“It’s just a toothache.” We’ve all heard that so many times before. There are even times when we say these words. But there’s a really good reason that dentists always recommend that you undergo a tooth extraction when they find that plaque’s been having a party for too long. Not only is this undoubtedly gross, but it’s also very dangerous to your health.
The human body is a wonderful thing. It’s capable of making perfect sense of its surrounding just by looking around. We are able to wire our bodies for quicker reflexes and for more power when needed. In times of emergencies, we are even able to momentarily perform beyond the limits of what we confine ourselves to by virtue of adrenaline.
The point I’m driving at is that the body is designed to be aware of its environment and of itself. When you’re sleepy, that’s your body telling you that you need to rest. When you’re hungry, that your body telling you that you need to eat. The same principle applies to toothaches and any type of pain. It’s your body’s way of telling you that there’s something wrong.
According to the Bellevue dentist office of Dr. Peter Chien, toothaches are similar to home security alarms that go off when your body detects that a foreign body has entered your body. This foreign body often comes in the form of pathogens, or any microorganism that can cause diseases.
How Does Tooth Decay Occur?
Tooth decay happens when bits of the food you eat get stuck between your teeth for extended periods of time, because either you weren’t brushing your teeth properly, or you weren’t brushing your teeth at all. There isn’t an easy way to put it other than “the food literally rots in your mouth.”.
As a general rule, anything that rots eventually becomes septic. Now, this is where things get dangerous. A tooth infection is a serious matter that can be easily avoided by a tooth extraction, or even more efficiently, by proper dental hygiene.
How is Tooth Decay Dangerous?
The danger here is that the infection can easily spread to other parts of your body. It will almost always spread to your gums first. This will lead to abscesses — pus-filled swollen areas in your body. Once the pathogens reach your gums, they’re much more likely to reach your brain which, if infected, will leave you severely debilitated, if not dead.
And that isn’t all. The pathogens can spread to your blood and even to your lungs, which would result in death. History has accounts of tooth decay-related deaths. And while the number is decidedly small, one can’t argue that the manner in which these unfortunate people died would cause anyone to shudder at the thought.
Now, to conclude, can you die from a toothache? No. To put things into perspective, think of a toothache for what it really is — pain. Nobody has ever died from pain itself. However, the pain will often cause one thing that can surely kill a human — circulatory shock.