Oral health and overall health are linked. If you are experiencing discomfort, it might endanger more than your smile. Recognizing the types of dental infections that need immediate attention protects both your dental health and your total health.

Common Dental Infections

Tooth Abscesses

When bacteria trigger the formation of a pocket of pus at or alongside the root of a tooth, the result is a tooth abscess. It’s a painful dental emergency. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of the body, which means a tooth abscess can become life-threatening.

Symptoms of tooth abscesses include throbbing pain, fever, and sensitivity. You may also notice a foul taste or bad breath. Treatment includes draining the abscess and antibiotics. If the tooth is damaged, it may need to be treated with a filling, root canal, or extraction.

Gum Abscesses

Abscesses can also appear on the gums. It often happens when the gum is injured, and bacteria manage to gain entry. As with any type of abscess, the infection can spread. If you think you have a gum abscess, seek emergency dental care so that it can treated promptly.

Symptoms of a gum abscess include bad breath, fever, pain, and loose teeth. You may also notice your gums bleeding, tender, or receding. Rinsing with salt water may ease your discomfort, but you must seek professional help to manage the abscess. Treatment typically involves draining the abscess and administering antibiotics. If necessary, the dentist will work to minimize the damage the infection causes to surrounding structures.

Tooth Infections

Dental caries, or cavities, are the most common type of tooth infection. They may not cause extensive damage overnight. However, if cavities are left untreated, they can do more harm. That means you’ll experience more pain and your oral health will be more damaged. As a result, your smile will require more extensive and expensive repairs.


Gingivitis is the early form of gum disease. While not a medical emergency, it is a condition that you’ll want to address as soon as possible. Why? Your gums support your teeth, so you need them to be healthy. Allowing gum disease to progress unchecked will only worsen, and you’ll risk tooth loss and other issues.

Symptoms of early gum disease include redness, puffiness, and light bleeding. Treatment includes regular professional cleanings. A robust oral hygiene regimen at home also helps, so asking your dentist for tips is smart.

Periodontal Pockets

Gum pockets, more formally known as periodontal pockets, aren’t useful. They form when gum tissue pulls away from teeth. A periodontal pocket allows bacteria, plaque, food, and other irritants to slip inside and disrupt the tooth’s support structure.

Good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent gum pockets. If you do experience gum pockets, your dentist may suggest a scaling and root planing treatment.

Dental infections require quality care, and you deserve care from a professional team that prioritizes its patients. At Wekiva Dental, we take great pride in helping our patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles. If you’re experiencing any of these dental infections, contact us today to schedule an appointment.