Q. I have tooth cavities. How to prevent further infection?

Answered by
Dr. Naveen Thomas
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Sep 14, 2016 and last reviewed on: Sep 18, 2019

Hello doctor,

In my whole life I am known for eating candy and not brushing my teeth as much as I should. Today, I went to the dentist and said that I have nine cavities. This concerns me because I am not sure how long I had the cavities. This is my first time I am visiting a dentist. I read an article on the internet about how cavities or tooth decay can lead to life threatening bacterial infections if it is not treated. My dentist advised me to get fillings for the decay. If I get nine fillings, would that prevent a serious infection or infection from happening? Do serious infections only happen if it is not treated? What are the chances of getting a serious bacteria infection after I get fillings and have good hygiene? Would it be rare? Even if I have nine cavities, can I still easily prevent infection throughout my life? How to know that I have an infection in the gum or teeth area before it would spread? I am going to get my whole mouth cleaning tomorrow. Also, I am getting an MRI tomorrow for a headache. I am afraid that my headache can be the cause of infection from teeth spreading to the brain? Please clarify my doubts.

Dr. Naveen Thomas

Dentistry Endodontist Paediatric Dentistry Periodontist


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Yes, by getting the tooth filled you can prevent further decay of the teeth. It would prevent any spread of infection.
  • Yes, dental infection can get life-threatening through septicemia (bacteria in blood), which can go through the maxillary sinus to the brain. But, it happens in an advanced infection, which is left untreated, even after getting all the symptoms like pain, swelling and pus formation.
  • An experienced dentist can indeed find out any infection present in the teeth by visual inspection and getting an x-ray done for confirmation.
  • Filling all the nine teeth will definitely prevent further infection if the filling stays there without getting dislodged.
  • The headache can be caused even by mild infection and swelling of a cavitated tooth. It does not mean that the infection has spread to the brain.
  • If you maintain oral hygiene from now, then the chance of infection is very less. So, do not worry about it.
  • If the cavity is very deep, then the dentist might suggest root canal treatment of the tooth or teeth before restoring it with filling.

For further doubts consult a dentist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dentist

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