Five signs of a dental infection that you need to look out for

You are going about your day and notice you have a toothache.

Throughout the day, it worsens, and you are left with the question of whether or not you have an infection and need to see an emergency dentist in Tunbridge Wells.

Luckily, dental abscesses are hard to miss (perhaps luck is the wrong word to use), so if you have any of the following symptoms, you should contact a dental team as soon as possible.

Dental pain

Dental pain from an infection can feel like a constant, dull ache or a sharp, severe pain that comes and goes. It can be exacerbated by biting down, chewing, or exposure to hot or cold temperatures. Some people may also experience spontaneous pain or pain that wakes them up at night. The discomfort may radiate to the ears, jaw, or other parts of the face. The nature and severity of the sensations you feel may vary depending on the severity of the infection and an individual’s pain tolerance. So, all in all, it’s not great!

dentist tooth implant


This is another symptom of an abscess if it appears suddenly! This typically feels like a sharp, short burst of pain or discomfort in response to certain stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures, sweet or acidic food and drinks, or even breathing in cold air. The pain may be felt in one or more teeth and may be temporary or last for a more extended period. Some people may also experience sensitivity to pressure when brushing their teeth.


A dental abscess, or a dental infection, is a pocket of pus that forms from an infection. The swelling associated with a dental abscess is caused by inflammation and fluid build-up in the affected area. Therefore, this will result in swelling. This may be to one part of the face or the mouth and may give you a bit of a chipmunk look. Even if the swelling is not uncomfortable or has occurred gradually, you will still need to see a dental team as soon as possible to have the cause diagnosed.

dentist having a client teeth check-up

Bad breath or foul taste

An abscess can cause bad breath (halitosis) because of bacteria in the abscess. Bacteria in the abscess produce waste products, such as sulphur compounds, which can have a foul odour. Additionally, an abscess can cause a build-up of food particles, which can also contribute to bad breath. The infected area of the tooth may also be releasing an odour from the pus.

So, if you notice persistent bad breath and have a bit of toothache, you may need to schedule an emergency appointment with your dental team.

Fever and nausea

A fever is a symptom that can occur in some individuals with a dental infection. A fever is characterised by an elevated body temperature, typically defined as a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. It’s important to note that a fever may not be present in all cases of dental infections, so if you have any other symptoms mentioned on this list, book an emergency appointment. As is the way with a fever, you may also experience nausea and/or vomiting, so be sure to seek help as soon as you can.

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