Oral Fistula: When Cavities Cause Death

Cavities are one of the most common oral health problems. Many consider the problem of cavities to be complete when the pain has subsided. However, damage due to cavities can continue to occur due to infection resulting in a cavity around the teeth into the gums, known as fistula.

How can oral fistula occur?

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In medical terms, a fistula is defined as the presence of an abnormal cavity or channel due to the presence of an organ surface that has inflammation (inflammation). In the case of cavities, infection with germs and leftovers that enter the cavities can trigger inflammation around the root of the tooth (pulpitis) and gums, causing fistulae. Cavities that contain germs are the source of infection and this causes fistula sufferers to have an accumulation of pus or abscesses in the mouth.

Infection can also spread quickly because it is close to a blood vessel. Most infections spread and cause a fistula on the inside of the mouth which is characterized by clots like boils containing pus around the teeth. If left untreated, the fistula can spread and cause bone infection ( chronic osteomyelitis ) around the face, infection in the inside of the facial skin ( cellulitis ), and the appearance of abscesses on the face.

Oral symptoms of fistula

The development of abscesses due to these cavities usually runs slowly and often does not cause any symptoms. Abscesses and pain are a sign that infection in the root of the tooth has worsened. Here are some symptoms experienced by fistula sufferers:

  • There is freezing on the gum in red.
  • Pain in teeth when chewing.
  • Exhaustion of pus from the surface of the gum and followed by reduced pain in the teeth.
  • Advanced impact of oral fistula

The spread of bacterial infections due to oral fistula is the cause of various health problems that spread through blood vessels, including:

  • Brain abscess - the location of the infection between the gums and the brain causes the bacteria to move easily to the brain. Brain abscess due to infection in the bloodstream can cause coma.
  • Ludwig's angina - a more serious condition of cellulitis due to a fistula. Abscesses due to fistula in the lower mouth that are not resolved trigger swelling that can suppress the airways (larynx) that causes shortness of breath and can lead to death.
  • Sinus infection - is a form of infection in the sinuses of the face. This can easily occur if the infection occurs in the upper teeth adjacent to the sinuses, as a result the sinus cavity can contain pus coming from the teeth.
  • Bacterial endocarditis - an infection of the heart's ventricular wall due to bacterial infection. Germs in cavities and abscesses can be carried away by blood flow through blood vessels to the heart and cause death.

Who is at risk for oral fistula?

Oral fistulas can occur to anyone, but the main cause of tooth decay is poor oral hygiene. The amount of yellow plaque on the teeth is the main cause of cavities and gum damage or what is known as periodontitis. This condition causes dental infection and results in oral fistula.

How to deal with oral fistula

Here are some things that need to be done to treat oral fistula:

  • Removing infected teeth - due to the worsening of the fistula condition due to the presence of germs in cavities that have been infected and causing abscesses. Infection does not only affect the appearance of the fistula but damage to the tooth bone so that the teeth become brittle and destroyed. In general, symptoms of fistula will soon disappear and the healing process runs quickly after the tooth extraction is the source of infection.
  • Suck pus - when an abscess has spread, this is needed in addition to tooth extraction to clean the cavity in the teeth and gums that are exposed to pus and prevent infection from continuing.
  • Consumption of antibiotics  - this is necessary to prevent infection from continuing, but this is not a treatment that addresses the problem of cavities because antibiotics can only reduce the effects of infection and prevent the appearance of abscesses temporarily.

How to prevent oral fistula

The best prevention of oral fistula is to prevent cavities and maintain oral health. Avoid plaque buildup from food scraps by brushing your teeth regularly. Regular inspection and cleaning of tartar is also needed for handling tooth decay as early as possible. In addition, consumption of balanced nutrition is needed to fulfill calcium and vitamin D intake and reduce high sugar intake and is too acidic to prevent tooth decay.