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Can Ignoring a Toothache Be Fatal?

May 28, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — walkerddsteam @ 8:07 pm
a woman lies in bed and holds her jaw while cringing in pain because of a toothache in Kernersville

If you think a nagging toothache is nothing to be too concerned about, guess again. Allowing what might seem like a minor problem to go untreated can have disastrous results on your oral and overall health. In the most severe cases, a problem tooth can actually be fatal. A local dentist explains why receiving emergency dental care early on will not only help you avoid more serious problems later on but can also save your life.

How Can a Tooth Become Infected?

The most common reason for a tooth infection is poor oral hygiene. If you’re not bothering to take care of your teeth and gums every morning and night, do not be surprised if problems start to arise in the form of cavities, gum disease, or a more serious infection.

A tooth can also become infected as the result of a poor diet that consists mostly of sugars and starches or dry mouth that typically occurs in older adults and those taking certain medications.

Symptoms Associated with a Tooth infection

The bothersome discomfort associated with your toothache may be enough to have you digging through your medicine cabinet for an over-the-counter pain reliever. Although you might assume that you can manage this “minor” problem on your own, the truth is that something far more dangerous could be developing within your body. You may not realize it at first, but should you develop any of the following symptoms, you will need to seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Sweating or chills
  • Dehydration (i.e., dark urine, confusion)
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling around your mouth that makes it difficult to swallow or breathe
  • Increased heart rate and breathing rate
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The Seriousness of a Tooth Infection

Once you realize you have a problem, do not wait to seek the help of an emergency dentist in Kernersville. It’s better to get the care you need early on rather than wait until there is too much damage. An abscess, which is a type of tooth infection, can wreak havoc on your oral cavity as well as your body. If allowed to progress and worsen over time, it can lead to a loss of mental ability as well as death.

The most common problems that can occur as a result of an infected tooth include:

  • Meningitis
  • Sepsis
  • Respiratory Illness
  • Ludwig’s Angina

Don’t let a problem that appears to be “minor” keep you from getting the help you need. Your emergency dentist is an ally in the fight and will be happy to provide effective solutions that will safeguard your smile, oral health, and total body wellness.

About the Author
Dr. Zach Walker attended the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2017. Graduating with honors, he went on to complete the Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program through the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine. When faced with a toothache, he and his team are here to provide the immediate dental care you need to avoid more serious complications down the road. Instead of ignoring the problem, visit our website or call (336) 993-3727 and let us help you find relief from the pain.

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