A toothache may seem like a minor annoyance to most people. Usually, a quick visit to the dentist could easily patch it up. A little drilling, a little filling, and you are good to go.
However, a toothache may actually be dangerous.
Remember, toothaches are often caused by cavities. Cavities form when the bacteria on the teeth start eating into the enamel, forming plaque. As the plaque destroys the enamel, it makes its way into the inner structures of the teeth. Once it reaches the root, it causes some real problems. The VRDC, a dental practice in Middlesex, suggests a root canal procedure when the infection spreads this far.
A rotten tooth will often lead to the formation of a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess is a collection of pus inside the tooth or gums. You will have swelling, pain and may even run a fever.
Tooth abscesses are infections. It is when the infection travels into the dental pulp. The dental pulp, or root, is the fleshy, living part of the tooth. If the root dies, the tooth will fall off because the infection dissolves the bone around it.
Once a tooth abscess forms, it has the potential to become life threatening. Since the dental pulp connects to the circulatory system, an abscess will allow bacteria to travel into the bloodstream. There was a case back in 2007 in the US, when a 12-year-old boy died from an abscessed tooth. The bacteria had travelled from his mouth to his brain.
What makes abscesses so dangerous is the fact that the pain is sometimes difficult to detect. A deep-seated infection may not feel painful at all. That is why it is important to get treatment as soon as you notice something wrong.
You should never leave your tooth to fester. If you have a toothache, book an appointment with your dentist immediately. It could save your life.