What Happens If Tooth Infection Spreads To Your Jaw?

What Happens If Tooth Infection Spreads To Your Jaw?
July 1, 2023

When a tooth infection spreads to the jaw, it can cause serious, potentially fatal complications. Here are some of the possible outcomes:

  • Cellulitis is caused by a bacterial infection which spreads to the soft tissues of the face and neck due to a tooth infection. This condition can cause redness, swelling, and pain and may necessitate hospitalization for antibiotic treatment.
  • Osteomyelitis: If the infection spreads to the jawbone, it can cause serious and potentially fatal osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis symptoms include pain, swelling, fever, and difficulty opening the mouth. Antibiotics are typically used in treatment, and surgery may be required in severe cases.
  • Abscess: A tooth infection can also result in the formation of an abscess that forms at the site of infection. If the abscess is not treated promptly, it can spread to the jaw, causing cellulitis and osteomyelitis, among other complications.
  • Sinusitis is caused by a tooth infection in the upper jaw spreading to the sinuses. Sinus pain or pressure, congestion, and fever are all possible symptoms.

How Can I Tell If a Tooth Infection Has Spread?

If left untreated, tooth infections can become serious and potentially fatal. If a tooth infection is not treated properly, it can spread to other body parts, like the jaw, sinuses, and bloodstream. The followings are some signs and symptoms that a tooth infection has spread:

  • Swelling: Swelling around your jaw or neck could indicate that a tooth infection has spread. In the affected area, swelling may be accompanied by redness, warmth, or tenderness.
  • Fever: If the infection has spread to other parts of the body, a fever may develop. If your temperature rises above 100.4°F, you should seek medical attention.
  • Pain and discomfort are both common signs of a tooth infection. If the pain persists despite using pain relievers, it may indicate that the infection has spread. The pain could also spread to other parts of the head and neck.
  • Bad taste or odour: A bad taste or odour in your mouth could be a sign of a spreading tooth infection. This could be because pus or bacteria are present in the affected area.
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing: If the infection has spread to your throat or airway, you may have trouble swallowing or breathing. This could be a medical emergency requiring immediate attention by an emergency dentist.

What Is the Treatment For a Tooth Infection?

Several factors will determine a tooth infection’s treatment. Your dentist will investigate the abscess’s location, the extent of its spread, and how your immune system responds to the infection. With that said, here are some options available at the dentist’s office for treating an abscessed tooth.

  1. Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment is a method of removing an abscess that has spread deep within the tooth. The dentist will drill a hole into the tooth to remove accumulated bacteria and pus at the roots. After the abscess has been treated, the dentist will fill the hole with a rubbery substance to allow it to heal.

After the tooth has healed, they will use a permanent filling or dental crown to prevent further infections. The dentist may advise you also to practice good dental hygiene to keep the canals healthy.

  1. Apicoectomy

When a root canal treatment is insufficient to eliminate tooth infection, a dentist may recommend an apicoectomy. This is especially true if the infection has spread to the tooth’s roots and tissue. The patient’s gums are opened during this procedure so that your dentist can remove the tooth roots and the abscessed tissue.

  1. Sepsis Treatment

People with septicemia must be admitted to an intensive care unit for treatment. Intravenous fluids and antibiotics are required to treat a patient using this approach. Other treatments, like dialysis and surgery, may be required to support the patient’s body while limiting the infection’s damage.

  1. Antibiotics

If the infection is not so severe, a dentist at Absolute Dental may simply prescribe antibiotics to patients. This type of medication is designed to help reduce the infection and keep it from spreading. If the infection has already spread, the antibiotic treatment may need to be extended.

Alternatively, your dentist in Gilbert, AZ, may advise you to try a different type of medication. In severe cases, patients will be given antibiotics via intravenous drips at the hospital.

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