Good dental hygiene is absolutely necessary throughout one’s life. As we get older, the need only increases since bacteria and decay become more prevalent. In general, we only think of the repercussions of these kinds of tooth infections as tooth loss, irritation, and bad breath. This may not equal “danger” to most people, but the potential for real danger to your life is certainly there when a tooth infection is present.

When individuals have a tooth infection, they should visit a dentist as soon as possible. The mouth is the main entryway into the body, and if it is full of bacteria and decay, then the body can be severely affected. Illnesses can be acquired if not attended to, because harmful germs that are in your mouth can travel through the body and infect organs. This can easily lead to fatal diseases when it is not treated.

Depending on the placement of the tooth infection, there can be swelling in the mouth around the tooth. The bacteria can infect the cheeks and neck, causing them to become swollen. When this swelling goes too long without being treated, it can make swallowing and breathing difficult. There is also a disease called cellulitis that is caused by bacteria in the mouth from a tooth infection. Antibiotics are necessary to bring down the swelling, and to prevent possible death.

Bacteria can also move upwards when the infection is in the upper row of teeth. The cheeks, temples, and area around the eyes can be affected by the tooth infection. The spreading to these areas will cause the eyes to swell shut. An antibiotic will be necessary to stave off the infection, and stop the bacteria from spreading. Another danger that can develop is cavernous sinus thrombosis, which is an infection to the sinus cavity. It also can lead to death if left untreated.