Tooth Infection Prevention: The Evolution of Oral Health

At Calm and Gentle Dental Care in Tonbridge, we understand the discomfort and concern that can arise from a tooth infection. When bacteria infiltrate the root of a tooth, it can lead to a buildup of pus, resulting in what's known as an abscessed tooth or periapical abscess. Ignoring such infections can exacerbate the issue, potentially leading to spread to the jaw or other areas of the head and neck.

Tooth Infection Home Care

Home care strategies can help alleviate symptoms, including the use of over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Additionally, chewing on the opposite side of the affected tooth, opting for a soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoiding extreme temperatures in foods can provide relief. Applying a cold compress to the jaw and utilising a rinse of water and salt or diluted hydrogen peroxide can also assist in managing discomfort.

For more severe cases, professional intervention may be necessary. Depending on the severity of the abscess, our experienced dentists or endodontists may recommend various treatments. These could range from a root canal procedure to drainage of the abscess followed by sealing and capping the tooth to prevent future infections. In cases where preservation is not feasible, extraction coupled with abscess drainage may be required.

In conjunction with treatment, antibiotics may be prescribed to halt the spread of infection. Common antibiotics used for abscesses include Amoxicillin, Azithromycin, Cefoxitin, Clindamycin, Metronidazole, and Penicillin. Adhering strictly to the prescribed dosage and duration is crucial to ensure efficacy.

Prevention is always preferable, and maintaining good oral hygiene is key. This includes brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily for a minimum of two minutes each session, refraining from rinsing immediately after brushing to preserve the protective effects of toothpaste, and daily flossing to remove plaque between teeth and below the gumline. Additionally, reducing intake of sugary and starchy foods and drinks, replacing toothbrushes regularly, using antiseptic or fluoride mouth rinses, drinking fluoridated water, and attending regular dental checkups all contribute to a healthy oral environment.

man holding his jaw in pain from tooth infection

Tooth Decay Prevention

Good dental habits can help keep your teeth and gums healthy:

* Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time.
* Don’t rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water immediately after brushing -- that can take the protective toothpaste off your teeth.
* Floss at least once a day to clean between your teeth and under your gums.
* Cut down on sugary and starchy drinks and foods, especially between meals and right before bed.
* Get a new toothbrush every 3 or 4 months or when the bristles on the one you’re using look frayed.
* Use an antiseptic or fluoride mouth rinse to help prevent tooth decay.
* Drink fluoridated water.
* See your dentist for regular checkups.

At Calm and Gentle Dental Care, we prioritise your comfort and well-being, offering comprehensive dental services tailored to your needs. Schedule an appointment today to experience compassionate care and effective treatment for tooth infections and other dental concerns.

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