An infected tooth can lead to pain that is highly disturbing and annoying, and there are probably only a few other conditions that can surpass this pain. What causes this condition? There are several conditions that could lead to tooth infection, these involve―cavity formation, gum diseases, tooth enamel damage, and trauma to the tooth structure. Tooth abscess and tooth decay are the prime reasons behind tooth infections and prove to be extremely painful and discomforting.
Along with tooth pain, there are various other symptoms of an infected tooth as well, like, bad breath, bleeding from gums, excessive salivation, mouth sores that are sometimes filled with pus or mucus, swelling of the tooth or gum, loss of appetite, diarrhea, spasms in jaw muscles, headache, and fever, among others. Once the tooth is diagnosed with an infection, there will be certain steps taken to cure the same, which usually involves a combination of pain killers, antibiotics, and other specialized medication. However, if these remedies and antibiotics don't seem to be effective, then the only alternative that remains is the extraction of the tooth.
Infected Tooth Extraction
The extraction of an infected tooth could be both, simple as well as complex, akin to one involving a root canal treatment or wisdom tooth extraction. An extraction could include the removing of one or all infected teeth from the mouth. It is a procedure that must strictly be administered by a knowledgeable dentist. It can also be done by a specialist, referred to as a maxillofacial surgeon or an oral surgeon. A tooth is strongly encased in a bony socket that is joined with a ligament. It is a fact that tooth pain is very limiting, but the procedure that involves the extraction of the tooth is itself quite a smooth and painless one, and the pain relief that one gets after going through it makes it worth the trouble.
Tooth extraction is a simple procedure, provided it doesn't involve the wisdom tooth or a root canal procedure. Dentists will, and must, strictly prescribe antibiotics as a preparatory step for infected tooth extraction. During the infected tooth removal procedure, the dentist or nurse will inject local anesthesia into the gum of the infected tooth. After the anesthesia starts to work, the dentist uses certain instruments called luxate or an elevator and breaks the fragile elastic fiber that is underneath the bone. Once that is done, he/she will rock the tooth (or teeth) back and forth till they are loose enough to be pulled out. Sometimes, however, the tooth cannot be pulled out in one go and needs to be extracted in pieces.
The healing period depends on the individual nature of the patients but it generally takes around 5 days to a week for complete recovery. An extraction that is done by either endodontic or prosthetic tooth extraction procedure, must involve X-rays, physical examination, and medication.
Though tooth extraction with infection is painless and is performed in order to relieve the person from toothache, there are chances that the person will experience pain after the extraction of the infected tooth, for numerous other reasons. One of the main reasons being, a lack of proper aftercare.
Aftercare and Precautions
After the procedure, the doctor will place a gauze in the area and ask the patient to bite on it. This is done in order to stop the bleeding. Sometimes, the doctor might even stitch the wound and use self-dissolving stitches for the same. There are certain precautions as well as other important things that one must follow in order to ensure faster healing. These include the following:
► Place an ice bag on the affected area to bring the swelling down. Allow it to stay for 10 minutes at a time, then remove.
► Do not rinse or spit forcefully or it will hamper with clot formation over the gap.
► After a period of 24 hours has passed, rinse your mouth with a solution made of 8 ounces warm water and ½ teaspoon salt.
► Do not use a straw for drinking anything for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
► Do not smoke for a few days. This will delay the healing process.
► Do not lie flat on a surface as it will prolong bleeding; use pillows to prop your head up.
► Do not eat solid food for a few days. Eat only soft foods like juices, soups, and yogurt; slowly introducing solid food to your diet.
► Brush your teeth and tongue with a soft bristle toothbrush, but avoid going anywhere near the extraction site for a few days.
► Do not forget to take the painkillers and other medication that have been prescribed.
Following all these pointers will not only allow faster healing of the wound, but also prevent the onset of a condition called the dry socket
. This comes about when the blood clot that has formed over the wound breaks away and exposes the bone in the socket. This can cause a lot of pain and the doctor will most probably place a sedative dressing over this area for a few days for protection until a new clot forms.
When to Call the Doctor
Taking all the precautions to stop the blood flow after extraction and taking proper prescribed medication are the two basic things that the patient must follow at any cost. However, there are certain conditions that warranty that you get in touch with your doctor immediately. Call the doctor if you experience any of these conditions.
► Nausea and/vomiting
► Fever and/or chills
► Swelling, redness, and possible infections in the area of the procedure
► Coughing and chest pain.
► Tightness in the jaw and/or radiating pain.
Avoiding a tooth infection is the best way to avoid its extraction and further complications. Never neglect tooth pain and never try to treat it at home. It is necessary to take the proper remedies that are prescribed by a professional in order to ensure good teeth health.Disclaimer
: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.