Most people associate toothache with excruciating pain and excessive discomfort. However, most don't know that an untreated dental issue can affect the rest of the body. In some rare cases, the complications can even lead to death. With this in mind, you should see a general dental care provider immediately after experiencing signs of dental health problems. Here are four tell-tale signs that your tooth infection has spread to the rest of the body.
A General Feeling of Malaise
Illness is probably the first symptom you'll experience when a dental problem starts to affect your body. Note that what begins as a mouth problem could soon become a migraine if you don't seek treatment. Further, the discomfort could spread to your temple or ear and jawline. You could also feel weary, as if you're on the verge of being sick. More importantly, pain and inflammation in the ear can disrupt regular sensory processing, which can cause episodes of disorientation and nausea.
An Extremely High Fever
The body's immune response to an illness is a rise in body temperature. This happens because many infectious bacteria cannot thrive in high-temperature environments. As a result, your body heats up to eliminate foreign bodies. However, elevated core temperature isn't always beneficial to your health. A persistent state of an extremely high temperature may be an early sign of sepsis. Further, the traditional indicators of a fever include shaking and chills.
Pain in the Belly and Dehydration
Tooth infections come from bacteria, and if left untreated, these infections can lead to sepsis. If this is the case, you could notice a decrease in your frequency of urination, and the fluid will be a deeper shade than usual. In addition, the second stage comes with dehydration, while cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea are also possible side effects. Also, water loss and headaches are two signs that can compound an already dire situation.
Swollen Face and Neck
Some dental problems can cause mild face swelling and water retention. Note that experts advise you to go to the emergency department if the pain lasts more than a day or if you can't arrange an appointment with your dentist. If neglected, the swelling can cause problems with swallowing and breathing. Remember, this is a warning that the infection is progressing and, if left untreated, might block your airways, which can be fatal.
It is best to see an emergency dentist immediately after you experience these signs of trouble. Ultimately, a quick response will minimize the chances of life-altering consequences, ease your pain and lead to a speedy recovery.
Contact a general dentistry provider to learn more about the importance of preventative dental care.