While it might start with a mild toothache, a tooth infection can get progressively worse over time. If an infected tooth does not receive prompt treatment, the infection can spread further into your jaw, face, and even your blood. Read on to understand the 11 symptoms of tooth infection spreading to the body.
How Can A Tooth Become Infected?
A healthy tooth is normally protected by a strong layer of enamel that shields it from the wear and tear of the mouth. However, if this layer becomes compromised, the normal oral bacteria that inhabit your mouth can infiltrate the sensitive inner layers of the tooth. Rich with blood vessels and nerve endings, the inner layers provide the breeding grounds for bacteria to infect it locally and even move on throughout the body.
A tooth can become compromised by a crack or chip, as well as through bacterial erosion and the formation of cavities. Poor dental hygiene and diets high in carbohydrates and sugar accelerate this process significantly.
Symptoms of An Infected Tooth: A Warning
An infected tooth can present the following symptoms:
- Pain. This can be an occasional or persistent throbbing pain that may become more intense when pressure is applied. It can also spread to the jaw, neck, ear, or other parts of the face.
- Sensitivity. While it’s related to the pain mentioned above, sensitivity can occur either to touch, pressure, or as a response to cold or hot foods and beverages. The sensation may feel like a shock or a painful tingle.
- Swelling. This is particularly noticeable on the cheek, on the side of the face where the tooth is present. You may also experience swollen lymph nodes around the neck or behind the ears.
- Fever. An elevated body temperature may indicate that the body is trying to fight the infection.
Symptoms of Tooth Infection Spreading To The Body: Dangerous
A tooth infection spreading to the rest of the body can present the following symptoms:
- Feeling ill. A general feeling of illness is a warning sign. This might be in the form of a headache, dizziness, and general fatigue.
- High fever. Worsening fever (103°F or higher in adults, 102°F or higher in children) that doesn’t go away, chills, and sweating.
- Difficulty breathing. This is a particularly critical sign, and any difficulty breathing should prompt you to see a dental health professional immediately.
- Confusion. Mental confusion can be a sign of bacterial infection of the blood and is also a critical sign that you should contact a dentist as soon as possible.
- Increased Swelling. Any swelling that makes swallowing, breathing, or opening your mouth difficult is cause for serious concern.
- Chest Pain. It may be accompanied by lightheadedness and a high pulse.
- Nausea and Vomiting. Especially critical if it’s persistent.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, see your dentist immediately. Call for an appointment for the same day or ask for an emergency dental appointment.
Conclusion: Take A Tooth Infection Spreading To The Body Seriously
Any tooth infection should be taken seriously and treated as soon as possible. Knowing the symptoms can help you seek medical attention before it becomes life-threatening. A qualified, professional dentist is well-equipped to handle dental emergencies of this kind.
Pasadena Dental Doc offers state-of-the-art dental care with fair, transparent prices. We specialize in a wide variety of dental procedures. We also have flexible office hours and accept most insurance plans. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to call us at (713) 947-0293. We pride ourselves on being the best dentist in Pasadena, TX.