I have what I suspect is a tooth infection. I’m not a big fan of dentists. I do have some antibiotics at my house that my doctor had prescribed for me in case I got sick during the quarantine. I tend to get a sinus infection about once a quarter. Can I just fill that antibiotic and deal with it that way? It’s a Z-pack.
I’m glad you wrote. Using antibiotics to treat a tooth infection is a common misconception. Dental infections work differently. They’re considered a dental emergency. Here’s why. When a tooth is infected, it doesn’t take long for the pulp of the tooth to die. When that happens, there is no blood flow in the tooth. When this happens, there is no way for the antibiotic to get to the infection. The only way to solve it at that point is for a dentist to get in there and physically remove the infected tissue.
There are two ways to do this. The first is to get a root canal treatment and dental crown. This is ideal because it saves your tooth. Natural tooth structure is always best. However, if you don’t get to the dentist in time, it is very likely your tooth won’t be able to be saved. Instead, the tooth will have to be extracted. If this happens, you’re then looking at the necessity to replace a tooth.
If you don’t replace the tooth, the adjacent teeth will begin to shift and tip into that spot. That will lead to serious bite problems that can cause TMJ Disorder, headaches, and pain with your bite. The ideal tooth replacement is a dental implant.
When You Don’t Like the Dentist
You’re not alone in being uncomfortable with the dentist. Rather than avoid the dentist, which can severely sabotage your oral health, I suggest you try a dentist who offers dental sedation. This allows you to get a anxiety-free/pain-free experience in the dental chair. In fact, with oral conscious sedation, most patients just sleep through their appointment. It has changed many lives.
Be aware, while pain in a tooth often means a tooth infection, it can also mean you have a cracked tooth that needs to be crowned. The point is get to a dentist find out the real problem.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.