Do You Have a Tooth Infection? Watch For These 9 Common Symptoms

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Little toothaches turn into big problems! It is not uncommon for patients to ignore the start of dental discomfort in hopes that it will resolve on its own. Unfortunately, a slight sensitivity will eventually turn into an unrelenting pain that isn’t always easily relieved without professional dental treatment by a local dentist near you. If an infection is the source of a toothache, it may spread to nearby organs, even the brain, turning an easily treatable tooth issue into a major health concern. Although everyone knows when they have a toothache, there are some symptoms that patients might not realize are caused by a tooth.


Many patients have secondary symptoms, like a sore throat, and don’t realize the cause of the pain is actually their teeth.  A wisdom tooth infection may feel like a sore throat and may even be accompanied by swollen lymph node glands as if you had a common cold. It is important to look out for addition wisdom teeth infection symptoms such as pain in the tooth, swelling of the face and/or jaw, a bad taste or smell in your mouth, or difficulty chewing and contact your dentist immediately for treatment.


Just like with how a wisdom tooth infection can cause a sore throat,  an abscessed molar can be felt in the corresponding ear leaving patients to think they have an ear infection.

It’s always advisable to look for additional symptoms to determine whether you have a tooth infection. Refer to our list of symptoms below.

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    • pain around a tooth or anywhere in the jaw
    • pain while chewing
    • tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, sugar or toothbrush
    • bleeding or swelling around a tooth, gums or anywhere in the mouth
    • pus or a pimple around a tooth or gums
    • pain in or around the ear
    • difficulty or painful swallowing
    • pain or swelling felt outside the mouth such as the throat, eyes, lips or cheeks
    • inflamed gums, sore throat, and earache

Although many people try to put off going to the dentist as long as they can with a toothache, it’s important to get your symptoms checked out as soon as possible. Sometimes tooth, jaw or cheekbone pain may be the result of a different health issue, such as gum disease, TMJ, a sinus infection, ear infection, or even something more serious, such as a heart attack.


There are a number of reasons that a person could be experiencing the pain of a toothache, including;

      • cavity
      • tooth abscess (infection)
      • gum disease
      • tumors (benign or malignant)
      • trauma
      • cracked tooth
      • wisdom teeth
      • sinus, ear or throat infection



      • Do try over-the-counter pain medication such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (check with your doctor first)
      • Do apply oral numbing gels around the affected tooth
      • Do apply ice packs for swelling
      • Do apply moist heat for soreness
      • Don’t place aspirin on your tooth, gums or cheek (it may burn the tissue)
      • Don’t take any medication such as antibiotics or narcotics that were not prescribed for you or for your toothache
      • Don’t ignore your symptoms


Thanks to emergency dental care, patients no longer have to suffer needlessly. At Hawley Lane Dental in Stratford, we have a same-day policy for treating all dental emergencies and injuries, such as:

      • toothaches
      • abscesses
      • broken or chipped tooth
      • lost tooth
      • lost crown
      • broken dentures
      • painful gums

Whether it’s because of dental anxiety or worry over the cost of dental treatment, patients who choose to ignore a toothache or choose not to have necessary dental treatment will eventually be faced with more complex and costly procedures. At worst, a toothache ignored for a long period of time may result in tooth extraction as the option. Not only can toothaches lead to tooth loss, they may adversely affect a patient’s overall health.

Once the cause of your toothache has been diagnosed, we will outline the best treatment option for you such as a filling, root canal, deep cleaning, crowns or caps, dental bridge, dental extraction or dental implant. Call us today at 203-377-9300 to tell us about your symptoms or make an appointment for a dental exam!

Inflamed Gums, Sore Throat, and Earache

When a tooth has decayed or is infected, pain and inflammation can radiate throughout the area, causing inflamed gums, sore throat, and earache symptoms. Infections and abscesses can often cause ear pain, leading the patient to suspect an ear infection. Conversely, an earache can also lead to tooth pain. If you have inflamed gums, a sore throat, or an earache in addition to symptoms listed above on this page, we recommend getting in to see us as soon as possible. Infections can spread quickly, and in addition to being incredibly painful, can also be incredibly dangerous.


Check out what Virginia had to say about us on Google.

“Dr. Gretzula and her staff are fantastic. I’ve been a patient for years and always have a positive experience. Had a very large filling replaced yesterday and no pain. None. Zero! I highly recommend her and her staff.”

5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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About The Author:

Dr. Kristy Gretzula has made it her commitment to fully understand and cater to the dental needs of her patients. She graduated with honors in Biology from Susquehanna University. While studying there, she conducted microbiology research through a grant from the National Institute of Health. Dr. Kristy Gretzula went on to receive her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from New York University’s College of Dentistry. During her time at NYU, she augmented her training at Brooklyn Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and NYU Faculty Practice. Dr. Kristy Gretzula prides herself on being a top-rated female family dentist near you and is a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and the Connecticut State Dental Association. See more about Dr. Kristy Gretzula