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THE DANGERS OF IGNORING A TOOTHACHE

Posted by Jack Fan Dec 07, 2020

When most people have a toothache, they take over-the-counter pain medicine and ignore it. If the aching disappears after one day, they tend to forget about it. If it lasts for 2 to 3 days, they often just take more pain medicine until it disappears. But the truth is that your tooth pain is probably more serious than just a fleeting discomfort. Keep reading to learn how ignoring a toothache in South Austin could be potentially fatal.

WHAT CAUSES A TOOTHACHE?

A toothache is often a sign of a serious cavity or deep infection. If untreated, decay can spread to the center of the tooth and infect the pulp, causing the dental nerve to become swollen. Dental pain can mean you have developed an abscess, which is a sac where pus and bacteria collect. It can appear on the side of the tooth or it can be hidden at the root of your tooth and lead to throbbing pain in the tooth, the gums and possibly the jaw.

HOW SERIOUS IS DENTAL INFECTION?

Most hospitalizations in the United States can be attributed to tooth infection. If it goes untreated, infection can drain into your bloodstream and infect other teeth and the soft tissue in the mouth, cause respiratory issues or even meningitis. Tooth infection has been known to result in the loss of cognitive control and even death, due to stroke or heart attack because infection has spread to the heart or brain. Signs that infection may be traveling through your bloodstream include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue and/or dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Chills and/or fever
  • Stomach pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Dehydration

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT TOOTH INFECTION?

Tooth infections can cause serious problems for both your dental and overall health. The good news is that they are completely avoidable. The key is to brush at least twice a day, floss, and visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and exams. It is also a good idea to minimize your consumption of sugary foods; a healthy diet will provide the proper nutrients to support your overall health and reduce your risk of tooth decay and other dental issues.

Toothaches do not resolve on their own and are typically an indication that something much worse is wrong. It is definitely a good idea to contact your emergency dentist in South Austin at the first sign of dental pain. They will be more than happy to help resolve your issue.

About the Author

Dr. Jack Fan is dedicated to providing his patients with comprehensive, personalized dental care. He received his doctorate from the New York University College of Dentistry and regularly attends continuing education programs to provide his patients with the latest techniques. Dr. Fan offers an array of services that range from general dentistry to emergency dentistry and bone grafting. If you have a sudden toothache, don’t hesitate to visit the website or contact the office at (512) 361-4288 to schedule your visit with Dr. Fan.

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