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Ignoring a Toothache: A Fatal Mistake?

December 14, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — cordiniperio @ 9:39 am
A young man with a deadly toothache in Louisville

In the grand scheme of things, a toothache in Louisville may not seem like a big deal. After all, aren’t little body pains a natural part of life? You can surely ignore it without anything bad happening. The truth, though, is that a toothache is often more dangerous than you’d think. Left untreated, one could prove fatal enough to send you to the emergency room. As for how that’s possible, your local dentist will tell you the answer. Here’s a summary of why an achy tooth might point to a deadly infection that needs urgent care.

An Achy Tooth May Be Infected

A toothache isn’t dangerous in and of itself. Instead, the real problem is what it sometimes signals: a tooth infection.

As you might guess, a tooth infection occurs when bacteria gets inside your pearly white. These microbes can irritate and infect the pulp, sending pain signals to your brain. Should that happen, your tooth will likely feel achy until it receives proper treatment.

An Infected Tooth May be Fatal

Unfortunately, an infected tooth can do more than just cause discomfort. Without proper care, its infection will spread to other body parts. You could then face one (or more) of the following conditions:


In response to an infection, your body may release chemicals that trigger widespread inflammation. This chain reaction, called sepsis, would then damage your organs and make them fail. Thus, you must watch out for this condition’s symptoms — fever, difficulty breathing, low bread pressure, and more.

Breathing & Respiratory Issues

The bacteria from an infected tooth can reach your lungs through breathing. This scenario is risky, as the lung is the best breeding ground for such bacteria. Once the microbes start multiplying quickly, they’d make it hard for you to breathe or cause other respiratory problems. Needless to say, such things can lead to death.


Apparently, a tooth infection can even lead to meningitis. The latter — a life-threatening brain and spinal cord swelling — is especially dangerous for those with weak immune systems. In fact, its death rate is as high as 70 percent, according to CDC research.

How an Emergency Dentist Can Help

An emergency dentist can treat a tooth infection if you see them quickly. Depending on the issue’s severity, they could then suggest (and perform) options like:

  • Abscess Draining: If your infection has led to a dental abscess, your dentist could make a small cut into the latter and drain it of pus.
  • Root Canal: For a root canal, a dentist removes the infected pulp from your tooth. They then clean and fill the pearly white and cap it with a dental crown.
  • Tooth Extraction: If an infected tooth is too far gone, a dentist may need to extract it instead.

Ultimately, a toothache in Louisville deserves serious attention. Make sure, then, to see your dentist for it as time allows.

About the Practice

Cordini Periodontics is based in Louisville, KY. As led by Dr. Franco Cordini, our practice strives to give patients the best dental care possible. To that end, we offer periodontal therapy, surgical periodontics, and cosmetic periodontics. As necessary, our office can also perform emergency and dental sedation and emergency tooth procedures. You can therefore trust us for your most crucial oral health needs! For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (502)-425-5010.

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