How do I know if I have an infected tooth?

Written by: Professor Christian Mehl
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In one of our latest articles here, distinguished prosthodontics specialist, Professor Christian Mehl, outlines some of the most common signs of an infection in one’s teeth, and reveals whether or not a tooth infection can spread to other parts of the body.

What are some common signs of an infection in the teeth?

There are many signs of an infection in one’s teeth. These include:


  • toothache or pain when chewing or biting
  • sensitivity to hot or cold drinks
  • pain when at rest irradiating to the opposing jaw, the ear, and the back of the head
  • swelling around the tooth or in the face
  • redness or tenderness in the gums
  • a foul-tasting discharge from the infected tooth
  • a fever


How do I know if I have an infected tooth?

The best way to determine if you have an infected tooth is to visit a dental professional. They will be able to examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to determine the cause of any symptoms you are experiencing.


Can a tooth infection spread to other parts of my body?

Yes, a tooth infection can potentially spread to other parts of the body if it is left untreated. The infection can spread to the bones and tissues surrounding the tooth, and in severe cases, it can spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body.


How is a tooth infection treated?

The treatment for a tooth infection will depend on the severity of the infection. Rarely, mild infections may be treated with antibiotics, while most infections may require a root canal procedure to remove the infected tissue from inside the tooth. In some cases, an infected and heavily damaged tooth may need to be extracted.


Can a tooth infection be prevented?

There are several steps you can take to help prevent tooth infections. People should do the following:


  • brush and floss your teeth regularly to remove plaque and prevent gum disease and decay/caries
  • use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your teeth
  • avoid sugary foods and drinks that can contribute to tooth decay
  • visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups


If you wish to schedule in an appointment with revered prosthodontics specialist, Professor Christian Mehl, simply head on over to his Top Doctors profile today.

By Professor Christian Mehl

Professor Christian Mehl is a specialist in prosthodontics at the Wimpole Street Dental Clinic in Marylebone, London. He holds a special interest in dental implants, bone augmentation surgery, oral surgery, aesthetic dentistry, reconstructive periodontal surgery and root canal treatment.

Professor Mehl is a qualified prosthetics (dental restorations) specialist with the German Society of Prosthodontics and the General Dental Council and is a certified implantologist with the German Society of Implantology.

He is a lecturer at the University of Kiel in Germany. Professor Mehl is actively involved in clinical research and development of dental implant systems for which his work has received the Camlog Research Award. His work is regularly published in peer-reviewed journals.

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

  • Related procedures
  • Platelet-rich plasma
    Botulinum toxin (Botox™)
    Dermal fillers
    Oral surgery
    Orthodontic Surgery
    Periodontal Surgery
    Impacted teeth surgery
    Maxillary bone grafts
    Dental implants
    Salivary glands pathology
    This website uses our own and third-party Cookies to compile information with the aim of improving our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences as well analysing your browsing habits. You can change your settings HERE.