Can abscessed tooth cause death: An Abscessed Tooth Can Cause Serious Illness & Death
An Abscessed Tooth Can Cause Serious Illness & Death
An abscessed tooth is a bacterial infection causing the accumulation of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include pain and sensitivity, redness and swelling to the gums and jaw, fever, bitter taste or foul smell to breath, and open sore or bump on the side of the gums. An abscessed tooth can cause very serious consequences including tooth loss, jaw bone damage, sinus involvement, brain infection, heart complications and even death.
Tooth & Bone Loss
Swelling inside the jaw bone can cause inflammation of the bone. This can lead to bone death in the area of the swelling. If the bone surrounding the tooth dies, the tooth loses its support and become loose and fall out. There is risk of losing the adjacent teeth if the inflammation spreads to the surrounding bone.
Sinus & Brain
The maxillary sinus often holds roots of the upper molars. If a tooth becomes abscessed, the sinus can become affected also as it is filled with pus. The brain is located closely to the tooth roots. Infection from tooth abscess can spread to the brain through the veins, a very serious condition called Septicemia or Sepsis.
If left untreated, a tooth abscess can also cause a condition known as Endocarditis. Endocarditis is the inflammation of the inner layer of the heart. Permanent heart damage can occur if the bacteria attach to the inside of the heart and grow. Also if the bacteria enter the lungs and cause pneumonia, another life threatening illness.
There are many serious conditions caused from the bacterial infection of abscess teeth. Serious heart, lung, and brain infections can lead to death if left untreated. Another risk of death caused by an abscessed tooth is the swelling of the floor of the mouth. The swelling under the jaw can block off your airway causing you to suffocate. This is a condition known as Ludwig’s Angina.
Abscessed Tooth Treatment
It is imperative to seek treatment at the earliest signs of infection. Treatment of a dental abscess depends on the extent of infection. The first step is to eliminate the infection. This may be done by root canal therapy where the abscess is drained through the tooth. Extraction of the tooth is another way to drain the infection. An incision into the swollen gum tissue is another way to drain the area. Antibiotics are prescribed to help fight the infection. Once the infection is clear, you can begin your restorative dental treatment and be on your way back to a healthy smile.
Don’t wait and put your life in danger. The treatment for an abscessed tooth is nothing compared to the potential outcome of neglecting to seek treatment out to fear. Contact South Tampa Smiles promptly if you are having any of the symptoms we have listed. We are here to help.
When Can a Tooth Infection Kill You?
An untreated tooth infection can spread to other tissues in your body within weeks or months and lead to potentially life threatening complications. While rare, it is possible for a tooth infection to kill you.
A tooth infection can happen when bacteria enter the nerve or soft tissue of the tooth, called the pulp. This can occur from tooth decay, injury, or previous dental procedures.
Below, we’ll cover how a tooth infection can lead to death, how long it may take, and when to get to a hospital.
A tooth infection occurs when bacteria enter the inside of your tooth, which contains a soft tissue called pulp. As the infection progresses, a pocket of pus builds up around the affected tooth. This is known as a dental abscess.
In London during the 1600s, dental infections were listed as the fifth or sixth leading cause of death. Even up until 1908, dental infections still ended in death between 10 to 40 percent of the time.
Due to advances in medicine and dental hygiene, death from a tooth infection is now extremely rare. However, it’s still important to seek prompt care if you suspect that you have an infected tooth.
When left untreated, a tooth infection can spread to other areas of the body, leading to serious, potentially life-threatening complications, including:
- sepsis: a severe reaction by the body in response to the infection
- Ludwig’s angina: a serious bacterial infection that affects the floor of the mouth, underneath the tongue
- necrotizing fasciitis: a severe infection that leads to soft tissue death in the body
- mediastinitis: an inflammation of the mediastinum, which is a space located between your lungs
- endocarditis: an inflammation of your heart’s inner lining, called the endocardium
- cavernous sinus thrombosis: a dangerous blood clot of the sinuses, just under the brain and behind the eyes
- osteomyelitis: a bone tissue infection
- brain abscess: a collection of pus that can form in the brain
The amount of time it takes for a tooth infection to cause death can vary. We’ll break this question down in more detail.
How long does it take for an abscess to develop?
Abscesses due to tooth decay can take several months to develop. This is because the decay process can take a while to reach and damage the pulp at the center of a tooth.
Meanwhile, injury or trauma to a tooth may allow bacteria to enter the tooth more quickly. This can happen due to injuries like a cracked or chipped tooth.
What happens once an abscess develops?
Once an abscess has formed, you typically begin to experience swelling and intermittent, throbbing pain around the affected tooth. This is a warning sign that something is wrong. However, you will probably have dental pain in your tooth from the cavity before it progresses into an abscess.
Case studies of serious illness or death from tooth infections often describe persistent toothaches that go on for weeks or months before seeking urgent or emergency care.
In many case studies, the toothaches were treated with antibiotics during this timeframe. However, antibiotics alone aren’t typically effective for treating a dental abscess. The tooth decay needs to be treated, too, either with an extraction or root canal if your tooth is salvageable.
When a dental abscess remains untreated for weeks or months, it may spread to other areas like the jaw, neck, and brain. This can cause serious symptoms like trouble swallowing, difficulty breathing, and an inability to open your mouth.
At this point, if care isn’t received, death can occur quickly, sometimes in a matter of days.
What risk factors can lead to complications from an abscess?
There are several risk factors that can increase your chances of having complications from a dental abscess, including:
- older age
- having diabetes
- being immunocompromised
- experiencing malnourishment
- It can potentially take several months for a dental abscess to develop.
- Once an abscess has formed, noticeable pain and swelling around the affected tooth usually occur.
- If left untreated, it may take a few more weeks or months for the infection to spread to other tissues and cause complications. However, once this has happened, death can occur quickly.
- Factors like older age, having diabetes, or being immunocompromised can increase your risk of complications from a dental abscess.
Overall, these facts underline the importance of seeking prompt medical care if you’re experiencing persistent pain or swelling around a tooth. When treated early, most tooth infections can be resolved without serious complications.
A tooth infection won’t go away on its own. It requires timely treatment so the infection doesn’t spread.
See a dentist if you notice symptoms like:
- throbbing pain in the area of the affected tooth
- gums that are red and swollen
- a persistent bad taste in your mouth
- bad breath
- discoloration of the affected tooth
- tooth sensitivity, either due to pressure or exposure to hot and cold
Some symptoms can signal that a tooth infection has become serious. Visit an urgent care center or the emergency room if you develop additional symptoms like:
- a general feeling of unwellness (malaise)
- swollen lymph nodes
- nausea or vomiting
- swelling around your face, neck, or eyes
- inability to open your mouth or jaw (trismus)
- trouble speaking, chewing, or swallowing
- difficulty breathing
- rapid heart rate
Go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to seek care. Even if your symptoms aren’t due to a tooth infection, they may be caused by another health condition that requires immediate treatment.
Treatment options for a tooth infection include:
- Drainage. A dentist will make a small incision in your gums to drain the abscess. However, this is typically used as a temporary measure, and further treatments are often needed.
- Root canal. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed from the tooth. The inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and filled. A crown is then placed to help restore the tooth.
- Tooth extraction. In situations when an infected tooth cannot be saved through a root canal, it may be extracted instead.
- Antibiotics. Antibiotics are drugs that can kill bacteria. They’re sometimes used to treat tooth infections. Depending on the severity of your infection, you may receive oral antibiotics or intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Your tooth will also need a root canal or extraction along with the antibiotics.
Can home remedies help treat a tooth infection?
While waiting to receive treatment, you can try the following home remedies to help ease symptoms:
- Try over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Eat soft foods, and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth from where the infection is located.
- Avoid foods and drinks that may irritate the infected tooth, such as those that are:
- very hot or very cold
- hard or crunchy
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth and avoid flossing around the affected tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with a saltwater or hydrogen peroxide rinse to alleviate pain and swelling.
- Place a cold compress near the affected area to ease pain and swelling.
- Apply garlic, which has antimicrobial properties, to the affected tooth.
The home remedies above are only for use when you’re awaiting medical attention for your tooth infection. They shouldn’t be used as a substitute for seeking treatment.
Preventing a tooth infection
There are several things that you can do in your daily life to help prevent a tooth infection from occurring. Examples include:
- brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice each day
- flossing between your teeth each day
- reducing your intake of sugary or starchy foods and drinks
- scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams
- seeing a dentist promptly following any tooth pain or injury, such as a chip or crack
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It’s possible for a tooth infection to lead to serious or potentially life-threatening complications. Some examples include sepsis, Ludwig’s angina, and cavernous sinus thrombosis.
If a tooth infection goes untreated, it can spread to other areas of the body over a period of weeks or months. This can cause serious symptoms like fever, difficulty breathing, or trouble swallowing. Death can occur quickly without immediate care.
When a tooth infection happens, you’ll feel pain and notice swelling around the affected tooth. This is a signal to make an appointment with a dentist for an exam. Many tooth infections can be treated effectively via root canal or extraction.
Pus in the head – Like minor ailments, they can bring you to the grave
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Human life is rather fragile. And in some cases, you can even die from a seemingly simple scratch or an untreated tooth. What simple defects can become deadly?
Man is an amazing creature. On the one hand, he can cope with severe injuries and wounds, on the other hand, he can easily die from complications after a simple scratch. Many underestimate the potential risk of certain pathological situations, as a result of which they say goodbye to life. About why ordinary scratches can be deadly and how a festering tooth will bring to the grave, doctors told AiF.ru.
Dentist of the highest category, candidate of medical sciences, implantologist-orthopedist David Grigoryan: Many people take dental care lightly, postponing a visit to the dentist for later. Than it can be fraught? In addition to the usual caries, which can destroy your tooth, but in itself does not pose a great health hazard, medical practice also faces more serious maxillofacial diseases. These are purulent-inflammatory pathologies, they put the health and even the life of the patient at risk.
- Periostitis is a process when pus accumulates in the periosteal layer of the jaw, where the roots of the teeth go
- Abscess – suppuration in the root region, resulting from advanced pulpitis, cysts, mechanical injuries or subsequently unskilled intervention of the dentist (infection, improper removal; especially often this applies to “wisdom teeth”)
- Phlegmon is the most dangerous manifestation of purulent-maxillary pathology. In this case, the pus is not localized, but spreads through the maxillofacial tissues, from where it can even penetrate into the brain.
These diseases are characterized by a rapid deterioration of the general condition and can proceed rapidly. In case of a sharp rise in temperature, swelling of the facial tissues, twitching or throbbing pain in the jaw, consult a doctor immediately. Without this, “harmless” dental complications can lead to meningitis, brain abscess, osteomyelitis, which carry a high risk of disability and even death.
An extremely dangerous condition for human life and health is dehydration. It can take the life of a person quickly enough. At the same time, the danger of such a condition is often underestimated and the mechanism of its action is not understood.
Dehydration can easily develop from any poisoning when a person has the following symptoms:
- Persistent vomiting
- Stool disorders in the form of diarrhea
In this case, the person begins to rapidly lose fluid. And due to the fact that the patient is constantly sick, he cannot replenish its reserves, i.e. does not drink or eat liquid foods. With dehydration, the blood begins to thicken, its flow becomes difficult, the body does not receive oxygen. In addition, it is the liquid that allows you to remove toxins and waste products from the body. Without it, they remain inside and begin to poison the body from the inside. A person cannot live even 10 days without water.
Symptoms of dehydration are also thirst and dry mouth, fatigue and weakness, drowsiness, problems with urination (it becomes rare, urine color changes to darker), dry skin, headaches. In severe dehydration, confusion, increased heart rate, lack of sweat, rapid breathing, and loss of skin elasticity will begin to appear.
In the initial stages of dehydration, a person can still try to cope with the situation by increasing the amount of water in their diet. In difficult situations, the help of doctors is required – they will solder the patient with the help of special manipulations.
Immunologist Anna Shulyaeva: Many often underestimate the usual scratches that each of us receives on a regular basis. With scratches, there are several options for the development of events.
If they were obtained in a dirty room, on the street, there is a possibility of catching tetanus. The incubation period for tetanus lasts up to two weeks. But the first signs of infection often appear after a couple of hours. At this point, the main symptom is pain. Further, as the disease progresses, a spasm of the masticatory muscles begins to be noted – it is almost impossible to open the jaws, severe pain, tilting the head back, problems with swallowing against the background of muscle spasm. In an unvaccinated person, the infection gets deep into the wound, the situation is complicated if the wound itself is deep. If he does not go to the doctors – neither to the district doctor, nor to the emergency room, does not give a new vaccination, death from tetanus is possible. And quite fast.
Another danger of an ordinary scratch may be the addition of a secondary infection – in this case, there is a risk of suppuration. If an infection gets into the wound, the wound is not treated with antiseptics and other drugs in any way, the infection penetrates deeply, then the pathological process spreads further. Usually scratches appear on the limbs. As the infection spreads, the entire limb as a whole is affected, then pus and infection spread through the bloodstream throughout the body. And this is sepsis, death from which is a fairly common occurrence.
Source – site Arguments and Facts.
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Dead tooth. Symptoms and treatment
| Checked by: Shteba Victoria Petrovna
| Last revised: November 05, 2021.
What is a dead tooth? In a healthy tooth, hard outer layers allow the masticatory organ to function normally. This is possible only thanks to the living tissue inside the cavity of the tooth and channels, which is called the pulp. It plays a nourishing, sensory, protective and restorative role. A dead tooth, deprived of the benefits of a living pulp, becomes brittle. It does not respond to pain stimuli and does not have regenerative properties. It is important to avoid tooth necrosis by adhering to the principles of oral health prevention. Consider what a dead tooth is and how it is treated
What is a dead tooth
A dead tooth lacks a viable pulp that disappears due to necrosis or root canal treatment. In the second case, the dentist removes infected formations from inside the chamber and channels.
Despite the enormous capacity of the pulp to regenerate, when damaging stimuli exceed the limits of the protective properties of the tissue, the cells eventually die. For this reason, pulp necrosis is classified as an irreversible pulpopathy. Necrosis may affect part or all of the pulp of a given tooth. In this regard, pulp necrosis is divided into partial and complete.
In the first case, a certain part of the cells die, the rest of the cells become inflamed, but remain viable. Partial pulp necrosis usually affects the tissues within the cavity of the tooth and over time can spread to the root canals, forming a complete pulp necrosis. A serious consequence of this condition is the spread of inflammation and infection to the periapical structures.
The concept of a dead tooth is inextricably linked to the phenomenon of tooth gangrene, also classified as irreversible pulpopathy. When the pulp cells die, they lose their protective abilities. The body also cannot cope with the removal of necrotic masses due to their location within the hard structures of the tooth.
The conditions in the oral cavity provide an excellent environment for putrefactive bacteria to thrive. It is believed that if you leave everything as it is without the intervention of a doctor, the dead pulp will rot sooner or later. This is dangerous because the toxic substances produced by microorganisms damage healthy structures and lead to the spread of infection.
How a dead tooth is formed
For a tooth to be considered dead, the pulp cells that have damaged or disrupted the supply of essential nutrients and oxygen to the tooth must die.
Pulp necrosis is most often caused by poor oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing, rinsing your mouth, having regular check-ups at the dentist can all protect the patient from developing caries. If the rules of oral hygiene are not followed, cariogenic bacteria can colonize plaque deposits.
Microorganisms begin to produce numerous substances that demineralize the hard structures of the tooth, leading to the formation of carious lesions. Breaks in the enamel and dentin allow bacteria to enter the chamber. In response to toxins produced by pathogenic microorganisms, the body reacts by developing inflammation.
Infection of the pulp significantly weakens its protective mechanisms, which leads to slow cell death. If the necrotic masses are colonized by anaerobic bacteria, the process of putrefaction begins and the infection can spread to adjacent structures.
Infection of the pulp leading to a dead tooth can also occur as a result of a blood-borne infection. This occurs when the infected organ already exists in the body. Bacteria flowing in with blood settle in the pulp and cause a new focus of infection. This scenario can occur with pneumonia, inflammation of the urinary tract, or tonsillitis, but infection of the hematopoietic pulp is rare.
Another cause of pulpal necrosis is damage to the vascular nerve pedicle that enters the tooth from the periapical region. The most common causes of this type of injury are mechanical factors that act with little intensity, but for a long time. Situations in which the blood supply to the pulp may be impaired include:
- the habit of biting nails, pens, pencils;
- teeth setting too fast during orthodontic procedures;
- ill-fitting dentures.
Symptoms of a dead tooth
The presence and severity of symptoms of a dead tooth depends on the degree of necrosis. If part of the pulp, including the nerve endings, remains alive, the patient will feel pain when eating hot food. To better determine the actual condition of the tissues inside the tooth, the dentist may use various tests. Viability test carried out:
- use of ethyl chloride;
- pulpometer test;
- heated gutta-percha.
These factors irritate the functioning sensory endings that send pain impulses to the central nervous system.
In case of total necrosis, the patient does not feel pain due to the destruction of the receptors. He often draws attention to the darker color of the tooth and the dullness of the enamel. During a dental examination, the doctor notices the reasons that can lead to the formation of a dead tooth – carious cavities, extensive fillings, mechanical injuries.
The border between necrosis and gangrene is very smooth and often elusive, but very important for the spread of inflammation and infection to adjacent tissues. To find out, the dentist will tap and palpate the periapical region. When the infection remains in the cavity of the tooth, the examination does not cause unpleasant discomfort from the surrounding tissues.
Inflammation in the apex of the root will become painful during the tests. X-rays of the teeth are also needed for a more accurate diagnosis. They are an important guide in assessing the degree of inflammation and help plan further treatment.
In the case of gangrene, the patient reports bad breath and an unpleasant aftertaste. Usually a dead tooth does not cause pain.
The body does not deal well with pulpal infection due to the fact that it is covered by hard tooth structures. Dead tissue in this area, under favorable conditions in the oral cavity, is almost always destroyed. Although a dead tooth does not hurt, the infection spreads to nearby structures, causing a number of serious complications.
Inflammation and infection spread from the dead pulp into the periapical region, forming a periapical abscess. The disease goes through stages, forming a subperiosteal and submucosal abscess. Pain, swelling of the face, or redness, while disturbing, are not the worst effects of these conditions. Bacteria around the mouth have easy access to various structures – not only to the head, but also to distant organs. The spread of pathogens can cause brain abscesses, mediastinum, infective endocarditis, or reactive arthritis.
Oral bacteria are also thought to be involved in causing autoimmune diseases in susceptible individuals. In extreme cases, microorganisms attacking the pulp can be the source of life-threatening sepsis, that is, the general reaction of the body to infection with the occurrence of multiple organ failure. That is why so much attention should be paid to the principles of good oral hygiene and a quick response to diseased or dead teeth.
Dead teeth whitening
A beautiful smile is not only an aesthetic value, but also a guarantee of well-being and self-confidence. Even in such a case as a dead tooth, whitening is possible. Fortunately, root canal treatment does not interfere with the dream of a beautiful Hollywood smile.
Teeth whitening methods are divided into external and internal. The first type is used to brighten teeth with live pulp. The second option is recommended after root canal treatment.
Internal bleaching methods are based on the introduction of bleaching agents into the chamber, which are designed to lighten the tooth. The most popular bleach used by dentists is high concentration hydrogen peroxide (perhydrol).
Treatment is carried out after hygienization and protection of surrounding tissues from the toxic effects of the bleaching agent. After access through the crown, the doctor cleans the chamber, leaves bleach inside and temporarily closes the cavity. After a certain period of time (usually several days, depending on the material used), the patient returns to the chair and the dentist evaluates the effect. If necessary, the whole procedure can be repeated.
You can also find a thermal catalytic technique recommended in case of hard to remove color changes. This is a fast method of teeth whitening. Thanks to the use of a special lamp that accelerates the action of the bleach, the patient can enjoy the effect immediately after the procedure.
Ointments and remedies
Due to possible serious health consequences, it is imperative to treat a dead tooth. The dentist will first suggest root canal treatment. In a situation where mechanical obstacles (calcification) or a certain root position prevent the endodontist from working, hemisection (removal of one of the roots together with part of the crown), radiodissection (removal of one of the roots) or extraction (removal of the entire tooth) is an alternative.
Root canal treatment involves the removal of dead pulp from the chamber and canals of the tooth along with bacteria. After treatment of carious lesions and access to the inside of the tooth, the dentist removes dead masses from the inside of the crown, and then proceeds to manipulate the root canals. To do this, he uses thin instruments and abundantly rinses the treatment site with antiseptics to kill all bacterial flora. The last stage of root canal treatment is closing the canals with a specialized material (usually gutta-percha) and restoring the crown of the tooth.
The pulp may not be completely dead, so the entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia. If its implementation is impossible (for example, as a result of an allergy to anesthetics or coagulation disorders), root canal treatment is performed with devitalization (killing) of the pulp. During the first visit, the doctor introduces substances into the tooth that cause tissue death. The destruction of nerve endings leads to the absence of pain, so that the dentist in the next session can perform root canal treatment without anesthesia, and the patient does not experience any unpleasant ailments associated with the procedure.
Despite the fact that a dead tooth does not hurt after a properly performed root canal treatment, it happens that the first days after the procedure can be marked by severe ailments. They are caused by the reaction of surrounding tissues to actions in the area of operation and quickly disappear. If a toothache develops after a while, it may be a sign of infection and inflammation. Usually occurs as a result of:
- inaccurate removal of necrotic masses;
- survival of microorganisms despite the use of special measures;
- leaky filling of channels;
- In this case, it is most often necessary to re-treat the root canals.
Dead tooth is a general term for a condition in which the inside of a tooth is filled with dead tissue or special materials after root canal treatment.