Can an infected wisdom tooth kill you?
Who would have thought that a tiny little tooth could cause so much destruction? Wisdom teeth are not only painful to deal with, but they can also be dangerous if not given the proper attention. In this article, we will delve in-depth into the topic and answer the question on everyone’s mind: Can an infected wisdom tooth really kill you?
Understanding Wisdom Teeth
Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page regarding what wisdom teeth are. These “third molars” typically appear between the ages of 17-25 and tend to cause trouble when there isn’t enough space in your mouth for them to grow properly. They can emerge partially or fully impacted, leading to discomfort and pain.
But why do we even have these pesky teeth in the first place? It turns out that our ancient ancestors had larger jaws suited for chewing tough foods like raw meat and fibrous plants. As our diets evolved through cooking techniques over time, so did our dental structures – making these extra molars increasingly unnecessary.
The Danger of Infection
When it comes down to it, a simple infection within one of your wisdom teeth has much more potential than causing some minor irritation. If bacteria infects this area specifically (which is more prone due to its difficult reach), it spreads rather quickly throughout surrounding tissue without ample treatment. That being said…
YES,an infected wisdom tooth CAN actually kill you
We know that sounds alarming; however, severe infections anywhere near important organs pose significant health risks if left uncared for long enough – including cardiac arrest or sepsis from untreated blood poisoning caused by bacterial spread from infection sites other than oral cavities such as periodontitis ((inflammation around tissues supporting teeth)).
What initially begins as swelling along with throbbing pain may escalate swiftly into something far worse… like bacterial encephalitis (swelling of the brain) or Ludwig’s angina ((serious and potentially fatal bacterial infection which originates in submaxillary spaces)).
Signs & Symptoms
So now we know, failing to care for an infected wisdom tooth can have some pretty serious consequences, but how do you know if your tooth’s currently harboring any dangerous bacteria? Here are some symptoms that indicate when an appointment with a dental professional is necessary:
- Pain surrounding area
- Difficulty opening mouth
- Inability to chew on one side of the mouth only
- Swollen glands or neck/face areas
Don’t wait until it gets worse. Once affected, these messes only continue to spread out from their initial source – making early detection critical (before problems start hitting your brain). If possible, see your dentist as soon as possible upon recognizing any problematic symptoms.
Prevention & Treatment
Of course, the optimal solution would be avoiding all infections entirely. The following preventative measures decrease likeliness such scenarios happening:
Rotate Antibiotics: As surgeons always say: antibiotics never hurt! That being said, rotating different types throughout possible times reduces likelihoods of contracting antibiotic-resistant strains(black spots within teeth).
Keep It Clean: Proper oral hygiene routine limits microbial growth(the female reproductive system) & breedinggrounds; brush at least twice daily using either manual brushing tools(rubbing stones together like our ancestors did!), electric brushes(more effective than manual options) or water flossers(new gadgets shooting water into between teeth in attempt removing plaque build-up); floss regularly after meals along with occasionally rinsing entire mouth bacterial-killing liquids available at most drug stores (eyewitness evidence has shown this reducing incidences considerably!)
Obviously though… accidents still frequently happen (wouldn’t make a great show without them!). What happens then?
In general,courses depending on symptom seriousness range from simple scraping away problem areas under local anesthesia, through to full removal under general anesthesia. Analyzing infection spread will dictate decision here in either an attempt salvaging tooth or saying “Goodbye” forever.
In conclusion, the threat may at first seem exaggerated; however dangerously infected wisdom teeth should not be shrugged off as insignificant – this definitely isn’t always the case! By maintaining proper oral hygiene and reaching out to professionals when needed, it’s relatively easy keeping these little molars from ruining day-to-day life …and your life altogether!