Ignored Toothaches: When Cavities Turn Deadly
June 20, 2022
You have a lot on your plate right now. You can handle a little pain. You do not have time to see your emergency dentist. You can think of plenty of reasons to ignore your toothache that you’ve had for several days now.
However, did you know a toothache could have morbid consequences if left untreated? The truth is that a toothache could turn out to be more than just a little annoyance. It could develop into something much more serious, and it should be addressed sooner rather than later.
What Causes a Toothache?
Although there are other issues that can lead to tooth pain, the most common source is a deep cavity. As decay reaches farther into the tooth, it irritates and infects the nerve, sending a strong signal to the brain.
You may think that you can “tough it out” or simply push through any discomfort you feel. You may even feel the pain go away after a while, but that does not mean that the problem—the cavity—is gone. Tooth decay never heals on its own, and the sudden change likely indicates that the tooth has been consumed by decay and is dead.
How Can a Toothache Turn Deadly?
At first glance, a toothache or a cavity can seem like a purely localized issue. However, if it goes ignored, it could prove to be fatal. In fact, there are many news stories about people dying as a result of their untreated tooth infections when they could have easily been saved by visiting the dentist.
Supposing that your toothache results from a cavity, the infection can enter your bloodstream via the tooth’s blood vessels, enabling it to spread to other areas of the body and impair essential functions.
What Should You Do If You Have a Toothache?
Well, if there is one thing you learn from this post, it is that you should never ignore a toothache! Instead, you need to contact your dentist for an emergency visit immediately. Not only will treating the problem as soon as possible stop the infection from spreading, but it will also help relieve your pain, allowing you to get quality sleep and resume normal activities.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms in addition to tooth pain, you should go to the emergency room for further examination and treatment:
- Headache or dizziness
- Fever or chills
- Swelling that makes it difficult to swallow, open your mouth, or breathe
- Dehydration or confusion
- Increase in heart rate
- Diarrhea or vomiting
In the end, having a toothache does not automatically put your life at risk, but ignoring it for a prolonged period of time could. Whatever reasons you have for not getting treated, they are not worth your life! If you have an untreated toothache, contact your dentist and get it taken care of!
About the Practice
At Pioneer Greens Dentistry, Dr. Chris and Dr. Claire Haag find great satisfaction in relieving patients’ pain and helping them achieve wellness. For patients with dental emergencies, same-day appointments are available, and insurance is accepted. If you would like to schedule an appointment, whether routine or emergency, at Pioneer Greens Dentistry, you can contact our Lincoln office by calling 402-483-7502 or visiting our Contact Us page here.
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