Once your tooth develops a large cavity, you may be in a great amount of pain. Often, a deep cavity exposes the interior of your tooth to oral bacteria. This can lead to a dental infection. 

The inner portion of a tooth is called the pulp. The pulp is where the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth reside. Thus, when the pulp becomes inflamed by an infection, the dental nerves are affected, leading to pain or discomfort. 

Every toothache is not caused by a dental infection. Signs of a dental infection include smelly fluid oozing from the area around a tooth. Also, you may notice an abscess or bump on your gums near the tooth. There may also be discoloration of the tooth. 

If you do incur a dental infection, there are several treatment options available. Here are a few of them:

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment is used to eliminate the infection and the pain associated with the infected tooth. During the procedure, the infected pulp is removed from the tooth. Thus, the inflamed dental nerves that are housed in the pulp are also removed. 

Once there is no longer any pulp within the tooth, the tooth's interior is cleansed and disinfected to rid the tooth of any residual bacteria. Next, the tooth is filled and covered with a dental crown. 

The crown restores the appearance of the tooth and provides structural support and protection. Tooth-colored crowns, such as those made of porcelain or porcelain-over-metal, are often used for teeth near the front of the mouth. However, stainless steel or other metal crowns are also suitable but are more often used for the back teeth because of their color.

Tooth Removal

If a root canal is not performed to salvage the tooth, the tooth may require extraction. This is not usually the preferred treatment because of issues that can be caused by a missing tooth. The jawbone may begin to atrophy at the extraction site from the lack of stimulation. In addition, the missing tooth provides room for the other teeth in your mouth to migrate from their proper position. 

If a dental extraction is performed, your dentist may suggest a dental implant to replace the lost tooth. Still, the best option may be the salvage of the current tooth if it is possible. 

To learn more about dental infections and their treatment, schedule a consultation with dentist in your area.