Everyone understands the importance of having healthy teeth. Why, then, are oral infections on the rise? According to the New York Times, preventable dental conditions were the primary reason for over 830,000 emergency room visits in 2009, an increase of 16 percent compared to three years earlier.
One particular type of oral infection called a tooth abscess is when the tooth’s root becomes infected. This is a common result of untreated tooth decay. Tooth abscesses were responsible for more than 8,000 hospitalizations in 2008, an increase of 40 percent compared to 2000.
Sixty-six of these 8,000 patients lost their lives after being hospitalized for a seemingly simple tooth abscess, including a 12-year-old boy from Maryland. Bacteria from his abscessed tooth spread to his brain with fatal consequences. Many people simply don’t understand how serious tooth abscesses and other dental problems can be.
With the knowledge that oral infections are on the rise, learn the causes and how to prevent you or a family member from becoming a victim.
What’s Causing the Rising Number of Oral Infections?
- Neglect: It’s easy to put off dental care. Some people falsely believe that if their teeth aren’t causing them any discomfort, there’s no reason to go to the dentist for routine visits. The odds of developing a serious tooth abscess may seem rare, but according to Dr. Mark Wong – chairman of oral surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston – “to call this an epidemic of dental infections…is not an overstatement.”
- Lack of insurance coverage: For people without dental insurance, preventative visits may simply not be in the budget. After all, Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental visits. It’s easier for many people to justify putting of dental care until a swollen face or difficulty breathing has them running to the emergency room. However, as you might imagine, the high cost and potentially life-threatening consequences of neglect are much higher than paying for routine dental visits, even if you must do so out of pocket.
- Complication following a root canal: Some patients do everything right and still end up with oral infections because their dentist made a mistake.
How to Keep Oral Infections at Bay
- Make regular dentist visits a priority: Preventative care is vital to prevent oral infections before they start. By visiting Dr. Evanson every six months for a dental exam, cleaning and x-ray, you can keep your smile healthy and bright. Even if you develop an abscessed tooth or other infection, the problem can easily be treated with a root canal or tooth extraction before the condition becomes serious.
- Ask about financing options: At Evanson DDS, we want everyone to receive beneficial preventative dentistry. If you need help paying for visits for you or your child, please talk to one of our staff members to explore financing options.
- Choose a knowledgeable, experienced dentist: It’s frustrating to know that something completely out of your control can result in an oral infection. The best way to avoid a problem is to pick a dentist with experience giving root canals and performing other vital dental services.
Dr. Evanson has been providing quality dental care since 1994. With more than two decades of experience working in the field and an excellent track record, you can feel safe placing your trust in Evanson DDS.
Whether you’re looking to schedule a preventative dentistry visit or you need to address a pesky toothache, please contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008. If you’re having a dental emergency, we can usually schedule a same-day appointment if you need it. Together, we can ensure you and your family’s smiles stay healthy and bright.Leave a reply →