Can a tooth infection make me sick?

Answer

According to MedlinePlus, a tooth infection can make you sick. Such an infection can result in pus and swelling within the tooth and can spread, causing pain and destroying tissue. In addition to a severe toothache, other symptoms include fever, swollen neck glands and swelling of the upper or lower jaw. If an abscess goes untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, sepsis and life-threatening complications including endocarditis, pneumonia or brain abscess.

Other signs of illness due to a tooth infection include sharp shooting pains when chewing and oozing sores on the gums, according to HowStuffWorks.

According to WebMD, additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, diarrhea, bitter taste from pus drainage and difficulty opening the mouth fully or swallowing. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a dentist immediately.

MedlinePlus explains that treatment for a tooth infection includes taking antibiotics in order to fight the infection and prevent additional complications. Rinsing with warm salt water can relieve toothache pain. Taking pain relievers not only relieves toothache pain but also reduces fever. In order to save the tooth, a root canal procedure may be required. With quick medical attention, a tooth can be saved, but severe infections sometimes require removal of the tooth.

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