Almost everyone experiences a toothache occasionally—but have you ever had one so painful that you felt like it was killing you? These pesky little aches are usually easily treatable and have no major implications; however, in some cases, the underlying causes for the ache can develop into serious, sometimes fatal problems. Keep reading to learn more from your emergency dentist about tooth infections, when they can be potentially deadly, and some ways to protect yourself.
What Causes Toothaches?
Toothaches occur when the nerves in your mouth and teeth send signals of discomfort to your brain. There are many possible causes for this, but a few common ones include:
- Tooth decay & cavities – This is the cause of most toothaches and is caused by harmful bacteria.
- Gum disease – Your gums can become swollen and tender as bacteria gets trapped underneath the gum line. If left untreated, it can lead to painful toothaches and other oral health problems.
- Fractured Tooth – If you get hit in the face or sustain a facial injury, it might result in a chipped or cracked tooth.
- Wisdom teeth eruption – As your wisdom teeth grow and erupt from your gums, you can experience pain and discomfort.
- Abscess or Infection – These issues usually result from the previously mentioned issues being left untreated. When this happens, severe pain accompanied by swelling and bad breath is usually the result.
Can a Tooth Infection Be Fatal?
A toothache itself cannot kill you—but an untreated infection certainly can, meaning that toothaches can technically be fatal. That said, if you’re experiencing symptoms that might indicate an abscess or infection, you should contact your emergency dentist immediately and schedule a visit. They will be able to inspect your mouth, determine the root of the issue, and prescribe treatment accordingly. If an infection is present, you’ll likely be given an antibiotic to eliminate or reduce the infection. Since your mouth is connected to many of your bodily systems, it is imperative that you seek treatment for a tooth infection quickly as to avoid serious problems from developing—your immune system, your blood stream, and even your brain is at risk!
Tips for Preventing Tooth Infections
Although there are some serious repercussions that stem from an untreated tooth infection, there are also many ways that you can actively reduce your risk of infection. Consider the following:
- Limit your sugar intake by avoiding sweets, sodas, and processed foods.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes.
- Floss daily—flossing is just as important as brushing!
- Consider using an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Drink plenty of water, opting for tap water when possible (it often has fluoride added to it).
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products!
Toothaches aren’t fun at all—even the small ones can be quite annoying! But the big ones, if left untreated, can have some dangerous implications for your overall health. That said, if you’re experiencing a severe toothache, monitor your symptoms and do not hesitate to let your dentist know.
About the Practice
Prime Dentistry of Denton proudly serves patients and families in Denton, TX under the leadership of Dr. Rajiv Shekhadiya and Dr. Dhiren Ahir! Together they combine several years of experience and expertise to offer a wide range of available services, including emergency dentistry! If you have any questions about the article or need to schedule a visit, you can contact the practice through their website or by phone: (940) 514-0333.