Pain & discomfort due to a tooth infection may have walked you to a dentist. But have you ever thought what are the causes of a tooth infection?

Root Canal Infection

Tooth Infection

Did You Know?

According to a recent study, ~13% of adults get treated for dental infections within four years. [1]

Moreover, 1 in 2600 persons in the US requires hospitalization due to such infections. [2]

4 Causes of Teeth Infection

A dental infection may result from one or more factors.

Nonetheless, knowing these 4 major causes of oral infection is important.

1️⃣ Poor Oral Hygiene

As simple as it sounds, this is one of the most basic factors overlooked by patients in their daily life. It includes: [3]

  • Irregular and wrong techniques for brushing
  • Not cleaning gums and tongue while brushing
  • Not flossing regularly and not rinsing after meals

2️⃣ Increased Sugar Intake

An increased sugar concentration can eventually lead to dental caries. [4]

This further progresses to the inner tooth tissues to form dental infections.

3️⃣ Being Ignorant

Neglecting early signs and symptoms of tooth infection can add up to your problem.

Moreover, ignoring routine check-ups by dental professionals can lead to the progress of any existing infections. [5]

4️⃣ Dry Mouth and Physiological Causes

Saliva cleanses sticky food, bacteria, and plaque. It prevents dental cavities and gum diseases.

Lack of saliva in a dry mouth can increase the tendency to develop an infection. [6]

Sometimes, the eruption of a wisdom tooth can also cause swelling in the gums. [7]

It results from food accumulation and failure to practice adequate oral hygiene.

This can eventually lead to the formation of an associated abscess (collection of pus). [8]

How Tooth Infection Spreads?

Any infection in the tooth occurs primarily due to improper oral hygiene.

When food starts accumulating, it forms a microbial layer called dental plaque.

It is a thin bacterial film that forms on exposed tooth surfaces in the mouth. [9]

As the microbes grow, they break down the sugar components of the food. It decreases the pH, making it acidic. [10]

Thus, leading to the breakdown of the topmost tooth layer (enamel).

It then gradually progresses into the inner layers (dentin & pulp), later forming an abscess.

A periapical infection around the tooth root forms in the bone.

Additionally, the plaque layer can also enter gums, leading to inflammation.

It can also result in periodontal or dental sinus infection if left untreated.

Source: National Library of Medicine [11]

Final Word

We wanted you to understand that the protection of teeth is pivotal.

Watch out for these 4 major causative factors of tooth infection.

Don’t forget to reduce your intake of harmful & sugary foods.


Foods rich in sugar, like candies, cakes, sodas, beverages, and sweets, prove harmful to the teeth. [13]

Sticky, hard, or refined starchy foods stay longer on the tooth surfaces.

Thus, attracting bacteria to cause dental caries infections. [14]

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