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Can a Tooth Infection Spread?

Written in General Dentistry

A tooth infection is otherwise known as a dental abscess. This is a collection of pus that can either form inside the teeth, gums or the bone that holds the teeth in place. It is generally caused by a bacterial infection and you may experience a throbbing pain, especially when eating and chewing. But, can a tooth infection spread to other parts of the body?

The short answer is yes. If left untreated, a tooth infection could spread to your head or neck. There is also a small possibility of developing sepsis, which can be concerning. Therefore, it’s important that you book a dentist appointment as soon as possible. But what can you do to prevent a tooth infection?

Good oral hygiene

Most serious dental issues can be prevented with good oral hygiene. This means regularly brushing your teeth, flossing and using fluoride toothpaste. Tooth infections stem from bacteria entering through a dental cavity or chip. Therefore it’s important to maintain proper oral hygiene. Alongside brushing regularly, you should replace your toothbrush every few months and make sure you are using the correct technique.

Reduce sugar

A diet that’s high in sugar encourages dental cavities and can turn a tooth into an abscess. Cracked or damaged teeth are breeding grounds for unhealthy bacteria. And this is when infections might form, as they can get trapped in that area. So, be aware of the amount of sugar you’re putting into your body, especially in the form of sweets and sugary drinks. Whilst most people can’t resist a little sugar, it can be problematic in excess.

A healthy lifestyle

While you’re avoiding sugar, it’s also good to think about the other areas of a healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein, calcium and vitamins will keep your teeth strong, healthy and happy. Habits such a smoking and drinking alcohol have the opposite effect on your oral hygiene and can contribute to infections if done in excess.

Stay hydrated

Having a dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay, as your teeth don’t have the amount of saliva that is needed to keep harmful germs in check. Unfortunately, dry mouth is a common symptom of ageing and can be difficult to control. However, certain factors increase dry mouth, such as smoking. Therefore, to prevent a tooth infection, cutting down on smoking is certainly recommended. Drinking lots of water and maintaining a healthy diet is also advised.

Regular check-ups

The best way to prevent a tooth infection, both from occurring and from spreading, is by attending regular dentist appointments. Whilst you might not be too sure on what’s going on in your mouth, your dentist will be able to see if there’s anything worrying to look out for. They can then treat it quickly and effectively. When dental problems are left untreated they can quickly escalate and become nasty to your entire body. And that’s not worth the pain, hassle or financial worry.

We recommend booking a dentist appointment today to prevent any further problems with your teeth.

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