There are several causes of dental infections and these can be mild to severe. For example, when a cavity in a tooth enlarges, it can reach the inside of the tooth. This allows the bacteria to affect the nerves and cause a tooth infection.
The main cause of tooth infection is poor dental hygiene which makes it easy for harmful bacteria to cause infection. The most common type of infection is a tooth abscess. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body, causing serious and even life-threatening complications. Here are some without the dental infection having spread to other parts of the body. Don’t ignore it, ok?
1. How do teeth get infected?
Teeth become infected when bacteria enter the teeth through gaps, cracks, or cavities. Your risk factors for developing a tooth infection increase if you have:
Poor dental hygiene practices, such as not regularly brushing and flossing .
High sugar diet.
Dry mouth , which is often caused by aging or as a side effect of taking certain medications.
2. Signs and symptoms of a tooth infection that has spread to other parts of the body
Dental infections rarely spread to other parts of the body. However, if this happens, the consequences can be severe.
Reported by Medical News Today , the following signs and symptoms could indicate that a dental infection has spread to other parts of the body. If you experience one or more of these, seek medical attention immediately.
Tongue and mouth feel very sore.
Swelling of the face, cheeks, or neck.
Trismus or difficulty opening the mouth.
Itchy or burning sensation on the skin.
Nausea and vomiting.
Double vision or loss of vision.
The eyelids drooped.
It’s hard to breathe.
3. What happens when a tooth infection spreads to other parts of the body?
Our mouths are full of bacteria from food, saliva, and plaque. Sometimes, these bacteria can enter the teeth or the area under the gums. This can lead to a tooth infection, or a tooth abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus and bacteria that forms in body tissues.
In most cases, dental infections are easy to treat. However, if you don’t get treatment right away, you are at risk for the following complications:
Osteomyelitis: Infection of the bone around the teeth.
Cavernous sinus thrombosis: Infection of the blood vessels within the sinuses.
Cellulitis: Infection of the skin and fat under the skin.
Parapharyngeal abscess: An abscess at the back of the mouth.
Sepsis: This is a serious medical condition when the immune system overreacts to an infection in the blood.
Without treatment, the tooth infection can spread to the face and neck. Severe infections can even reach more distant parts of the body. In some cases, the infection can become systemic, affecting multiple tissues and systems throughout the body.
4. When should you go to the dentist?
Not all toothaches are serious health problems. However, if you are experiencing toothache, you should immediately seek treatment before it gets worse. See a dentist for a same day appointment if the toothache lasts more than a day or is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
Pain when chewing or biting.
If there is a broken or loose tooth, see a dentist immediately. While waiting for your dentist appointment, the following can provide some relief:
Take pain relievers such as ibuprofen.
Avoid hot or cold drinks and food.
Avoid chewing on the side a toothache occurs.
Eat cold, soft foods.
The type of treatment for a tooth infection depends on several factors, including:
The initial location of the abscess.
Whether and to what extent the infection has spread.
The extent to which the immune system reacts to infection.
Some of the possible treatments for a tooth infection may include:
1. Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment may be needed to treat abscesses deep within the tooth. This procedure involves drilling into the tooth to remove the dental pulp, bacteria, and pus accumulation within the root.
The dentist then fills the space with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha . After the tooth has healed, a crown can be placed or a permanent filling can be placed to prevent further infection.
Sometimes, root canal treatment is not enough to get rid of a tooth infection. In that case, the dentist may recommend a procedure called an apicoectomy or root tip resection.
This procedure involves opening the gums, removing the root tips of the teeth, and removing the infected tissue.
The dentist may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the infection and stop it from spreading before providing more permanent treatment.
If the infection has spread, a person may need a longer course of antibiotics. Or, they may need to switch to a different type of medication. They may also need hospitalization to receive stronger antibiotics.
In certain cases, it may be necessary to drain or drain pus directly from the site of infection. For example, drainage may be needed to drain pus from a tooth abscess that has spread to the cheek.
To do this, the doctor or dentist numbs the area, makes a small incision, and removes pus and fluid from the gums.
5. Treatment of sepsis
Sepsis is a serious medical condition that occurs when the immune system overreacts to an infection in the blood. Untreated sepsis can lead to septic shock. With septic shock, a person’s blood pressure becomes very low, which can lead to organ failure and even death.
People with sepsis require treatment in an intensive care unit, which usually involves antibiotics and intravenous fluids.
Other treatments may be needed to support organs and limit damage from infection. Such treatment may include dialysis or surgery.
6. Prevention of tooth infection
There are a few tips to reduce your risk of developing a dental infection:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Do not rinse or drink anything immediately after brushing your teeth.
Clean between teeth with dental floss at least once a day.
Limit intake of sugary foods and drinks.
Regular check-ups with the dentist.
If you have a tooth infection, don’t delay making an appointment with the dentist.
Most dental infections are easy to treat. However, if left untreated, dental infections can spread to other parts of the body. When the infection spreads, this can quickly lead to more serious and even potentially fatal complications. If there are signs of a dental infection that has spread to other parts of the body , seek medical attention immediately.
The best way to prevent dental infections is to maintain good oral hygiene and not to miss regular check-ups with the dentist.