Tooth infections are not to be taken lightly. Beyond causing discomfort and pain, untreated dental infections can have serious consequences for both your oral and overall health. In some cases, tooth removal may be the best solution for long-term health. In today’s blog, your Katy, TX, dentist talks about the reasons why tooth infections should be treated promptly and why dental extraction may be necessary.
A tooth infection, or a dental abscess, occurs when bacteria invade the inner structures of the tooth, such as the pulp and root canals. It typically develops because of untreated cavities, cracked teeth, or gum disease. When left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and even enter the bloodstream, posing a risk to your overall health.
Oral Health Consequences
1. An untreated tooth infection can lead to tooth loss. The infection can weaken the tooth’s structure, making it more susceptible to decay or breakage. Ultimately, this can result in the need for extraction.
2. Tooth infections can contribute to gum disease, an inflammation of the gums caused by a bacterial infection, or poor hygiene. As the infection spreads, it can damage gum tissues and the bone supporting the teeth.
3. Dental infections often occur in teeth affected by untreated cavities. If the infection penetrates the pulp of the tooth, it can accelerate the decay process and lead to irreversible damage.
4. An infection can cause persistent bad breath, even after proper oral hygiene. This occurs due to the presence of bacteria and decaying tissue within the tooth.
Overall Health Consequences
1. In severe cases, tooth infections can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.
2. Research suggests a link between oral infections, particularly gum disease, and an increased risk of heart disease. The bacteria from the infection can enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development of cardiovascular problems.
3. Untreated dental infections can make it harder for individuals with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. In turn, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can worsen tooth infections, creating a vicious cycle.
The Importance of Tooth Extraction
While efforts are made to preserve natural teeth whenever possible, sometimes a tooth extraction becomes the best solution for long-term health. By extracting an infected tooth, the source of the infection is eliminated, preventing further damage to surrounding tissues and limiting the risk of systemic infections. Furthermore, extraction prevents the infection from spreading and provides relief from pain and discomfort.
After extraction, we offer various tooth replacement options, such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures. These options can restore the aesthetics and function of your smile helping preserve your comfort and self-esteem.
Schedule A Consultation Today
Tooth infections should never be ignored, as they can have serious consequences for both oral and overall health. Timely treatment and, if necessary, tooth extraction, are essential to prevent further damage and maintain long-term health. Let us help you take care of your teeth and prioritize your oral health. Call us at Lathrop Dental Center in Katy, TX at (832) 437-3849!