Getting To The Root Of Your Tooth Infection: How Your Dentist Uses Endodontics To Find Your Oral Problem

16 May 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you have an infection in your tooth, you will know it. You will feel excruciating pain, experience swelling in the gum tissue surrounding the infected tooth, and may even experience a mid- to high-grade fever. What you may not know is what caused the infection in your tooth. Your dentist, through the practice of endodontics, can get to the root of your tooth infection and help fix the problem. Here is how.

First, X-rays

Your dentist may take x-rays of the troubled tooth and the teeth surrounding it. Sometimes the problem is not with the toot that seems to be in trouble, but rather a tooth next to it or underneath it that may be the problem. Many an impacted tooth, (i.e., teeth that are still beneath the gumline and have not pushed their way out because they are stuck) has been the cause of an infection underneath other teeth. Removal or artificial spacing of these teeth can help remove the problem as well as some of the infection. Once the x-rays help rule out any unseen problems with impacted teeth or damaged teeth to the left or right of the presumably infected tooth, then your dentist will take a closer look at the surface of the troublesome tooth.

Next, a Visual Exam of the Surface

Really bad cavities can cause infections in teeth. The cavities can go straight down to the roots of a tooth, and cause so much damage that the tooth dies and begins to rot inside your mouth. Cavities that are larger than a pinhole are easy enough to see, and more severe damage will be very obvious to your dentist. If it appears that your tooth is utterly dead and destroyed, your dentist may need to surgically remove this tooth to get rid of the infection. If part of the tooth is still alive (which is highly probable so long as you still feel pain emanating from it), then your dentist can perform an emergency root canal, drain the pus from the dead and diseased tooth root, and then fill the space to block infection from entering the rest of the tooth.

Finally, a Good Round of Antibiotics

Once the problem with your tooth or teeth has been addressed endodontically, your dentist will prescribe a healthy round of antibiotics to kill any remaining infection and decrease the likelihood of a pus collection within the gumline. Even though he or she has probably drained most of the pus, some of the bacteria may remain and the antibiotics will help kill this remaining bacteria. You may even receive a two-step antibiotic and antiseptic approach if your dentist also prescribes an antiseptic mouthwash to use with the antibiotic over the next few days. Visit for more information.