Any infection is bad for the body, most especially if it spreads to more vital organs like the heart. For instance, a tooth infection does not stay inside your mouth alone. It can even spread to other parts of the body. For this reason, it would be best to address the condition as soon as possible. Otherwise, it can worsen over time. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits can keep your teeth intact. That is why you have to maintain these at all costs.
What is a Tooth Infection or Tooth Abscess?
An infection or tooth abscess occurs when there is collected pus and bacteria, usually inside the tooth or gum. Additionally, if the person who has a tooth infection does not receive any treatment, a spread in other body parts can happen. In this case, it can lead to life-threatening conditions. So, please seek immediate treatment from the dentist.
Symptoms of Tooth Infection
It would be easy to identify if you have a tooth infection through the following symptoms.
- throbbing toothache
- tooth sensitivity
- red, swollen gums
- bad taste and smell in the mouth
It would be best to pay attention to these symptoms of tooth infection. However, how can you know if your infection is already spreading to the body? In this case, let’s focus on the heart. How can we know if a tooth infection has already reached this vital organ? We will find out about that in just a short while.
Tooth Infection Spreading
The spread of infection from your teeth to other parts of the body leads to potentially severe complications. These complications can become life-threatening if not addressed earlier. A delay of treatment can increase the risk of developing any of the following complications.
- Osteomyelitis: It involves an infection affecting the bone that surrounds the tooth.
- Cavernous sinus thrombosis: This infection affects the blood vessels found inside the sinuses.
- Parapharyngeal abscess: It involves the abscess forming at the back of the mouth.
- Sepsis: This type is already a serious medical condition. In this case, the immune system tends to overreact from the infection in the blood.
Given these points, will you wait until your infection worsens? Would you still want this infection to become systemic? Multiple tissues and systems throughout the body can fail due to tooth infection spreading.
Signs Tooth Infection Has Spread to Heart
Since tooth infection spreading is possible, it can reach our hearts as well. Untreated tooth infections show increased heart problems developing in effect. An example of this is corona artery disease. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death all over the world. For this reason, the Oral Health Foundation is encouraging more dental appointments for prevention.
The risk of cardiovascular diseases related to tooth abscess increases as a person develops tooth infection and gum infection. Usually, an infection starts with decay and bacteria. Bacteria grow through the sugar contents present in the food we eat. As a result, there is an acid formation that affects tooth surfaces.
Given that there’s still no treatment, it will progress and can reach the pulp. In this case, the abscess can get the root’s tip, which refers to apical periodontitis. This condition can still progress, leading to the development of heart issues.
Another point of concern is gum infection and gum disease. Gum disease involves four levels, ranging from minor up to severe conditions. The first stage is still reversible, but the other levels are not. If left untreated, the gums can recede, leading to permanent tooth loss. In worst-case scenarios, it can eventually damage the heart muscle.
Additionally, the conditions you are most likely to develop are atherosclerosis and endocarditis. Atherosclerosis involves plaque buildup in the heart arteries’ inner walls, resulting in blood flow restriction. Meanwhile, endocarditis involves bacterial growths in the heart’s inner lining, affecting the heart valve’s function. Along with this, breathing difficulties may occur.
Ways to Prevent Tooth Infection
If you have noticed the signs and symptoms of tooth infections, keep in mind that it requires immediate medical attention. It would be best to see your dentist as soon as possible. Meanwhile, let me share with you some tips to prevent tooth abscesses. These are entirely basics.
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is essential. Additionally, use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your tooth enamel.
- It would also help to floss at least once a day. By flossing, you can remove tiny particles between your teeth and gums.
- Another way to prevent the growth of bacteria inside your mouth is to eat a healthy diet.
- Furthermore, it would be best to quit smoking and tobacco use. It associates with various health risks.
- Most importantly, see your dentist regularly. Your dentist could identify related dental issues.
Overall, practicing good oral hygiene and never missing out on a single dental appointment allows us to be free from serious oral problems. Your tooth pain may be signifying infections already.
Medical Treatment for a Tooth Abscess
A tooth infection is a dental emergency that requires a dentist’s immediate attention. The treatment for dental infections varies according to their severity.
- The initial treatment a dentist may apply is to drain the pus through a small incision. However, taking antibiotics may be necessary if the infection is still there. Antibiotics can relieve swelling as well.
- In the case of a periapical abscess, root canal treatment is necessary. Root canal therapy restores the damaged tooth pulp. As for a periodontal abscess, the dentist will drain and clean the pocket of pus.
Infections show various symptoms that we need to pay attention to. Tooth infection spreading can be life-threatening and risks other body parts. If we neglect tooth pain, we may need to seek dental professionals, like a surgeon, to treat it. So, contact your dental provider as soon as possible. You can go to LeichhardtMarketDental.com.au if you’re looking for a trusted dentist in the Sydney area.
The mouth is prone to infections, dental hygiene is essential. Practice it every day.
2 ways bad teeth can damage your heart health. Guardiandirect.com. Accessed July 07, 2021.
Dental Abscess. Reviewed by Dr. Adrian Bonsall. Last edited
Abscessed Tooth: Care Instructions. Healthwise Staff. March 25, 2020.