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Dental Bridge Infection Symptoms — How to Spot Them and What to Do About Them
If you’ve got missing teeth, dental bridges are one of the solutions you’re probably thinking about. These prosthetics fill the space between teeth, replacing the missing ones and restoring your ability to chew, speak, and smile. If you take good care of them, dental bridges can last you a lifetime.
However, some problems are outside our control, and no matter how good our oral hygiene might be, they eventually come to trouble us. Infections are among those problems. In the paragraphs below, we’ll take a look at dental bridge infection symptoms, how to recognize them, and what to do if you spot them.
If you need a tooth bridge to replace missing teeth, need some kind of cosmetic dentistry, or are in need of general dentistry in Wheeling, IL, act now and book an appointment.
What Causes Infections Under Dental Bridges
There are a lot of things that could go wrong and result in an infection, especially if the area around the dental bridge is tender and sensitive. Some of the most common cause of infection are:
- Tooth decay — Tooth decay is usually the result of bad hygiene. Food residue, usually sugar, harbors bacteria, and when they release acids, your teeth start to decay. If you’ve got bridges, it might be harder to floss and clean the surrounding teeth, resulting in decay and, consequently, infection.
- Poorly fitting bridges — If your bridges don’t fit well, they’ll irritate your gums. As you can imagine, a poor fit will also make cleaning harder. When you combine irritation and bad hygiene, you have a recipe for infection.
- Gum issues — Teeth are not the only thing that can hurt. There are also your gums. If your bridges don’t fit you well, they might cause gingivitis, which spreads around, causing other problems like periodontitis.
Dental Bridge Infection Symptoms
No matter the cause, infections under a dental bridge will result in a lot of problems. The most obvious signs that you should see a dentist include the following:
- Bad breath — One of the first signs of bacteria and infection is bad breath. If your bridges are loose, you’ll notice bad breath throughout the day. Of course, it might be a result of bad hygiene only and not infection, but you should still contact your doctor.
- Discomfort — Discomfort is not only a sign of ill-fitting bridges. It can also indicate an infection. If your bridges are becoming unbearable, call your dentist.
- Tooth color changing — Although not necessarily related to infections, a change in the color of your teeth might indicate a problem nearby, especially in the areas where the bridges are.
- Swelling and soreness — Soreness and swelling are tell-tale signs that something is wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s your gums, tongue, or cheeks — if you notice swelling, book an appointment with your dentist immediately.
- Leaking and draining — Pus of any kind is often a reason for concern, so don’t hesitate to call your dentist if you notice it.
- Trouble opening your mouth and chewing — While trouble with chewing and opening your mouth might be a sign of something like TMJ disorder, it is also possible it is caused by an infection. If you’ve recently got bridges installed, and you can’t open your mouth, it’s a good idea to seek professional help.
- Pain — Pain anywhere near the mouth is always a worrying sign that something is off. If your teeth, gums, jaws, or face hurt and the painkillers are not helping, call a doctor.
- Fever — Fever is the surest sign of infection somewhere in the body. It might not be your bridges that are causing the trouble, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so call your dentist immediately.
How to Prevent Infections
Infections are usually preventable. We just need to pay more attention to your dental hygiene. Of course, some causes of infection lie outside our control, and no matter what we do, we won’t be able to avoid them. But we’re here to see what we can do.
Brushing regularly is the staple of a good dental hygiene routine. You should brush twice a day at least and use fluoride toothpaste since it strengthens the enamel. In addition, try finding a brush with a tongue cleaner. Our tongues harbor bacteria, too, and they can easily get carried over to the area under the dental bridge.
Brushing is the most important step, but flossing is by no means less important. You should do it after brushing your teeth, especially in the evening. Flossing around and under the dental bridge will remove any food residue and make sure the bacteria have nowhere to dwell.
Mouthwash is great for several reasons. For one, it gives you the feeling of freshness in your mouth. Two, it helps destroy bacteria. Three, it helps combat tooth decay, bad breath, and various gum issues like gingivitis. Even if you don’t have a dental bridge, using something like Listerine daily will do wonders for your mouth hygiene.
Change your diet
Your diet will play the most critical part in maintaining your mouth healthy. You’ve probably heard it said a billion times already, but sugary food, for example, spells nothing but trouble for our teeth. The same goes for bridges. Consuming tons of sugar increases the chances of an infection developing underneath and around the bridges since bacteria love sugar.
Instead of eating cake and sweets, try switching to healthier alternatives. You can eat fruit, get some vitamin supplements, and try a balanced diet. Of course, you should say goodbye to sugary drinks, such as sodas, and always use mouthwash after consuming any such beverages.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is: a dental bridge infection is not likely to disappear on its own. No matter what kind of symptoms you’re experiencing, contact your dentist immediately. They will give you advice and prescribe some medication that will help your mouth become and stay healthy.