A tooth infection or dental abscess can be an incredible painful thing to experience. If you have ever experienced one or if you want to avoid ever having one, then it is a good idea to know what causes infections to occur.
Whilst the causes of tooth infections are not always the same, knowing the leading causes can help to prevent you from ending up in dental pain. See a general dentist Los Angeles when you experience even a slight toothache.
What Causes Tooth Infection?
Tooth abscesses normally occur when foreign bodies or bacteria are able to interact with the centre of the tooth. The pulp, roots and nerves of the tooth are normally protected by layers of protective substances, such as tooth enamel, which also help to give the tooth its hardness.
However, if imperfections appear in these protective layers, then sugar, acids and harmful bacteria may be able to get to the centre of the tooth and can cause an infection to occur.
If this happens, then it is likely that you will start to experience a very painful toothache. See this recent post on toothache for more information.
Imperfections in the protective outer layers of teeth can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common reasons are dietary reasons or because of the tooth experiencing physical trauma. Diets which are full of sugary or acidic substances are very bad for the teeth, because they decay the protective enamel.
Tooth decay can lead to small holes (known as cavities) appearing in the enamel. Once a small cavity develops, it can grow larger quite quickly, as the tooth’s first line of protection is gone.
Physical trauma to the teeth can create a crack in the enamel which it is easier for harmful substances to penetrate.
If a tooth infection is left untreated, it can spread to the jaw bone, and further around the body. If your tooth infection is allowed to progress in this way, it can cause serious health issues.
Although “tooth infection” normally only refers to abscesses which occur inside the tooth itself, it is also possible to develop abscesses in the gums.
The gums are affected by many of the same foods that affect teeth. Smoking can also cause the gums to be more likely to develop an infection. Whilst gum abscesses actually start in the gums, they can spread to the teeth.
This means that it is possible to get a tooth infection whilst the enamel on the teeth still seems to be perfectly healthy.
Ask your Top Dentist in Los Angeles about treating gum disease to reduce your chances of developing an abscess.