Dental Infections: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?
Many people do their best to avoid going to the dentist, even though regular visits to a dental practitioner are recommended for good dental health. However, due to busy lives and maybe even fear, individuals tend to downplay the severity of their dental problems until a situation becomes practically unbearable. Downplaying issues can sometimes be handled with no repercussions. However, other times, it is that crucial period that can make all the difference between the type and length of treatment.
An excellent example of this is dental infections. Many suffering from an infection will put up with the symptoms in hopes that they will subside and that they can forget about it and get back to their daily lives. When the symptoms become too much to handle, they schedule an appointment with their dentist. Infections can get quite complicated and severe if not handled quickly, which is why quick treatment is paramount. What is the worst that can happen from a dental infection?
To understand what can result from a dental infection, it is essential to first understand what dental infections are and what causes them. These are infections that originate in the teeth or the surrounding supportive structures of the teeth. Bacteria usually cause these infections. While it is natural to have bacteria in the mouth, poor dental hygiene can lead to a build-up that can result in disease. Plaque, which is a mixture of saliva, food, and bacteria, can stick to the teeth and gums, resulting in damage to the enamel of a tooth. Once the surface is damaged, bacteria can get into the inner, softer parts of the tooth and cause harm and infection. This, in turn, can start the process of tooth decay, which we all associate with toothaches.
Infections in the mouth are usually referred to as abscesses. Abscesses are an accumulation of pus that is formed when bacteria breeches a surface, and the body fights the infection. In the aftermath of the body defending itself, a mixture of immune cells, bacteria, and dead tissue is formed, known as pus. Pus is usually full of bacteria and is highly infectious. If left untreated can spread and continue to cause more harm to the body. If ignored, this can result in the removal of a tooth or a root canal.
Symptoms of Dental Infections
Depending on the stage of an infection, there can be various symptoms in the body. Here are some of the telltale signs of a dental infection.
- Toothaches: Experiencing sharp, severe, or shooting pain in a tooth or the gums. This pain can radiate and prove to be quite severe if ignored for some time. Pain is usually first felt when chewing or biting anything on the side of the mouth where the infected tooth is located. This can also be referred to as tooth sensitivity.
- Swelling: Swelling can occur in the surrounding tissue of the infection. This is usually an attempt of the body to defend itself, but it can still be quite uncomfortable,
- Bad taste in mouth: Many people with an infection report having bad breath or a foul taste in their mouths.
- Tooth coloration: The affected tooth can change color and become loose.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to visit a dentist and let them determine the condition of your situation.
The effects of dental infections can be numerous and quite unpleasant to deal with. However, the good news is that thanks to modern dental practices, dental abscesses are treatable. Schedule an appointment with a professional dentist and make sure your teeth are in good health.