is one of the most common symptoms of an infected tooth. This can be any type of tooth pain: throbbing, dull, stinging, or stabbing pain all point to a serious problem with your teeth. 

You can take over-the-counter medication to manage your pain, but if it’s an infection you need to see a dentist. Your body may not respond to pain medication if the infection is serious. 


Cavities happen when teeth start to decay. Plaque builds up on your teeth and creates cavities. A cavity is a type of tooth infection. 

Sometimes cavities are not always visible, but sometimes they are. If you notice pain when chewing or see dark spots on your teeth, chances are you have a cavity. 


Tooth sensitivity produces an uncomfortable tingling sensation on the tooth or teeth when it comes in contact with an extremely hot or cold substance. You experience tooth sensitivity when there’s a crack in your tooth or you’ve lost a lot of enamel. 


Bleeding is another sign of an infected tooth. Bleeding may occur randomly or during brushing and flossing, indicating gum inflammation.

If you’re experiencing excessive bleeding, you want to see your dentist quickly. 

Sore Gums

If you have sore gums, it could point to a tooth infection. Your gums may be swollen, red, or irritated when you brush them or eat or drink. The reason for this is because the infection permeates your gums causing them to become inflamed. 

Bad Breath

Halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath, can be a symptom of a tooth infection. Bad breath happens when bacteria lingers in your mouth or because of problems like gum disease and infections. 

If you’ve tried to get rid of your bad breath to no avail, and you have other symptoms of a tooth infection, talk to your dentist. 

Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess is a sure sign of an infection. A tooth abscess is a puss-filled sac located on the gums or near the tooth. Abscesses may become dangerous and spread if they’re not treated.

The only treatment for an abscess is to drain it. Even if an abscess does burst on its own, you should see a dentist for an antibiotic.

Darker-Colored Tooth

If you notice your tooth turning a darker color, there’s a good chance that you have a tooth infection. The darker colors could indicate staining or it could mean infected teeth.


A fever is a sign that your body is fighting an infection like the flu or another virus. Lingering tooth pain, along with a moderate fever or generally feeling sick, likely means that you have a tooth infection. You can lower your fever with over-the-counter meds, but to eliminate the infection, you’ll need to visit your dentist.

What Causes A Tooth Infection?

Healthy gums and tooth enamel typically do a good job of keeping your teeth intact and protected from bacteria. However, accidents happen, and your teeth may become cracked or damaged. When bacteria enter through the cracked tooth infection can populate. 

Additionally, foods that are high in sugar contribute to tooth infections as well. If you don’t establish good oral habits, like brushing and flossing to remove excess bacteria, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis, infections occur. Removing the plaque keeps the enamel strong and reduces the risk of infections. 

How to Fix an Infected Tooth

Treating an infected tooth depends on the type of infection you have. There are several methods for treating a tooth infection.  

Sometimes the infection runs deep into the pulp and nerves of the tooth and you need a root canal. A root canal is a dental procedure that removes the infection from the root of the tooth so it doesn’t spread. Although root canals get a bad reputation for being painful, the dentist aims to make you as comfortable as possible so it’s relatively painless. 

If you have a tooth abscess, it needs draining. A dentist is the only professional who can do this. You should never try to drain or puncture an abscess on your own. 

When an infection is beyond repair, you may need a tooth extraction. Tooth extraction is when the dentist pulls your tooth to prevent the spread of infection. Typically, your dentist administers a type of anesthesia, whether local or sedation, so you’ll be comfortable during the procedure. 

Another way dentists treat tooth infections is by giving antibiotics. A dentist prescribes a round of antibiotics when there’s an infection present or to prevent one after a procedure. A round of antibiotics lasts about 7-10 days depending on the antibiotic and the severity of the infection. 

Do You Have These Signs of A Tooth Infection?

You should never ignore the signs of a tooth infection. By seeing your dentist as soon as you notice these signs, you have an advantage over the infection. Your dentist can help stop the spread and control the infection before it becomes worse. 

Do you need to see a dentist for a possible tooth infection? Our team offers effective treatments to remove the infection and restore your smile. Contact us today to schedule your appointment


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