Swelling & Infection

Sonoma Endodontics

Dr. Tina Vani

Endodontist located in Petaluma, CA

Swelling around your teeth, in your gums, or in your face indicates a possible infection within a tooth. If you’re experiencing these symptoms and live in Petaluma, California, or the surrounding area, seek out the expert diagnostic and treatment skills of endodontist Dr. Tina Vani at Sonoma Endodontics. Oral swelling deserves immediate attention, so call her office for an appointment or book one online today.

Swelling & Infection Q & A

What causes tooth swelling?

Swelling in a tooth, soft tissue around the tooth, or your face indicates a potential infection. Bacteria may have spread to the internal canals of the tooth that contain nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels -- the area known as the pulp. You may have an abscess, which is caused by severe tooth decay deep at the root. You may also have inflammation surrounding the third molars, also known as the wisdom teeth.

Swelling indicates that the infection has spread or may spread to other teeth and soft tissue, endangering your oral health.

What other symptoms accompany swelling?

Swelling that’s accompanied by a fever needs immediate care. Other alarming symptoms include:

  • Bad breath
  • Sensitivity in the teeth located near the swelling
  • Swollen glands

How should I treat tooth and facial swelling?

Make an immediate appointment with Dr. Vani. Until that appointment, apply cold compresses to the swollen area. Rinse your mouth with cool, clean water, too.

If you have food caught between your teeth, it could contribute to swelling and pain. Do your best to gently remove it with floss.

How is facial and tooth swelling diagnosed?

Dr. Vani reviews your medical and oral health history and does a thorough review of your symptoms. She asks you when the symptoms started and about any pain you’re having. X-rays and a physical exam help her make a diagnosis. She can look for cracks through which infection may have penetrated and note what teeth are affected and any others that may be at risk.

How are swelling and infection resolved?

Dr. Vani addresses the cause of the swelling, which is often an infection deep within the pulp. You may need an immediate root canal, which involves cleaning any infected pulp from inside the tooth. She creates a small hole in the affected tooth, cleanses and disinfects the canals, fills them with gutta-percha -- a rubber-like substance, and seals the tooth. She also arranges for a cap, also known as a crown, to cover the tooth that’s undergone root canal treatment so it looks and functions like all your other teeth. This treatment resolves the infection and brings swelling and pain down almost immediately.

If you have swelling in your face, cheeks, and gums, it usually indicates an infection. Call the office of Sonoma Endodontics for immediate care or book an appointment online.