Potential Health Consequences Of Untreated Cavities


Healthy teeth and a beautiful smile can enhance your appearance and boost your confidence levels. Fortunately, practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist for examinations and cleanings can prevent cavities and gum disease. However, if you have extensive untreated dental decay, you could be putting your health at risk. Here are some potential health consequences of untreated cavities that you should know about.

Dental Abscess

Untreated cavities can cause a severe infection inside your tooth, known as a dental abscess. Symptoms of a dental abscess often include a throbbing toothache, a bad taste in your mouth, and inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the affected tooth. As the abscess spreads, you may experience difficulty swallowing, earache, fever, and chills. If your cavities have progressed to dental abscesses, you will need to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Treatment for a dental abscess includes removing the infected material and pus from the abscess, irrigating the area with water, and oral antibiotics. Your dentist may also refer you to a dental specialist known as an endodontist for a root canal. If your dental abscess has destroyed your tooth and its pulp, extraction may be the best treatment alternative.

Heart Disease

If your cavities are not treated in a timely manner, you may develop a severe form of gum disease known as periodontal disease. This condition can affect the bones under your gums and cause gum recession. When your gums recede, pockets form underneath your gumline. In some cases, food can get trapped in these pockets and bacteria can start to grow. Once this happens, the bacteria can travel to your heart and damage your arteries and valves.

If you develop heart problems as a result of periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend taking a preventative course of antibiotics every time you undergo dental procedures such as having your cavities filled or getting your teeth cleaned. Taking antibiotics before your dental procedures will help reduce the bacteria in your mouth and decrease your risk for a heart infection called endocarditis which is often related to oral bacteria.

If you have cavities, see your dentist as soon as possible to reduce your risk for the above health problems. Early dental intervention not only helps prevent dental decay but also helps prevent early-stage gum disease called gingivitis. In addition to a good oral care routine and seeing your dentist regularly, eating healthy foods and not smoking can also help ensure excellent oral health.

For more information on cavities, contact a professional near you.

About Me

FAQs About Pregnancy and Dental Health

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have to deal with a host of changes to their bodies. I was surprised to learn that part of those changes is to your dental health. I was not aware that hormonal changes could mean an increased risk of gum infection and other dental problems. Luckily for me, my dentist was prepared to handle any problems that I experienced during my pregnancy. I created this blog to help other expectant mothers understand the changes that their dental health could experience throughout their pregnancies and the possible ramifications those changes could have on their pregnancies and the health of their unborn children.

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