Two Dangerous Consequences Of Waiting Too Long To Treat An Abscessed Tooth

When people get abscessed teeth, the pain from the condition typically prompts them to seek out dental care. In a small number of cases, abscessed teeth aren't painful or the person finds a way to manage the discomfort, which often results in the condition being left to fester. This is a bad idea, because an untreated abscessed tooth can lead to serious medical problems. Here are two you may be at risk for if you don't seek out emergency dental services to fix the infection.

Systemic Complications

One possible outcome of an untreated abscessed tooth is you may develop more serious and life-threatening health problems. An abscessed tooth is a bacterial infection. Your body tries to protect itself by encasing the infection in a bubble, which is what causes the swelling in the affected area. However, the longer you wait to deal with the infection, the higher the chance the bacteria will escape its prison and get into your blood stream.

This can lead to a variety of issues. For instance, you may develop sepsis. This is when your body goes overboard trying to kill germs that managed to get into the blood. The body's extreme response results in damage to major organs and can lead to death if the condition is not dealt with immediately.

Another problem is bacteria can travel to the brain and heart where it can damage the tissues in those areas. A common result of this is heart valve damage, which puts you at a higher risk of a heart attack, and injury to veins supplying blood to brain, putting you at a higher risk of a stroke.

Nerve Damage

Bacteria in the abscessed tooth will continue to damage the tissues in the area for as long as the infection is active. If the tooth, gum tissue, and bone deteriorate enough, the bacteria may gain access to the nerves that run through the jaw bone. These nerves connect to the brain and other parts of the face, which means that any damage done to them can lead to serious and more painful issues.

For instance, if the bacteria damage the trigeminal nerve, you may begin suffering from trigeminal neuralgia. This is a neurological condition characterized by constant pain in the facial area. The pain can be so severe it interferes with daily life, and it doesn't always respond to pain medication.

An abscessed tooth is a danger to your oral and overall health. If you suspect you may be suffering from this condition, seek out dental treatment as soon as possible.