Abscessed Tooth Dangers

If you notice small pouches filled with pus around your teeth, chances are that you have a tooth abscess. Tooth abscesses occur when your mouth is infected by bacteria, or has untreated cavities and oral wounds. They have to be treated immediately as teeth cannot heal themselves. An untreated dental abscess can lead to serious complications in your health. In some rare cases, these complications can even be fatal.

tooth abscess

The Dangers of Abscessed Tooth

Here are some common dangers of abscessed tooth if it is left untreated.

1.   Fistulas

They can appear on your gums as a result of chronic abscesses. Fistulas usually appear as small white or red pockets on your gum line. A visible fistula can serve as an avenue for the pus to drain out on its own. 

2.   Tooth Loss

It is one of abscessed tooth dangers. It may occur when the abscess causes an infection in the bone that is attached to your tooth. If too much of the bone is damaged, this can result in a condition called periodontitis which causes your tooth to come loose and ultimately fall out.

3.   Sinus Infections

Sinus infections can also occur, especially if the abscesses are located near your upper molars. The roots of upper teeth are situated in close proximity with your sinuses, increasing the risk of contaminating them with pus.

4.   Ludwig’s Angina

It is a serious infection that occurs around the face and lower jaw, caused by tooth abscesses that are left untreated for a very long time, especially in adults. The excess buildup of abscesses can actually block the airways and cause suffocation that leads to death.

5.   Brain Abscesses

Brain abscesses occur when the infections are transported via your blood vessels to the brain. In the worst scenarios, this can cause you to enter into a coma.

6.   Bacterial Endocarditis

It happens when the abscess infections travel through the blood vessels straight to your heart, leading to fatal infections.

7.   Infection of the Surrounding Bones

Facial bones such as the mandible and maxilla are very sensitive to infections and will deteriorate quickly upon exposure. They may need to be removed via surgery in order to prevent the infection from spreading further.

8.   Septicemia

It is another of the more serious abscessed tooth dangers and occurs when the entire bloodstream gets infected. This happens when the body releases a surge of antibodies via blood towards the infected area, causing the abscess to rupture and spill pus into the bloodstream. This condition is life-threatening and will require intravenous antibiotics and long-term hospitalization.

9.   Osteomyelitis

This condition occurs when the abscess contaminates the bones and bloodstream with bacteria. Symptoms include very hot body temperature, nausea, and unbearable pain in the infected bones. This condition will need to be treated with antibiotics.

When to See a Doctor

If you begin to experience any of the following symptoms, and if your symptoms do not disappear with treatment, it is best to consult with your doctor immediately in order to prevent more serious consequences:

  • Stiff neck
  • High fever
  • Oral bleeding
  • Constant and severe pain
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Lethargy, dizziness, and headaches
  • Uncomfortable pain around the ear
  • Sensitivity to light and changes in vision
  • Swelling, redness, and rashes around the face

Treatment for Abscessed Tooth

Abscessed teeth need immediate health care. The possible treatment options include:

1.   Prompt Treatment of Cavities and Traumatized Teeth

The point of any treatment should be to drain the abscess to stop the spread of abscessed tooth dangers to other parts of your mouth and body. Your doctor will take measures to preserve your tooth and prevent possible complications.

2.   Antibiotics

Antibiotics can get rid of the germs in your mouth that cause the development of abscesses in the first place, consequently repairing damages to the bones and teeth. Tooth abscess antibiotics such as penicillin are usually prescribed after an infection is detected via x-ray. Antibiotics are usually used if the infection has already spread to other areas; isolated infections may not necessarily need to be treated with antibiotics.

3.   Warm Salt Water Rinse

Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water is effective in cleaning your mouth whenever an abscess erupts on its own. This is also a quick fix to help minimize pain and discomfort after you get treated by a dentist.

4.   Over-The-Counter (OTC) Pain Medication

Another way of alleviating pain from abscesses is to take over-the-counter meds. However, take note that these medications will only be able to relieve discomfort and will not actually heal the abscess itself.

5.   Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is another more drastic way of ensuring that you can keep your tooth in spite of abscesses. This procedure is done by filling and sealing the infected tooth’s root canals and pulp chamber after extracting dirt, bacteria, and infections. However, this option is only viable if the tooth is sturdy enough to hold the restoration work in place.

6.   Extraction of Infected Tooth

If your tooth can no longer be saved, there is no other choice but to have it extracted to prevent further infections. After the tooth has been removed and the abscesses drained, the remaining infected tissue will then be scraped off your gums to clean the surrounding area. This will allow your wounds to heal and ensure that the abscessed tooth dangers are completely eradicated.

7.   Surgery

Surgery will be needed to drain abscesses that have spread to other areas like your neck or the floor of your mouth. Stubborn abscesses that remain or get even bigger after treatment will also need surgery.

8.   Hospitalization

In very serious cases, you may need to be hospitalized for infections that cause life-threatening or urgent complications.

How to Prevent Abscessed Tooth

Abscessed tooth is a dangerous situation that you may want to avoid in the first place. Try these tips to prevent tooth abscess.

  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid eating sugar.
  • Avoid gum infections and tooth decay.
  • Brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth to clean hard-to-reach areas.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent cavities.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups.
 
 
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