COMPLICATIONS OF TEETH INFECTIONS

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Teeth infections, also known as dental abscesses, occur when bacteria invade the tissues surrounding the teeth and cause an infection. This can happen due to poor oral hygiene, cavities, or tooth decay that is left untreated.

Tooth infection can result in a range of complications, some of which can be life-threatening if left untreated: damage to surrounding tissue, spread of infection, facial swelling etc. One of the most significant complications of a teeth infection is the spread of bacteria to other parts of the body.

Since the teeth are located close to the sinuses and the bloodstream, the infection can easily spread to these areas, causing sinusitis or even sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition. If left untreated, a teeth infection can cause extensive damage to the surrounding tissue, including the gums, jawbone, and neighboring teeth. This can result in gum disease, bone loss, and even tooth loss. 

A common symptom of a teeth infection is facial swelling, which can range from mild to severe. This swelling can make it challenging to open your mouth properly, causing difficulty in eating and speaking. In severe cases, a tooth infection can spread to the airway, making it difficult to breathe and swallow. This can be a medical emergency and requires immediate attention. 

Nerve damage: The nerves in the tooth can become inflamed due to the infection, causing severe pain. In some cases, the infection can also damage the nerves permanently, leading to numbness or tingling in the face, neck, or head.

If you have a teeth infection and undergo treatment, it may take longer for the affected area to heal. This is because the infection weakens the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off bacteria. 

Research has shown that there is a connection between dental infections and other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. When bacteria from a tooth infection enters the bloodstream, it can travel to the heart. It can then cause inflammation and damage to the heart’s valves and blood vessels, leading to a condition known as infective endocarditis (IE).

IE is a severe and potentially life-threatening heart infection that can result in heart failure, stroke, or even death if left untreated. The bacteria from a teeth infection can also increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries, leading to restricted blood flow to the heart. This can ultimately result in heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

People with pre-existing heart conditions, such as heart valve disease or a weak immune system, are even more susceptible to the complications of a teeth infection. The infection can worsen existing heart conditions and make it harder to treat them effectively. 

Aside from heart health, a teeth infection can also have a substantial impact on overall wellbeing. Therefore, leaving a teeth infection untreated can have a significant impact on your overall health.

The key to avoiding complications from teeth infections is to seek prompt treatment if you experience any signs of a teeth infection. These may include severe toothache, swelling, fever, difficulty in opening your mouth, or foul-smelling breath.

Depending on the severity of the infection a teeth infection is not something to be taken lightly, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications. Maintaining good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups, can help prevent dental infections.

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