Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, Florida
Having an infection in your tooth can do more than cause discomfort. An infected tooth literally can kill you.
Any infection in your mouth can spread to other parts of the body. This is especially true for infections in the mouth, which can pass into the bloodstream and spread to vital areas such as your heart, lungs, kidneys, and even your brain. If this infection spreads to your brain or heart, it can prove fatal.
Your Palm Beach Gardens dentist at PGA Smiles wants you to know how to tell if you have an infected tooth, and what you can do about it.
How do teeth become infected?
A tooth develops an infection when oral bacteria enter the tooth’s chamber, which houses blood vessels and nerves, usually due to a crack, fracture, or extensive decay. Sometimes, an infected tooth leads to an abscess, which is when a sack of fluid or pus, similar in nature to a pimple, forms on the gums at the site of the problem tooth.
When a tooth is abscessed, your body has begun to reject the tooth because of the existing infection. Left untreated, this infected bacteria may enter your bloodstream and potentially accumulate on the cellular walls of your organs and blood vessels. An infected tooth also can hinder the success of certain medical procedures, especially installed heart valves, organ transplants or joint implants such as knee replacements or hip replacements.
How can I tell if my tooth is infected?
More times than not, an infected tooth will result in a significant amount of pain to the point that nothing seems to take the edge off. However, you may have an infected tooth and not even realize it. Like other chronic, life-threatening issues such as high blood pressure, there is not always pain to provide a warning that a problem exists.
If you have an infected tooth, receiving proper treatment from a medical professional is crucial. If the tooth is salvageable, a root canal can be performed to remove the infection, and save the tooth from extraction. However, in some instances, an extraction may be the only option.
What happens if I ignore my infected tooth?
The consequences of an infected tooth can be profound. Even if the infection does not kill you, it can lead to major and costly medical care. One oft-cited case is that of Deamonte Driver, a young boy in Maryland who died in 2007 after an infection in his tooth spread to his brain. Before the infection proved fatal, the boy was hospitalized for six weeks and underwent a pair of major operations, racking up $250,000 in medical bills.
Your best defense against the health risks linked to an infected tooth is to receive regular dental care to identify any problem teeth before they become hazardous to your health. Since bacteria is the building block of an infection in the mouth, you also can limit your risk of an infected tooth by maintaining a thorough regimen of oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene should include brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and a complete examination of your teeth and mouth. Failing to receive regular dental care can magnify your risk of serious oral health issues, such as an infected tooth.
Root Canal Treatment in Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter
Maintaining your oral health is a crucial part of good overall health. You can trust the team of professionals at PGA Smiles to provide the thorough oral care you and your family deserve. If you have an infected tooth or want to learn more about the services offered at PGA Smiles, please contact our office at (561) 627-7090 to schedule a consultation.
PGA Smiles welcomes patients of Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.