I heard something today that really freaked me out, so I am asking an expert if it is true. I am pretty sure I have an infection in one of my teeth, and one of my friends told me today that it could actually be dangerous. Is that true?
I broke one of the teeth in my upper jaw last week. I don’t have the money to visit a dentist right now, but I think I’m going to have to do something. The pain is getting steadily worse. The swelling is now noticeable, and the pain is radiating all over my face, and down my neck. I was going to take some antibiotics that I had left over from a strep infection, but they have expired. What should I do? Do I have to visit a dentist, or can I just go down to the clinic and get an antibiotic?
Marley in Chica
Your friend is right. This situation is dangerous. An untreated infection in your tooth can spread to your brain. You must get this addressed as soon as possible.
You must either have the tooth repaired (with a root canal treatment and porcelain crown), or have it extracted. If you do not treat the tooth with a root canal treatment (or removal), you will not remove the source of the infection, and taking oral antibiotics will only make the bacteria that remains resistant to treatment. For this reason, you really should see a dentist to have this looked at. An emergency room doctor could remove the tooth, but it would be best to try and salvage the tooth.
Post courtesy of Dr. Hadgis, Grosse Pointe Woods cosmetic dentist.