I had a root canal and a crown put on a tooth several years ago. A couple of weeks ago it became infected. My dentist gave me an antibiotic. He said the tooth is cracked and there is little chance of another successful root canal. He recommends removing the tooth. It is not hurting anymore, so I think the infection is gone. I’d hate to remove the tooth unnecessarily. Can I just put this off seeing as it doesn’t hurt anymore?
Jenny I.- Oklahoma
No, I don’t recommend putting off the extraction. The infection is still there, it is just being held at bay by your antibiotics. As soon as you stop taking them the infection will flare back up. The only way to completely get rid of it is to treat it at the source.
It will be safer to extract the tooth now when the extraction while the infection is under control. There are ways to replace your tooth that will look perfectly natural. You might be interested in learning about dental implants.
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I had a tooth extraction. Can you tell me what the sharp bits are in the hole?
Alex B. from Great Britain
After a tooth extraction there is a hole. In the hole there are often sharp pieces of bone left in there. As time goes on your body will re-shape the bone to be smooth. Has your dentist mentioned replacing your tooth? I would love to know what options he’s given you.
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I have a really infected tooth that is rotted all the way down to my gumline. I’ve known for over a year that this tooth needs to be taken care of, but I just don’t have the money. Now I’m afraid I’ve caught a blood infection from this. The whole side of my face, down into my neck hurts. What would the symptoms be if this has spread into my bloodstream? What can I do about it?
Patty L.- Benton, AR
Pain in the side of the face is quite common with a tooth infection, so I wouldn’t panic yet. However, a severe tooth infection left untreated can lead to sepsis, though it is not very common. This is sometimes called blood poisoning.
Some early signs of sepsis are flu like symptoms, dehydration, a racing heart rate, and shallow breathing. If it becomes severe you can also experience difficulty swallowing, infrequent urination, and mood swings.
Due to the fact that this tooth has been left untreated along with the symptoms you’re experiencing we highly recommend you see a dentist as soon as possible. Ask the dental office about financial options they may offer and see if they are willing to work with you on making payments.
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