Having a toothache may not seem like a big deal. But toothaches don’t normally go away on their own and can be quite serious, especially if you leave them untreated. In fact, if you have an infected tooth that isn’t attended to by your dentist, it could easily spread to other areas of your body and even be life-threatening! Read on to learn the signs of a tooth infection so you know when you should contact your emergency dentist in Temple.
What Causes Teeth to Become Infected?
A tooth becomes infected when bacteria advances to the center through a crack, chip, or cavity. Most commonly, this happens because of poor oral hygiene. However, consuming sugary foods and beverages, as well as having dry mouth, increases your risk of getting an infection. If you leave a cracked tooth untreated or a tooth restoration like a crown or filling becomes damaged, its health can be compromised. Over time, the infection can spread to other areas of your body and become much more dangerous.
What Are the Symptoms of a Tooth Infection?
There is a variety of different signs your tooth could be infected. Here are some of the most common:
- Throbbing tooth pain
- Intense jawbone pain
- Swelling of the cheeks
- Increased temperature sensitivity
- Tender or swollen lymph nodes
- Bad breath
- Foul taste in the mouth
- Pressure sensitivity
What Happens When an Infected Tooth Is Left Untreated?
If an infected tooth is not attended to by your dentist, it can result in some very dangerous outcomes:
- Sepsis: If bacteria from the infection progresses to the bloodstream, the immune system becomes weak and makes you susceptible to other infections in the body that you would normally be able to fight off. Signs of sepsis include a high fever, shock, and a rapid heartbeat.
- Respiratory issues: When lungs become affected by bacteria from a tooth infection, it creates the perfect breeding ground for them to multiply. This can make it difficult to breathe and cause a variety of respiratory problems.
- Ludwig’s angina: If the untreated tooth infection spreads to the throat and chest, it can cause swelling which makes it difficult to breathe, swallow, and can even cause suffocation.
If you notice any of these symptoms related to an infected tooth or you have a toothache in Temple, give your emergency dentist a call immediately. The sooner you get treatment, the faster and easier it will be to get back to full health.
About the Author
Dr. Manuel Pazmino grew up in a family of dentists on his way to earning his dental doctorate from New York University. Working in his mother’s dental office as a teenager, Dr. Pazmino went on to work as a dental lab technician while attaining his undergraduate degree. He even met his future wife, Breya, while in dental school. When you are faced with a toothache, it’s simply not worth the risk to wait around and see if it disappears. Dr. Pazmino is ready to serve as your emergency dentist, offering sedation dentistry and same-day appointments. Schedule one on his website or call (254) 778-3587.