Can I Use Mouthwash to Treat a Tooth Infection?

Can I Use Mouthwash to Treat a Tooth Infection?

Mar 01, 2023

Tooth infections cause intense pain and discomfort. So, when they strike, you will need immediate treatment and relief. This may seem impossible when you cannot reach the dentist near you. Fortunately, you can find relief by using mouthwash. Read on to learn whether using mouthwash can treat an infection.

What Causes a Tooth Infection?

Bacteria and plaque enter when a tooth has a cavity or cracks reaching the dental pulp. The tissues, nerves, and blood vessels inside the pulp chamber become infected. As a result, you will have tooth abscesses. Tooth infections can occur on any of the teeth and spread to the jawbone.

You must visit a dentist’s office near you when you have an infection. Untreated tooth infections can lead to sepsis, meningitis, or angina. Bacteria from a tooth infection can spread to the blood through the gums leading to sepsis. Sepsis is a fatal blood infection with symptoms like high fever, rapid heart rate, and difficulty breathing.

Meningitis occurs when the infection spreads to the bloodstream leading to inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. Tooth infections can also lead to Ludwig’s Angina when the bacteria spread to the throat. This infection causes extreme inflammation and swelling of the airway.

How Can I Tell I Have a Tooth Infection?

You can know you have an infected tooth if you have some or all the symptoms below.

  • Intense or throbbing toothache
  • Sensitivity to pressure on the tooth
  • Swelling in the gum, jaw, and neck glands
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Bitter taste
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold substances

Treating Tooth Infections

When you visit the dentist with symptoms of an infected tooth, they will perform a diagnosis. They will use diagnostic tools like scans and x-rays to view the inside of the tooth. It helps to determine the presence and scope of infection. Then, they will create an appropriate treatment plan.

The severity of the infection determines the treatment provided. Fortunately, dentists offer pain-free dentistry in Ellicott City, MD. If you have a mild tooth infection, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics to treat the disease. They will also clean the tooth thoroughly and repair any cracks or cavities.

However, they will perform a root canal treatment if the infection is severe. It is a procedure that involves drilling the infected tooth to access the pulp. The dentist will flush out all the bacteria, damaged and dead tissues. Next, they will apply an antibacterial solution to the area. Finally, they will seal the tooth and restore it with a crown.

Can I Treat a Tooth Infection With Mouthwash?

Yes, you can use mouthwash to treat a tooth infection. Antiseptic mouthwashes can reduce pain caused by an infection in or around the tooth. They disinfect the area by killing or reducing bacteria helping your tooth heal. Using mouthwash helps relieve infections like periapical abscesses, pulpitis, or gingivitis.

However, you should avoid mouthwashes with high alcoholic content. Rinsing your mouth with them frequently can cause gum irritation. Another reason not to use mouthwash often is it causes a pH imbalance in the mouth. It strips away the helpful bacteria in your mouth, which can cause oral health issues.

Although mouthwash can treat tooth infections, you should not substitute it for dental care. It will only provide temporary relief to the symptoms of an infected tooth. Visit the dentist for an evaluation and treatment of the tooth infection.

Treating Tooth Infections at Home

Pain from an infected tooth can disrupt your usual routine. Here are ways to treat tooth infections as you prepare to visit the dentist’s office near you.

  1. Use salty water to rinse your mouth and reduce the inflammation.
  2. Swish a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in your mouth for some minutes and spit it out. It will reduce inflammation and pain.
  3. Crush some garlic and apply it to the infected tooth. It acts as an antibiotic because it contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  4. Chew a whole clove or apply clove oil to the infected tooth. It has antiseptic properties that kill bacteria and treat an infected tooth.
  5. Turmeric has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Apply a paste made of water and turmeric powder to the affected tooth.

Have you noticed any symptoms of a tooth infection? Contact us immediately at Julian Center for Comprehensive Dentistry. We provide top-notch dental care to patients of all ages.

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