Causes of Tooth Infection

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Tooth infections are never fun to deal with, and the longer they are left untreated, the more dangerous they are for your overall health and well-being. Tooth infections are not something that you typically experience often, but when you do, it can bring about a world of pain and discomfort. At Alta Dental Care, the biggest question on our patients’ minds is what causes a tooth infection. What are the best treatment options for a tooth infection? And, what can happen if an infection is left untreated?

Below, you’ll find some helpful information on abscessed teeth and how to prevent them.

About Tooth Infections

An infected tooth is also called an abscessed tooth. This is a tooth with a pocket of infectious material known as pus, which builds up in different parts of the teeth. This pus comes from bacteria and other harmful materials that have built up. Depending on the location and severity of this pocket of pus, this infection can cause a lot of pain or sensitivity.

If left untreated, that pocket of pus can grow and spread the infection through the rest of the mouth, even traveling to the ears, neck, throat, and beyond. There are many ways to treat tooth infection, but not treating it at all results in potentially fatal damage to the body.

Causes of a Tooth Infection

There can be many causes of an abscessed tooth, but the most common causes of tooth infections are:

Periodontal Disease

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is an advanced condition that develops when plaque builds up on the gums. According to Healthline, untreated gum disease can result in major tooth loss and dental infections.

Gingival Abscess

A gingival abscess means that the infection is formed because a foreign object got lodged in the teeth or gums. For example, a fragment of a popcorn kernel or a piece of a tortilla chip can get lodged in your gums. The longer it’s there, the more likely it is that it will cause an infection. Not to mention, it will be very uncomfortable!


Another common cause of tooth infection is the buildup of harmful bacteria. This bacteria can get into the pulp of the teeth, which will form cavities. If this infection spreads through the pulp and the roots of your teeth, a root canal procedure may be necessary to save your tooth and wipe out the infection.

Best Treatment Options for a Tooth Infection

Depending on the cause of your tooth infection, various treatment methods will be suggested. Your dentist can help you drain the infected abscess to get rid of pain and risk. If your infection has gone far into your tooth, you may need a root canal in Upland to get rid of the infected pulp and stop the disease from spreading.

In more severe cases, tooth extraction may be necessary. This is only needed if the infection has destroyed the structural integrity of the tooth. And the only way to stop the spread of infection is to get rid of the tooth altogether.

Your dentist may also prescribe you some antibiotic medication to help fight the effects of infection in your body. This will also help keep your immune system from being compromised.

Stop Your Chances of Infection!

A tooth infection can be a dangerous thing, especially if it is left untreated. However, the causes of a tooth infection can vary. Some tooth infections are caused by gum disease. Others may be started from a foreign object – like a toothbrush bristle – getting lodged in the teeth or gums. No matter the cause of your infection, it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible. The faster you treat the infection, the better you will have to stop any permanent or drastic damage to your health. Get in touch with our friendly experts at Alta Dental Care and schedule your appointment today for a top dentist in Upland!