Can GP Help With Tooth Infection?

Can GP Help With Tooth Infection

Can GP Help With Tooth Infection?

A tooth infection can be a very painful and uncomfortable experience, which may lead to further complications if you don’t get it looked at. You may be wondering which of your health providers best equipped to deal with a tooth infection. In this article, we will address the question ‘can GP help with tooth infection?’, which we hope you find useful.

What is a tooth infection?

If bacteria enters the mouth, this can spread, and cause the teeth and gums to become infected. This could form a dental abscess, which is a pocket of pus that is caused by a bacterial infection. The abscess can form on the inside of the tooth, or on the surrounding gum.

An abscess may develop because of gum disease, untreated tooth decay, or damage to the tooth.

A tooth infection can also develop due to poor oral hygiene, inadequate dental care, dry mouth, or consuming a high intake of sugar.

What are the signs of tooth infection?

Here are the signs to look out for:

  • Excruciating pain in the teeth or gums, which doesn’t go away with painkillers.
  • Tooth pain that spreads to your ear, jaw and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum.
  • Tooth pain which worsens when chewing, drinking, or lying down.
  • Stiff neck
  • Open, oozing sore on the gums.
  • Swelling and redness of your gums, jaw and face.
  • Sensitivity to very hot or very cold food and drinks.
  • High temperature.
  • Foul or bitter taste in the mouth or foul-smelling breath.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness.

If you can’t get an emergency dentist appointment in time, then we would urge you to seek advice from the NHS 111 service, who will ask you about your symptoms and then refer you to the most appropriate service.

What are signs that a tooth infection has spread to the body?

If your tooth infection spreads to other areas of your body, this can be dangerous.

You should visit A&E as soon as possible if your tooth infection also brings additional symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Blurry vision

Can GP help with tooth infection?

Can GP Help With Tooth Infection
Can GP Help With Tooth Infection

If your tooth infection brings on additional symptoms such as facial swelling, or pain in the neck or jaw, then you may be thinking of contacting your GP for an appointment.

So, can GP help with tooth infection?

Well, if you have developed a tooth infection, then the best person to visit is a dentist, rather than a GP.

You should see a dentist as soon as possible, as they are highly trained and equipped to deal with tooth problems and dental emergences.

GPs have a great deal of medical knowledge and expertise, but they do not have the specialist knowledge of dentistry that dental professionals do. Additionally, a GP cannot carry out any dental procedures such as teeth cleaning, tooth extraction, drainage, or root canal treatment, which may be needed if your tooth is infected.

Moreover, a GP does not have the necessary equipment and lighting needed to clearly see inside a patient’s mouth and determine if antibiotics are the correct approach, or if further treatment is required.

Your GP may be able to prescribe you antibiotics to treat a possible infection, but this may not address the full problem of the tooth infection. You may need to get your dental abscess drained, or you may need a tooth extraction or root canal treatment.

Instead, the GP will recommend that you visit a dentist as soon as possible, to get your tooth infection examined and treated as per the dentist’s specialist knowledge.

That is why it is imperative to turn to a dental professional in the event of a dental emergency.

What treatment is needed for a tooth infection?

Depending on how severe your tooth infection is, there are different treatments available. Your dentist will offer you the most appropriate treatment to reduce your pain and discomfort and get rid of the bacteria that caused the infection.

If you have a dental abscess, the dentist may drain away the build-up of pus; or, they may carry out a root canal treatment, and you will be given a local anaesthetic so you don’t feel any pain. Alternatively, the dentist may extract the infected tooth.

Your dentist may prescribe you an antibiotic to eliminate the tooth infection.

Can GP Help With Tooth Infection
Can GP Help With Tooth Infection

What might happen if I don’t get my tooth infection looked at?

There are many health complications that could occur if you don’t get a tooth infection treated by a dentist.

Ignoring gingivitis and bacterial infections of the teeth can lead to periodontitis, which damages the soft tissue and, without treatment, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

In addition, the roots of the upper teeth are located close to the sinuses, so a tooth infection can spread throughout the body and block your airways, making it difficult for you to breathe, as you sleep.

An infected tooth can also affect your heart health: research has shown that people with gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and tooth infection are more likely to suffer cardiovascular problems such as a heart attack and stroke.

As you can see, an untreated tooth infection can cause a barrage of health problems. The earlier you get seen by a dental professional, the faster they will be able to help you overcome your problem, prevent further damage, and instruct you on the correct aftercare.

Emergency dental care at Didsbury Dental Practice

Can GP Help With Tooth Infection
Can GP Help With Tooth Infection

At Didsbury Dental Practice, our emergency dental care is second to none.

Our emergency dental care service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including on Bank Holidays and Christmas Day.

Our team of dental professionals can provide treatment for any type of dental emergency: from severe toothache and tooth infections to broken teeth, lost fillings or gum inflammation.

Didsbury Dental Practice has got you covered, at any time of day or night. Dental emergencies can be very painful, so we offer out-of-hours treatment because we know that dental problems don’t always stick to 9.00 am to 12.00 am.

To book an emergency appointment with us, it is not necessary for you to be an existing patient at our practice.

If you experience a dental emergency, simply call our dental emergency helpline on 0161 413 2509, or walk into our dental practice, and we will aim to see you as soon as possible.

We also offer compassionate dental care for nervous patients, because we understand that dentist appointments can bring on feelings of anxiety. Click here to learn more about our services for nervous patients.

Click here to learn more about the emergency dental care offered at Didsbury Dental Practice.

What are home remedies I can use to deal with a tooth infection?

If you have a tooth infection, always follow the advice of your dentist or physician.

Follow these at-home methods to ease swelling, pain and discomfort:

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