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74 Longview Drive
P.O. Box 317
Manchester VT 05254
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Can Tooth Infections Be Lethal?

November 13, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmason @ 5:19 pm
Person holding their cheek and wincing

Toothaches are pretty painful, but some people think they aren’t anything to worry about. You might be able to bear with one for a few days, and hey, it may even go away on its own!

Unfortunately, that really isn’t the case. Toothaches can develop into incredibly serious health conditions if you aren’t careful. In some cases, they can even be fatal. If you want to know a little bit more about how tooth infections can become severe, here’s a guide that may be able to help you.

How Do Tooth Infections Progress?

In the beginning, oral infections can be fairly mild. You might start with a small cavity or a little bit of swelling along the gumline. However, the problems really begin when bacteria find their way into the tooth itself, infecting the root pulp.

This is a condition known as pulpitis, and it’s associated with a pretty serious toothache. After a while, the bacteria can degrade the root pulp to such an extent that you no longer feel the toothache—however, the infection is still present.

This infection can eventually build into a pus-filled pocket known as a dental abscess. These are not only remarkably painful, but they can also become a vector for bacteria to pass into the rest of the body.

What Does It Feel Like When Infection Spreads?

A tooth infection can become serious when it begins to spread to the rest of the body, which can present all kinds of unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Trouble opening your mouth, speaking, chewing, or swallowing
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Rapid Heart Rate

What to Do About Tooth Infection

As was mentioned previously, these problems can potentially become lethal. That said, things only progress to this point if you do absolutely nothing to address the infection. If you’re able to endure a dental abscess without any urge to see a doctor, then you’re a tougher person than most.

If you have a toothache of any kind, but especially one associated with a dental abscess, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. You may need a root canal or to have the tooth removed, depending on how advanced the infection has become.

About Our Practice

When you visit us here at Mason Dental, you’ll find that there isn’t another dental practice quite like ours. We make it a point to offer not just incredible dental care, but world-class customer service as well. If you’ve ever wanted a dentist’s office where you’ll be treated the way you deserve, and with people who will make you feel welcome, we’d be happy to see you.

If you have any questions about tooth infections, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (802) 362-1099.

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74 Longview Drive, Manchester Center, VT 05255 USA
Jonathan E. Mason, DMD Manchester Center, VT Dentist (802) 362-1099