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Long-Term Risks of Not Getting an Abscess Treated

Posted on 5/15/2017 by Mark Bieber
A woman suffering from a dental abscess.
If bacteria get into your teeth, it almost always turns into an infection.

As the abscess attempts to spill out into the jaw, your body creates a sac around it, in an attempt to contain it. This infection is known as an abscess.

Dental abscesses need to be treated. The pain enough should prompt you to seek dental help, but if you try to suffer through it, an abscess can have some serious consequences.

Bone Infection

The sac that contains the bacterial infection from your tooth will hold for a while. It may even continue to grow with the infection, which will, in turn, destroy your jawbone. But it cannot hold forever. If the bacteria spill out, it will infect the surrounding bone. This infection can weaken your jawbone. In some instances, you may require surgery to remove infected bone and prevent it from spreading.

Sinus Infection

The roots of your upper molars are located near your sinus cavities. Infections in these teeth can lead to a painful sinus infection. Abscesses can also lead to soft tissue infections in the surrounding area which can cause a number of complications, including obstructing your airway.

Tooth Loss

Caught early, an abscess can be treated with a root canal, which is designed to save your tooth from the fate of being pulled. If you wait to receive treatment, however, the infection may be too severe for a root canal to save, and instead it will need to be extracted.

When the sac containing the infection ruptures, the bacteria can spread into your bloodstream. This, in turn, can result in septicemia. Bacteria travel throughout your entire bloodstream, spreading infection everywhere they go. Septicemia can be life-threatening and requires intravenous antibiotics and a lengthy hospital stay.

Brain Abscess

As the infection spreads throughout your bloodstream, it can enter your brain, resulting in a brain abscess. This is also a rather dangerous health condition, and is incredibly difficult to treat, that requires hospitalization.

Ultimately, the most serious consequence of an untreated dental abscess is death. Tooth pain should not be ignored. If your tooth hurts, contact our office right away.

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