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Author Topic: How dangerous are tooth abscesses?  (Read 102003 times)

DoctorBeaver

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How dangerous are tooth abscesses?
« on: 14/05/2009 13:05:53 »
Highly improbable, I admit, but if someone were able to tolerate the pain & not get it treated, what would (or could) happen? Are they dangerous if left untreated? Would it eventually clear up by itself? And what would happen to all the yukky stuff in it?

dentstudent

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How dangerous are tooth abscesses?
« Reply #1 on: 14/05/2009 13:10:43 »
"A tooth abscess complication includes tooth loss, jaw bone damage, neighboring tooth damage or loss, sinus problems, brain abscess, heart damage, hospitalization, coma, and even death. The pressure caused by pus swelling inside the jaw bone causes inflammation of the bone (osteomyelitis) and this bone can die in the area of the swelling. If the bone doesn't heal and regrow, painful defects may form inside the bone(cavitations). If the bone surrounding a tooth dies, the tooth becomes loose due to the lack of support and can fall out. If the inflammation spreads to the bone surrounding the adjacent teeth, they also can be lost.

The roots of the upper molar teeth are often located in the maxillary sinuses. If a tooth abscess generates pus, then a tooth abscess complication can be the sinus filling up with pus. Another serious problem is coma from septicemia of the brain. The brain is only about three inches from the tooth roots and a dental infection from a tooth abscess can spread to the brain through the veins in the head.

Endocarditis can also be a tooth abscess complication. Endocarditis is the inflammation of the inside of the heart and can be caused by bacteria from a tooth abscess. The bacteria attach to the inside of the heart, grow and can damage the heart permanently. If the bacteria enter the lungs, they can cause pneumonia.

The most serious worry is death. If a tooth abscess if left untreated it can grow and spread through the soft tissue of the face and cause dramatic outward facial swelling called cellulitis. If the swelling grows under the jaw it can cause Ludwig's angina, block off the airway and suffocate the patient."

http://www.atlantadentist.com/tooth_abscess_complication.html


So, no worries, hey?

DoctorBeaver

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How dangerous are tooth abscesses?
« Reply #2 on: 14/05/2009 13:16:59 »
Gawd - not really a good idea to just leave them, then!

DoctorBeaver

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How dangerous are tooth abscesses?
« Reply #3 on: 14/05/2009 13:18:32 »
And how appropriate that the reply was from DENTstudent  ;D

dentstudent

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How dangerous are tooth abscesses?
« Reply #4 on: 14/05/2009 13:19:49 »
Gawd - not really a good idea to just leave them, then!

It would seem not, old boy. It also doesn't mention the awful halitosis that must accompany it...

DrN

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How dangerous are tooth abscesses?
« Reply #5 on: 15/05/2009 20:43:10 »
YIKES!!!!!!

I had a tooth abscess about 10 years ago. Got the first twinges around 5pm friday evening of a bank holiday weekend. By 2am saturday morning the pain was unbearable; it went right down the nerve and into the centre of my brain.

Great time to discover the dental emergency service phone number is exactly that - a number. Silly of me to think there would be a person at the end of the line. A&E didn't want to know, NHS direct were almost useless but gave me the best advice of the night - take as many painkillers as possible and keep taking them, take ibuprofen at the same time as paracetomol (but not aspirin, as its the same family as ibuprofen).

This I did until tuesday morning when I went to the dentist who couldn't touch it until I'd taken a 2 week course of antibiotics. Turns out I was sensitive to the first lot of antibiotics. had to go back and get a different lot. the culprit was a cracked tooth that had let infection into the root. 3 weeks later I had root canal work and have been fine ever since.

Didn't realise the implications were more serious than wanting to rest my head on the railway tracks though.

LindaC52

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How dangerous are tooth abscesses?
« Reply #6 on: 01/07/2009 06:50:09 »
Highly improbable, I admit, but if someone were able to tolerate the pain & not get it treated, what would (or could) happen? Are they dangerous if left untreated? Would it eventually clear up by itself? And what would happen to all the yukky stuff in it?

As an Arizona Dentist,to tell you frankly,an untreated tooth abscess may become large enough to make a hole into the bone and extend into the soft tissue. And from there it follows the path of least resistance and may spread either internally or externally. The path of the infection is influenced by such things as the location of the infected tooth and the thickness of the bone, muscle and fascia attachments.

External drainage may begin as a boil which bursts allowing pus drainage from the abscess, intraorally (usually through the gum) or extra orally. Chronic drainage will allow an epithelial lining to form in this communication to form a pus draining canal (fistula). Sometimes this type of drainage will immediately relieve some of the painful symptoms associated with the pressure.

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« Last Edit: 01/07/2009 07:03:56 by Karen W. »

Andrew K Fletcher

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How dangerous are tooth abscesses?
« Reply #7 on: 01/07/2009 07:59:51 »
Wife had abscess, treated by aggressively swishing fresh lime juice around the teeth after lancing and antibiotics failed to resolve it. The abscess erupted the day after and completely cleared. The lime juice turned the pus into clear fluid. Maybe a mouth wash using hydrogen peroxide mixed with 3 parts water would also do the trick as very effective with ulcers and halitosis.

But you should definitely visit your dentist asap because you could develop further complications if left untreated.

 

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