What are some health risks of broken and decayed teeth?


Quick Answer

People with broken and decayed teeth may suffer from tooth loss, infections, and weight loss and nutrition problems because they have difficulty chewing and eating properly, notes Mayo Clinic. While rare, they may also suffer from more serious infections caused by tooth abscesses that can lead to death.

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Full Answer

People with broken and decayed teeth may experience pus around their teeth, pain and abscesses, states Mayo Clinic. Abscesses are pockets of pus that develop when the body sends white blood cells to fight infections caused by tooth decay. Swelling in the face or cheeks, tender lymph nodes, fever and severe toothaches are symptoms of abscesses. People who cannot get to dentists for treatment of tooth abscesses should go to the emergency room because if left untreated, they can lead to deeper infections of the jaw or other parts of the body.

Children with decayed baby teeth may lose them prematurely, causing their adult teeth to come in incorrectly, notes Mayo Clinic. Heartburn, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, poor brushing, lack of fluoride and frequent snacking can lead to tooth decay. Dentists may pull teeth that are so decayed they cannot be fixed, or may do root canals in which they remove the diseased portion of the tooth pulp. People may also choose to get crowns on teeth after dentists remove the decayed portions.

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