Your teeth are packed with nerves, which is why a toothache, while only affecting a small area of the mouth, is no small matter. The pain from a toothache can be debilitating, and it’s usually the result of a deeper issue. A tooth infection may be the cause of your toothache, resulting in soreness, sensitivity, or sharp pains in your mouth. At this stage of the infection, your life may be in jeopardy. Therefore, it’s important to prevent tooth infections.
A sore or throbbing tooth is one of the first signs of a tooth problem. Left untreated, what may have been an simple issue can become infected, resulting in pain, redness, swelling and a high fever. All these indicate that, your body is attempting to fight the infection.
You might also notice a foul taste in your mouth or bad breath that won’t go away with just brushing or rinsing with a mouthwash. In some cases, infections can often go undetected deep within the core of teeth, without any outward signs other than pain and swelling.
Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Infection
See your dentist immediately if you notice:
- Out of control presence of pus- a thick yellowish white material made up of living and dead bacteria, white blood cells, and dead tissue. The appearance of a pimple in your mouth is a huge red flag.
- Pain when chewing.
- Tooth movement.
- Swelling of gums or cheeks.
- Discoloration of tooth or gums.
- Bitter taste in the mouth.
How to Prevent Tooth Infections
In addition to home remedies or doctor’s treatment, these tips help to speed up recovery and more importantly prevent you from having tooth infections in the future.
1. Reduce Intake Of High-Sugar Diet
Consuming a high-sugar would eventually causes tooth decay which further leads to tooth infection such as an abscessed tooth. This is because, bacteria can quickly thrive on sugar. Sugar feeds bacteria that fuel the fire for infection. If you are thirsty, drink enough water instead of sugar-rich drinks. Water also cleans the mouth and reduces the sugar.
2. Avoid Acidic Beverages
Examples of these beverages include lime juice, lemon juice, and cranberry juice. The acid content in these beverages are high enough to erode teeth enamel if consistently consumed. Below are some tips to note when you drink these beverages
- Sip acidic drinks with a straw rather than drinking them, to avoid tooth enamel erosion.
- Rinse mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages.
- Wait for about 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic beverages, so the toothbrush does not rub acid on the teeth which further damage your teeth.
3. Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is the first defense you can create to prevent tooth infections. A regular dental routine to maintain a good oral hygiene includes brushing, flossing and rinsing. Apart from dental routine, it is also important to choose toothpaste with some natural ingredients.
Replace your toothbrush once in every 3 months of use or when it gets blunt or frayed. Ensure you engage in routine dental flossing. Dental flossing does not only help remove plaque and particles of food, but it also reduces the risk of tooth decay, tooth abscess and further prevent tooth infections. Using a medicated mouth wash can also help remove bacteria and prevent plaque buildup.
Here are some recommendations to follow when brushing and flossing.
Use fluoride toothpaste to brush teeth gently twice every day. You can also use an antiseptic or fluoride mouthwash. Fluoride keeps the teeth plaque-free and inhibits survival of bacteria in the mouth. This strengthens your your teeth and also prevent it from tooth infection.
5. Protect Mouth From Injury
If you participate in high impact sports such as hockey, basketball, football, and lacrosse then it is better to wear a mouth guard to protect teeth from injuries. If you have the habit of grinding teeth then you would need a mouth guard.
6. Regular Dental Visit
It is always advised to visit a doctor at least 2 times in a year for a check-up and cleaning the teeth. This helps to find out any cavities or infection in early stages thus your tooth gets saved.
7. Avoid Constant Snacking
Constant snacking means food and debris would always get stuck between your teeth, encouraging bacterial growth. If you feel like snacking, try healthy mouth-cleansing choices such as apple, celery, and carrots.
8. Avoid Pencil Chewing
Chewing pencil may cause the teeth to break, risking an infection. If you chew pencil out of anxiety, stop it and try chewing sugarless gum. This boosts production of saliva which helps to cleanse your mouth, flush off the toxins and food debris.
9. Avoid Caffeine
Coffee makes your mouth dry, this restricts the flushing of bacteria and food debris. This in turn would eventually decay your tooth.
10. Quit Tobacco Smoking
Smoking damages gums and teeth, attracting bacteria to infect them. Smoking also erodes the tooth enamel slowly.
11. Avoid Binge Eating
Binge eating may sometimes lead to vomiting. Since vomiting is acidic, it can cause erosion of teeth, and an eventual decay.
12. Stay hydrated
This keeps saliva flowing in your mouth freely. Saliva helps to cleanse the mouth steadily, preventing attachment of bacteria to your teeth.