What Happens If Rotten Teeth Are Left Unattended?

By Susan Davis

Going to the dentist is a necessity that many people avoid, even when there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. One of those problems is when teeth have cavities that have not been filled. The cavities can continue to grow and can cause the entire tooth to decay. Decayed teeth can cause more problems that just tooth pain.

Mid adult man looking away with hands on mouth, close-up

Going to the dentist is a necessity that many people avoid, even when there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. One of those problems is when teeth have cavities that have not been filled. The cavities can continue to grow and can cause the entire tooth to decay. Decayed teeth can cause more problems that just tooth pain.

Pain

Toothache pain

If left unattended, cavities in teeth can cause a serious toothache. The pain can be a constant sharp, shooting pain in the tooth. As the tooth decays, there can also be pain and sensitivity caused by eating sweets or hot or cold food or drinks. It can also spread to pain and bleeding of the gums. In addition to pain in the mouth, rotten teeth can also cause pain in the jaw, ears and can lead to headaches.

Aesthetics

Dentist examining teeth

Rotten or decayed teeth just look bad. Decayed teeth often have holes and can turn black. If left unattended too long, infection can set in, causing pus to form around the gums. When teeth decay, pieces of the tooth can actually fall off, leaving just a partial tooth. Decaying teeth can also cause bad breath and can cause you to have a bad taste in your mouth. Eventually, the entire decayed tooth may fall out, leaving a gaping hole where the tooth used to be. In general, leaving rotten teeth unattended can really affect your smile and looks.

Additional Concerns

Dentist talking to patient

Besides pain and aesthetics, there are medical complications that can arise from neglected and decaying teeth. Proper chewing and jaw alignment can be affected when people avoid chewing on the decayed teeth. Your facial structure can also be affected, especially if there is more than one decayed tooth. Teeth will shift in your mouth, affecting your facial structure. Infection is also common when there are decayed teeth. Infection, if not treated with medication, can spread throughout the body, causing serious health issues, even death. Speech can also be affected from decayed teeth, and psychological and self-esteem issues can arise.

Prevention

Brushing teethd

The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing your teeth twice a day and regularly visiting the dentist. Once there is a cavity or tooth pain, visit the dentist immediately. Keep in mind that no matter how much you may dislike the dentist, it is best to take care of the issue right away as ignoring it can lead to many serious issues that can affect more than just your tooth.

References

About the Author

This article was written by the Healthfully team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about Healthfully, contact us here.

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