How to Treat a Tooth Infection by Dr Glenn MacFarlane

How to Treat a Tooth Infection by Dr Glenn MacFarlane

If you have ever had an infected tooth, you know what a literal pain that can be.

Tooth infections occur when the nerves within your tooth die, due to progressing decay or injury, such as a cracked tooth. Without treatment, bacteria can infect the dead tooth and cause dental abscesses. Tooth infections can also be a result of gum infection, as seen in some cases where gum diseases are present. If you experience bleeding when flossing or brushing your teeth, it may be a sign that there is an underlying dental problem. This can lead to swelling and infections, which can occasionally be life threatening.

If you consume a high-sugar diet, this can create a plaque buildup that produces an acidity that will eventually eat away at the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities or abscesses.

Threats, such as tooth infections, can lead to severe pain, loss of teeth, and serious health implications. Back in 1908, dental infections were 10%-40% lethal. If left untreated, sepsis, endocarditis, soft tissue death and bone tissue infections are just some of the potentially life-threatening complications.

Warning signs of a tooth infection:

  • Persistent and recurring toothaches
  • Pain or sensitivity to any food or drink that’s hot or cold
  • General sensitivity/jolts of pain
  • Fever
  • Swelling and tender lymph nodes
  • Seeing holes or deep pits within the teeth
  • Deeply stained teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in your mouth

Pay careful attention if you also get a headache, fatigue, dizziness, and fever, swollen face, become dehydrated, pulse rate increases, breathing rate increases or even have stomach issues, as these could be signs that the tooth infection has spread elsewhere in your body. NOT A GOOD THING!!

Any of these are a clear sign it is time to visit your dentist.

Traditional Dentistry will recommend:

  • Drainage by making a small incision in your tooth to drain the abscess as a temporary measure, until further treatment can be done.
  • Root canal to remove the infected pulp from the tooth. The inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and filled. A crown is then placed to help restore the tooth.
  • Tooth extraction when an infected tooth cannot be saved through a root canal.
  • Antibiotics that can kill bacteria.

Holistic Dentistry has a totally different philosophy. We encourage the use of non-toxic restoration materials for dental work and focus on the impact that dental toxins and hidden dental infections can have on your overall health. We work with the close connection between dental health and the individual’s nutrition, immune system, and the nervous system, or the mouth/body connection.

A root canal treatment is strongly discouraged at all times, as there are potential risks and side effects associated with root canal treatment. Some are typically minor and temporary. But then there are the other, longer lasting implications.

  • By destroying and removing all the living tissues from which the tooth gets its nourishment and life, the tooth will be completely dead. This has possible links to heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.
  • Root Canal can make the tooth more fragile and sensitive when exposed to pressure, heat or cold and can also lead to the loss of the tooth anyway. In situations of undetected or missed crack in the root of the teeth, bacteria can be reintroduced to the same area which can impact your good teeth, gum, and jaw.
  • Despite best efforts, there is no way to clean and sterilize the infected teeth completely without having bacteria still present in the lateral canals that connect to the ligament which holds the tooth in place. Leftover bacteria produces toxins which will challenge your immune system.

Holistic dentistry will recommend a tooth extraction for many conditions, such as:

  • Tooth and supporting bone structure destroyed due to a severe infection
  • A tooth that is decayed and beyond repair, making a successful restoration impossible
  • Crowding due to the arrival of wisdom teeth and no room to fit in the mouth correctly

While we always strive to avoid extracting a tooth, sometimes tooth extraction is the most effective option to maintain oral health and function.

Dr. Glenn A. MacFarlane earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, graduating in 1985. As an aesthetic focused dentist, he has been dedicated more than 37 years now, to brightening thousands of smiles. He is an expert cosmetic dentist with extensive training in complete smile restoration, using the latest technology and restorative materials dentistry has to offer.

Bottom line, you are being treated by a very well-trained dentist who is very respected in the field, and additionally well versed in the whole-body wellness concept, which involves an awareness of dental care as it relates to your entire body.

Questions or concerns? Please reach out to us to let us better explain Holistic Dentistry and how it can improve your dental health and life overall.

211 Broad Street, Suite 106,
Red Bank, NJ 07701

(732) 517-7785


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