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West Bowmanville Family Dental Blog

Why Is an Untreated Dental Infection Potentially Dangerous?

A dental infection is always unpleasant and can often be extremely painful, but you may not think of it as potentially affecting your general health. However, it’s important not to ignore oral health problems in Newcastle and especially dental infections. These problems can become very serious if you fail to seek treatment.

What Is a Dental Infection?
A dental infection in a tooth can develop into a dental abscess, where pus comprised of dead tissue, bacteria and white blood cells gradually accumulates. If the infection spreads, it can cause complications. There are two types of dental abscesses as one can form directly under the tooth, called a periapical abscess, while the other type can form in the gum and bone around the tooth and which is called a periodontal abscess. You may develop a periodontal abscess in Courtice if the gum around the tooth becomes infected and which can occur if food becomes impacted in this space. Having gum disease allows bacteria to build below the gum line and in the bone.

Acute or Chronic Dental Abscesses
There are two different forms of dental abscesses, as they can be acute or chronic. If you have sharp pain, you most likely have an acute abscess, and the pain can develop very quickly. A chronic abscess can cause low-grade pain that continues for months. Often, chronic abscesses are more dangerous because it’s easier to ignore the pain and it can cause significant damage to the tooth and surrounding tissues including your gums and jawbone. By the time you visit your dentist in Clarington, the infection may have spread beyond your tooth, and it could be necessary to remove the tooth to get rid of the infection.

Getting Rid of the Infection
It’s important to know that a dental abscess will not disappear on its own, and ideally visit us as soon as you notice any unpleasant symptoms. Symptoms of a dental abscess include a throbbing toothache, bad breath and a foul taste, and tooth sensitivity. When the infection is especially severe, it can cause fever, or you may find it difficult to open your mouth properly, and by this stage you need urgent dental care to prevent the infection from affecting your general health.

Treating an Abscessed Tooth
You can rest assured that we will do everything possible to save the abscessed tooth, and sometimes root canal therapy is possible, draining the abscess and cleaning out the tooth before it is permanently restored with a dental crown. If the tooth is severely damaged, we may have no other choice but to remove it.

Treating Periodontal Abscesses
With a periodontal abscess, we clean the affected area thoroughly, and the pus is drained, allowing us to treat the infection.

What Happens If I Don’t Get Treatment?
It is rare, but the infection causing an abscess can spread, potentially infecting nearby bone, and causing a dental cyst or sinusitis. In the worst case, an untreated dental infection can cause potentially life-threatening sepsis, where the infection spreads through your blood, contaminating your body.

Avoiding Dental Infections
The best possible scenario is to avoid dental infections with excellent preventative dentistry. It’s one of the reasons why we are strongly advised regular checkups and hygiene appointments with us here at West Bowmanville Family Dental. When you come to see us regularly, we can carefully check the condition of your teeth and gums and can treat any problems such as the early signs of gum disease or small cavities in teeth, preventing more serious infections. It’s an approach that will save you time and money while protecting your oral and overall health.

Nov 8, 2019 by

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