A 2000-2008 study published in the Journal of Endodontics reported 66 deaths in the United States attributed to tooth infections. This translates to five to ten fatalities per year, highlighting the potential severity of neglecting dental issues and self-care for toothache relief.
Are Antibiotics Enough to Clear a Tooth Infection?
Antibiotics are not enough to clear a tooth infection. The medication targets living bacteria, but the dead tooth pulp is often the source of a tooth infection. Antibiotics cannot reach the infection in a tooth. Relying solely on antibiotics for toothache relief can contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, complicating future treatment of various infections.
A Tragic Tooth Infection Case: Vadim Kondratyuk Anatoliyevich
The story of Vadim Kondratyuk Anatoliyevich is a reminder of the dangers involved. A 26-year-old father, Vadim, suffered from a worsening toothache while on a truck driving trip from California to New York. Despite seeking dental along the way in Oklahoma and receiving antibiotics, his condition escalated. Vadim’s brother arranged a plane trip home for Vadim, but the infection ultimately led to his death. The crucial takeaway from Vadim’s story is understanding the limitations of antibiotics for toothache relief and treating tooth infections.
What Should You Do for a Toothache?
If you have a toothache, don’t ignore it, even if it feels mild initially. Do-it-yourself toothache relief is a temporary solution. Meanwhile, the infection will continue to spread. A dentist can perform root canal treatment to save the tooth. Sometimes, extraction is necessary.
Underlying health conditions can make you more vulnerable to infections, so intervention from a dentist is crucial to prevent a tooth infection from spreading. The best toothache remedy is treatment from a dentist.
Although you may lose time or money getting toothache relief or caring for a tooth infection, treating it can be life-saving. If you lose a tooth to infection, your dentist will discuss tooth replacement options based on your oral health and budget. A partial denture, dental bridge, or dental implant is a tooth replacement option. Safeguard your well-being.
Dr. David Pumphrey, an Atlanta periodontist, sponsors this post.