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(210) 492-0205

13205 George Rd,
San Antonio, TX 78230

How Dangerous Can a Toothache Be?


Having a toothache may not seem like a big deal. The unfortunate thing about them is that they don’t normally just go away on their own and can be quite serious, especially if you leave them untreated. In fact, if you have an infected tooth that isn’t attended to by your dentist, it could easily spread to other areas in the body and even be life-threatening! Read on to learn the signs of a tooth infection so you know when you should head to your emergency dentist in North Central San Antonio.

What Causes Teeth to Become Infected?

A tooth becomes infected when bacteria makes its way to the center of a tooth through a crack, chip, or cavity. Most commonly, this happens as a result of poor oral hygiene, however consuming sugary foods, and beverages as well as dry mouth increase your risk of getting an infection. If you leave a cracked tooth untreated or a tooth restoration, like a crown or filling, becomes damaged, it can result in infection. Over time, infection can spread to other areas in the body and become much more dangerous.

What Are the Symptoms of a Tooth Infection?

There a variety of different signs that your tooth could be infected. Here are some of the most common:

  • Throbbing tooth pain
  • Throbbing pain of the jawbone
  • Swelling of the cheeks
  • Increased temperature sensitivity
  • Tender or swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Foul taste in the mouth
  • Pressure sensitivity

What Happens When an Infected Tooth Is Left Untreated?

If an infected tooth is not attended to by your dentist, it can result in some very dangerous outcomes. Here are some of them:

  • Sepsis: If the bacteria from the infection makes its way to the bloodstream, the immune system becomes weak and makes you susceptible to other infections in the body that you would normally be able to fight off without a problem. Signs of sepsis include a high fever, shock, and a rapid heartbeat.
  • Respiratory Issues: When lungs become affected by bacteria from a tooth infection, it creates the perfect breeding ground for it to multiply. This can make it difficult to breathe and cause a variety of respiratory problems.
  • Ludwig’s Angina: If the untreated tooth infection spreads to the throat and chest, it can cause swelling which makes it difficult to breathe, swallow, and can even cause suffocation.

If you notice that you have any of these symptoms related to an infected tooth or you have a toothache in North Central San Antonio, give your emergency dentist a call immediately. The quicker you get treatment, the faster and easier it will be to get back on your feet.

About the Practice

At Legacy Central SA, you have two skilled dentists who are equipped to handle any dental emergency that may come your way. Both Dr. Brian L. Eck and Dr. Reagan Smith earned their Doctor of Dental Surgery degrees from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and are members of multiple professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. For more information on dental emergencies or to schedule an urgent appointment, visit their website or call (210) 361-8905.

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