There are several reasons why a dentist may need to extract one of your teeth; it may be decayed, or it may need to go to make a little more room in your mouth. Whatever the cause, tooth extraction usually goes swimmingly. However, there's always a small chance of infection. Your mouth contains bacteria, and that bacteria can cause an infection if it gets into the socket left after extraction.
Infections are nothing to worry about. Your dentist will simply give you some antibiotics and possibly drain any pus to speed up the recovery process. However, you should still treat infections as a dental emergency and see a professional as soon as possible since infections can spread and pain can get worse. With that in mind, watch out for these four common warning signs of socket infection after tooth extraction.
When you first leave the dentist after an extraction, the area is going to feel numb. As the anaesthetic wears off, you may experience some minor pain and discomfort, especially when you need to eat or drink. If the socket gets infected, the pain will get worse around the extraction site. Left untreated, the pain will spread across the entire mouth. If caused by an infection, this pain will not respond well to traditional over-the-counter painkillers.
Swelling is a sure sign of oral infection. If the socket is extracted after tooth extraction, swelling will start around the extraction site. Of course, that area may have swelled slightly anyway, but it should go down quickly instead of getting worse. As the infection spreads, the jaw and glands on your neck may also become swollen.
3. Pus Discharge
When your body suffers an infection, it tends to produce pus, a thick yellow or white fluid made from dead tissue, cells and bacteria. Pus will build up in the socket and usually leak into your mouth. You might not be able to see it, but you should notice a bitter, salty taste, especially when you bite down.
Sometimes your body temperature rises when you're fighting an infection. This is known as a fever. Biologists aren't quite sure why this needs to happen, but fever after a tooth extraction is a sure sign you have an infection – in fact, a raised temperature is a sign you might have a serious infection, so don't delay your trip to an emergency dentist. Even a low-grade fever is cause for concern.
For more information on emergency dental work, contact your local dental office.