Dangers of Dental Decay: Can We Prevent It?

Posted .

Yes! For many, knowing the dangers of untreated dental decay isn’t high on the priority list, but it should be. A dental abscess, though rare, can be life-threatening. Unannounced, the infection can spread to the heart and brain and cause swelling that cuts off the airway.

Fortunately, we can avoid these life-threatening dangers buy keeping our oral hygiene on track. Routine dental exams significantly reduce your risk of developing such things as a dental abscess.

Did You Know?

According to a recent study, there were 61, 439 hospitalizations over an 8-year span, primarily due to a dental abscess. As a result of these untreated infections, 66 people died.

Of course, there are varying degrees of dental abscesses. The most common being when pus builds up at the root tip in the jawbone.

An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease, or a cracked tooth. Any “opening” of your tooth enamel allows for bacteria to enter the nerve center, which leads to infection.

Untreated Tooth Decay

What are the symptoms of a dental abscess?

We’re glad you asked! Symptoms can include:

  • pain – constant or coming and going
  • fever
  • tooth sensitivity
  • bad taste
  • pain when chewing
  • swelling

It’s a ticking time bomb… Don’t wait until you have tooth pain. It’s common to have an abscess with little to no pain, or pain that comes and goes, but once the infection reaches the tooth nerve, progression becomes rapid. More importantly, though, the infection will not go away on it’s own.

However, if caught in time, effective treatment can save your tooth and protect your health.

A Tiny Cavity — The Deadly Possibilities

We know, it’s hard to imagine how a tiny cavity could turn deadly, but that’s the reality of the situation. It’s easier to avoid complications when you are diagnosed sooner, and it’s also more affordable to treat, too.

If it’s been awhile since your last checkup, call us! We want to keep your oral health in tip-top-shape!

~Dr. Marea White