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Is a Tooth Infection Serious?

Posted by writeradmin

A couple of weeks ago, I broke a molar. Since then, I started having some pain. Now the pain is up to my temples and also moving downward toward my neck. My wife keeps telling me this is serious and I need to take some time off work and see a dentist. This is one of our busiest seasons at my office and we’re in the middle of a huge deal that could make or break the company. Is this as serious as my wife is suggesting or can it wait until things at work slow down? I have enough pain killers to handle the pain.


Dear Don,

An image of a man holding his jaw in need of an emergency dentist.
Dental emergencies can turn life threatening.

While it can seem like wives worry about everything, I am going to advise you to heed the warning  your wife is giving you right here. Believe it or not people still, to this day, die from tooth infections. What you have is an infected tooth and the infection is now spreading both upward, as well as downward. Think about what will happen if the infection reaches your brain or goes into your throat and the swelling closes up your breathing passage. This needs to be dealt with and I would consider it a dental emergency at this point.

How NOT to Treat a Dental Infection

What you do not want to do is simply try to take some antibiotics as the solution. The most antibiotics can do is hold the infection at bay temporarily. Once your pills run out the infection will flare right back up.

The only way to actually treat a tooth infection is for the dentist to either extract the infected tooth or to perform a root canal treatment. Ideally, you want a root canal treatment because that will save your tooth. However, if it is too late then an extraction is all you can get. If that is the case, you are going to want to replace this tooth as soon as possible. If you don’t, the other teeth will drift or tip into that spot which could lead to painful TMJ Disorder.

The best replacement would be to get a dental implant, though there are other options.

The important thing is to get this treated as soon as possible.

This blog is brought to you by Nashville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. David Wickness.