Oral InfectionsOral infections can result in serious pain, discomfort, bleeding, and other significant negative outcomes.
If you have an oral infection, you will want to get it treated as soon as you can, even in the onset when the symptoms are mild. The earlier an infection is treated, the easier it is to cure. If you allow an infection to persist, it can potentially spread throughout the entire body and it can even be fatal!
Tooth Infections – Causes & Types
Cavities, if left untreated, can infect the inner part of your teeth. If you do get a cavity, you will want to avoid this at all costs. Once the infection has penetrated your tooth, it will attack the pulp, and nerves, and will eventually kill the tooth. Once the infection reaches the jawbone and gums it can result in a dental abscess. A dental abscess may result in complications like sepsis, this is a potentially fatal reaction from your body to an infection.
Trauma isn’t an infection, but it can result in infections. If the enamel of the tooth breaks, it will leave less protection for the tooth. Less protection means the tooth can be infected easier. Having good oral care, wearing protection when necessary, and eating a balanced diet will greatly help reduce your chances of trauma to your teeth. If you play physical sports, or you’re known to grind your teeth, you will want to invest money in a quality mouthguard, once you lose permanent teeth, they’re gone for good.
Tooth Infection Symptoms
- Throbbing, severe pain in the tooth or jaw
- Tooth sensitivity
- Swelling in the mouth near the affected tooth
- Bad breath and taste in the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Fever (severe cases)
Symptoms Of A Spreading Tooth Infection
- Skin flushing
- Face swelling, which can make it difficult to open your mouth, swallow, and breathe correctly
- Severe and painful gum swelling
- Dehydration, leading to darker urine and less frequent urination
- Increased heart rate
- Increased breathing rate (25+ breaths a minute)
- Increased body temperature
- Stomach pain, diarrhea, and/or vomiting
Can A Toothache Make Me Sick?
The bacteria in your mouth that caused the infection can infect other parts of your general health making you sick. Typically, this is a more severe symptom of toothache. The infection will have to be bad enough to advance past the tooth and into the jaw bone and gum line. If this happens you should immediately consider it an emergency.
When To Start Worrying About A Tooth Infection
Any type of pain or discomfort should make you take notice of your oral health. If something is causing you pain, it is your body’s way of telling you something is definitely not right. If the pain or discomfort of any kind lasts for longer than 24-48 hours, you need to make an appointment.
Severe tooth infection symptoms include:
- Noticeable sore under the gums (collection of pus)
- Swelling and inflammation near the affected tooth
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Loose tooth
- Flu-like symptoms
- Tooth sensitivity
- A severe, throbbing toothache that doesn’t go away
- Swollen and painful lymph nodes in the neck
- Pain when chewing or biting down
Can I Wait To Treat A Tooth Infection?
If you wait to treat an infection, it could result in:
- Tooth loss
- Infection of the blood vessels inside the sinuses
- Bone infection surrounding the tooth
- Sepsis (a serious medical condition where the immune system overreacts to a blood infection)
- Brain abscess (rare, life-threatening infection)
- Parapharyngeal abscess (abscess at the back of the mouth)
Oral pain can be one of the most painful experiences a person can go through, so your entire life may be impacted by the toothache before serious symptoms even began.
When Is A Tooth Infection Considered An Emergency?
If the infection is causing you serious pain, or even preventing you from doing daily activities like eating, sleeping, or talking, you should consider it an emergency situation. More pain is never a sign of healing, tooth infections will not get better on their own either.