How Long Can a Tooth Infection Go Untreated?
A tooth infection is usually an annoying thing, for the most part. You cannot eat, you cannot sleep, and the headaches are never-ending. A tooth infection can suck the joy in your day.
But besides a tooth infection being a nuisance, it could also have far-reaching health implications that might cause you to look for our emergency dentist in Huntington Beach.
Your mouth is always a gateway to the rest of your body. In other words, don’t think that the state of your oral health won’t affect the rest of your body.
That’s why we recommend you visit our dentist regularly to avoid further complications that may arise when a tooth infection goes untreated.
But before we look at how long a tooth infection can go untreated, let’s explore the connection between the teeth and your heart.
Which Tooth Is Connected to the Heart?
The mouth-body connection might seem far-fetched for most people, which could be why some people might be cavalier about their oral health. The connection might not be as straight as you think, but there is a link.
The concept that your heart and teeth are connected to your organs has roots in acupuncture and other forms of eastern medicine.
Meridian charts are usually used to diagnose and provide insight into various oral and overall health issues. Often, certain overall health issues can be mirrored in the corresponding tooth.
The connection exists since some skilled dentists can tell the state of your overall health by glancing at your teeth and mouth.
In any case, your organs are connected to not only your teeth but also dental health, and the heart is no exception. The meridian charts show that the molars are connected to your heart.
Studies show that plaque samples taken from patients with heart disease contain RNA from bacteria that originate in the mouth and are associated with tooth infections.
What’s the Lifespan of an Untreated Tooth Infection?
A tooth infection or dental abscess usually occurs when bacterial infection penetrates beyond the enamel and reaches the inner parts of the tooth (pulp).
The deep-seated infection occurs due to cavities (holes), gum disease (periodontitis), or even cracked teeth.
One thing worth noting is that a tooth infection will not subside on its own. It will not just go down if you ignore it or take remedies. A tooth infection has to be treated for it to clear.
However, if you do nothing about the tooth infection in its initial stages, it can last between five and 12 months or even more. If there is no treatment, your dental pulp will eventually die, and you may get another abscess.
But why would you wait for so long before getting treated? In any case, if the infection lasts for a long time, there will always be the chance that you have developed or will develop severe complications.
How Do You Know If a Tooth Infection Has Spread to Your Brain?
As mentioned earlier, tooth infections may seem like non-issues at the onset. But leaving them untreated will not come without a cost.
Several complications may arise due to tooth infections, such as tooth loss, infection of the bone, septicemia (blood poisoning), Ludwig’s angina (bacterial infection at the bottom of the mouth), sinus irritation, etc.
However, the tooth infection can also spread to your brain, and a condition called brain abscess. A pus-filled swelling characterizes the infection in the brain that happens when bacteria has made its way to the brain tissue.
The symptoms of a dental abscess can develop very quickly or take time before you notice any symptoms.
Some of the symptoms may include the following:
- Stiff neck
- Problems with nerve function, such as slurred speech, muscle weakness, or paralysis
- Changes in your mental state, such as irritability or confusion
- Changes in vision such as double vision, blurred vision, or double vision
- Going in and out of consciousness
Dental infections can spread to your head; although this scenario is quite rare, it happens.
We Are Here for You
You shouldn’t take tooth infections lightly. If there is a chance that you have a tooth infection, don’t wait for the symptoms to subside or for it to rupture.
Seek treatment from our emergency dentist at Seascape Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry – Huntington Beach, and we would love to help you.