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Address iconAddress: 601 NW Loop 410,
Suite 455 San Antonio, TX 78216
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Hours iconMon - Fri: 7am-4pm
Sat - Sun: Closed

San Antonio Tooth Infection

If you have a tooth infection, we can see you today during our normal business hours and relieve your pain. No referral is needed. We reserve appointments each day to accommodate emergency patients.

Even people who take excellent care of their teeth can experience an infected tooth. But sometimes, infections can occur when people have avoided dental care because of dental anxiety. They put off routine care and may wait until a tooth bothers them before going to the dentist. At Oak Hills Endodontics, we see many anxious patients. We enjoy helping them get the oral care they need with our gentle chairside manner and sedation dentistry options.

Anatomy of a Tooth Infectiona woman holding the left side of her face with her left hand, a pained impression on her face due to tooth infection

Your tooth is covered with enamel. Inside the enamel is dentin, and inside the dentin is the pulp. The pulp has nerves and a blood supply. If the enamel and dentin are damaged, whether by decay or accident, food debris and bacteria can get inside the tooth. As the bacteria multiply, an infection develops in the pulp. Normally, infected tissue swells as the immune system floods it with white blood cells. But tooth pulp has no room to swell—it already fills the entire tooth interior. It may begin by just being sensitive to cold or other stimuli, and can progress to spontaneous, deep, throbbing pain.

Untreated, the tooth pulp will die, and the pain may stop. However, the dead pulp continues to be a source of infection, harboring bacteria until removed by root canal treatment. Infected material may seep out the apical foramen, the tiny hole at the tooth’s root end. Pus might collect near the tooth’s base, resulting in an abscess. You may notice an unpleasant smell or taste, and the tooth may discolor. Your face could swell—sometimes swelling can be severe, creating a medical emergency. Lymph nodes near the infected tooth may be swollen and tender.

When untreated, tooth infection can spread to other parts of your mouth, including your jawbone. In extreme cases, the diseased tooth can cause brain infection, meningitis, or systemic sepsis. These complications can be life-threatening.

Treating an Infected Tooth

When the infection has spread into the bone, treating an infected tooth can begin with a course of antibiotics. But the only way to get rid of the infection is either root canal therapy or extracting the tooth. When you come into our office for your emergency appointment, we’ll relieve your pain right away and schedule you for a follow-up visit to complete your root canal treatment. We offer sedation if you need it; we want you to be comfortable and at ease during your appointment.

If you have an infected tooth, we will see you today during our normal business hours. We keep emergency appointment slots in our schedule for patients needing immediate care. Please call us at 210-342-2444. You do not need a referral.