What Should I Do When A Cavity Becomes An Infection?

In our previous blog, we looked at how treatment with fillings could prevent a cavity from becoming a dental infection. But what happens when a tooth does become infected? Well, to protect your smile from tooth loss and pretty severe discomfort, we can perform a root canal procedure. How does a root canal protect smiles in El Paso, TX, from infection, abscesses, or tooth loss?

The Onset of Dental Infection

As we mentioned in previous posts, a cavity happens when the outermost layer of tooth enamel, which typically protects the tooth, becomes compromised. Poor oral hygiene could allow plaque buildup to accumulate and weaken this enamel, eroding it and exposing sensitive inner structure. The tooth could also become cracked or chipped, or worn down due to teeth grinding. When the cavity eventually allows bacteria to reach the inner pulp, your tooth’s nerve center, then an infection begins. Treatment is crucial for avoiding the loss of the tooth and the spread of infection to nearby teeth, or the jawbone itself!

Warning Signs and Treatment Options

Warning signs of an infected tooth could include pain when you bite down or chew, or a toothache that persists day after day. Swelling near the aching tooth is common, as is a discharge from the tooth itself. You may experience headaches, jaw pain, or even a fever. If you have persistent pain or other symptoms, then let us know right away. Treatment involves administering a local anesthetic to ensure you feel comfortable. Next, we open the tooth to remove the infected tissue. After we clean the interior, we add a special restorative material and cure it. The final step is to cap the tooth with a dental crown.

Ensuring a Lifelike Appearance

The crown we cap the tooth with will be custom-made based on detailed impressions and images we take of your smile. We may opt for lifelike materials, such as ceramic, which can not only absorb bite forces, but also contain the same translucent properties as tooth enamel. In fact, we can shade it to match the color of surrounding teeth! You will be able to smile with confidence and eat your favorite foods. Maintaining routine preventive care afterward can protect the rest of your smile as well, so be sure you brush and floss daily, eat healthy foods, and see us for routine checkup and cleaning visits too!


At Sunny Smiles in El Paso, TX, we know that an infected tooth could lead to serious discomfort and in extreme cases, the loss of your tooth. To prevent this with a lifelike treatment option, you should contact our team. For more information, contact our N. Zaragoza dental practice by calling 915-849-9000.