Tooth Infections Can Spread: Here's What You Should Know
If you are experiencing tooth pain, it's important to take action right away. Ignoring tooth pain can lead to a tooth infection, and tooth infections can spread to other parts of your body.
In this blog post, we will discuss what tooth infections are, how to know if you have one, and the dangers of not taking care of them. We will also provide some tips on how you can prevent tooth infections from occurring in the first place.
What is a tooth infection?
A tooth infection is an infection that occurs in the tooth, the gums, or the jawbone. Bacteria cause tooth infections. This often happens when you have an untreated cavity or a cracked or chipped tooth that has not been sealed.
Tooth infections that get into the root of your tooth can turn into a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection. It will not heal on its own and requires medical intervention.
How do I know if I have a tooth infection?
If you are experiencing tooth pain, a particularly sensitive tooth, swollen gums, or fever, you may have a tooth infection or tooth abscess. An abscess can sometimes appear as a painful lump on your gums above your tooth. If you think you may have a tooth infection or abscess, it is essential to see your dentist right away.
How can a tooth infection spread?
A tooth infection can spread to other parts of your body through your bloodstream. Because your bloodstream is connected to all of your major organs, an untreated tooth infection can wreak havoc anywhere in your body.
If the infection spreads to your brain, it can cause a severe condition called meningitis. Meningitis is a potentially fatal inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord.
If the infection spreads to your heart, it can cause endocarditis, which is an inflammation of the inner lining of your heart. This can damage your heart valves which can require surgery to fix.
Why is it important to take care of a tooth infection?
If you don't take care of a tooth infection, it can lead to more pain, serious health issues, and higher medical costs than taking care of it immediately. If you think you may have a tooth infection, see your dentist right away.
How is a tooth infection treated?
A tooth infection is treated by cleaning out the infected tooth and surrounding tissues. This process usually requires a root canal procedure to seal off the infection from spreading to anywhere else in your body.
If you have a tooth abscess, it will need to be drained. If the damage is severe enough and the tooth cannot be saved, it will need to be extracted.
In some cases, you may also need antibiotics to clear any remaining infection. Your dentist or oral surgeon will have a treatment plan to ensure you are protected from further damage.
How can I prevent tooth infections?
There are a few things you can do to prevent tooth infections:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth every day.
- See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
- Don't smoke.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
Following these simple tips can help you prevent tooth infections and keep your smile healthy! Tooth infections can become severe if not taken care of right away. If you think you may have a tooth infection, see your dentist as soon as possible. Neglecting a tooth infection can lead to more pain, serious damage, infection in other parts of your body, and higher medical costs.