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3 Potential Complications From a Tooth Abscess

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If you have a simple toothache or jaw pain, or experience a foul taste when biting down, it could be a sign that you have an abscess in your tooth. When caught early, you may be able to save the tooth from serious infection. If left alone, the abscess could lead to one of these 3 complications.

Facial Nerve Damage

When the abscess becomes inflamed, the damage can extend beyond your tooth. You might start seeing it affect your facial nerves as well. This is because bacteria can travel from the nerves in your teeth to the nerves in your face, and potentially cause permanent damage.

Some of the signs that you have nerve damage are if you experience a burning sensation on your cheeks, lips, nose, chin, or jaw. You may also experience shooting pains, itching, tingling and numbness in your facial area.

There is always a chance that these symptoms could be due to another medical condition, including vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, thyroid issues, or even multiple sclerosis. Make sure to check with a dentist to see if the symptoms are related to an abscess, and if so, your dentist can prescribe you medication to help calm the inflammation.

Sinus Infection

A dental abscess also makes you more prone to having sinus infections. Your risk increases if the abscess is located in a top molar, since the nerves of the tooth are located close your nose and sinuses. Symptoms such as nasal drip, fever, colored mucus, headache, congestion, and facial pain or pressure could all be related to an abscess.

Antibiotics will be required if your abscess is related to a sinus infection. Though it is rare, there is a possibility that a severe or untreated sinus infection can affect your brain, which could be life threatening.


When an abscess is untreated and begins to spread throughout the body's bloodstream, it is known as septicemia. Some of the symptoms of having septicemia include confusion, body aches, headache, nausea, chills, shaking, and fever.

More serious symptoms include cardiac arrhythmia, the inability to urinate, breathing difficulties, and disorientation. If you suffer from these symptoms, you will need to see emergency medical help at your local hospital. Catching septicemia early can lead to successful treatment.

The next time you have a tooth infection, do not rely on home remedies to treat it. Visit a dental center like OraCare Dental as soon as possible so the infection can be diagnosed and treated properly.