Is my health affected by my infected tooth?

I’m young, without support from parents, and without insurance. I’ve already lost 3 back teeth due to infections. I haven’t had more than one treated by a dentist. I have another infection that’s causing my jaw to be tight and it’s started ‘popping’ … um, I was just wondering if these infections that start to flare up every month or so.. are having an effect on my overall health?


  • Bunny

    Of course your health can be affected by an infected tooth!

    To be fair, (hehe) I let my own health become affected by three badly abscessed teeth, which I had let go for pretty much the same reasons. I didn’t have parent support at the time for medical expenses – dental expenses included. I couldn’t afford a dentist, and I was terrified of them. Perhaps why I let my teeth get so bad in the first place. For 9 years I hadn’t visited a dentist due to a stupid fear I’d developed which had only got worse over the years, so when something like my abscessed tooth on my lower jaw (the other two were on the upper jaw), in a molar- started to affect my overall general health.

    I hadn’t known I had an abscess, until I woke up one morning, with a fair amount of swelling to my lower jaw and cheek- there was no pain- although it was around the same general area that the bad tooth was (I could tell it was a bad tooth- half of it had fractured off over period of time, and wasn’t looking so great.
    I ignored it – after searching the web for abscesses- every page had told me there’d be a good amount of pain, and not a single one had told me that there’d be no pain, so I thought it was just a minor thing, and it’d go down on its own.
    Second day I woke up, the swelling was considerably larger, but still no pain whatsoever. I ignored it again.
    Third day, I was starting to have a little trouble with my breathing, not to the point I was struggling to get any breath, but it was starting to get a little worse. I went to uni, on the bus- and someone kindly enough told me I should go see a dentist that day.
    I finally realised that yes, I shoudl go- despite the payment issues and my huge fear of the dentist- it was really time.
    I called the dentist on the bus, (I was even shaking when i was on the phone!) and booked an emergency appointment as soon as I’d told him what was going on. I had immediate xrays (he told me to get off the bus then and there and go immediatley to his office to pick up a script for Amoxcyllin antibiotics – 500mg).
    He couldn’t see me till 6.30 am the next morning, but I had to go to the hospital for the xrays.

    Next morning he was studying the xrays and after a day of antibiotics, it hadn’t gone down at all. The Abscess had actually advanced so far that it was eating through the bone of my jaw. It had spread well beyond the actual root of hte tooth, and a single day or more longer- he notified me, I could’ve EASILY had blood posioning, and/or meningitis.

    You dont’ realise just how serious it can get. I had no idea that it was that far advanced, and as for the pain- some people don’t get the excruciating pain, as my dentist told me.

    I did have two more abscesses, but they weren’t as severe and didn’t require immediate extraction- so I waited two weeks to get the other ones done (although during the two week ‘break’ of extraction- I happened to go on a mini trip with my orchestra, and one of them started to flare up, and I’d never had more excruciating pain, and I couldn’t get to a dentist until 3 days later. Trust me. HORRID pain. I’ve never felt anything like it!).

    With all three teeth extracted now, my general health has improved heaps. I’ve had less problems with my breathing, less sinus problems and my teeth are… healthy!
    I’ve been to the dentist 9 times in the last month. (orthodontist as well, so add an extra 5 appointments to that tally!), and my fear is completely cured.

    I worked out a payment plan with my dentist. All up, for the 9 times I visited him for the extractions, the draining of the abscesses, the root canals (on other teeth), the fillings- all up only cost me very little.
    He’s an extremley cheap dentist, and i was very to have him, but it’s a must.
    Don’t even think about not going- let them know if you have troubles with payment, and they should be able to help you.

    I wouldn’t tell you it’s this important if it wans’t. my infection must’ve been there for a while, but the ‘serious’ bit only went for THREE days.
    Imagine what weeks, or months could’ve done.

    Within another DAY my dentist said I would’ve been in ICU in hospital if I hadn’t come to him and got it drained immediatley.

    That’s a pretty scary thought, you really really really need to get it seen to. Do NOT let it go.

  • yes it really can. it could cause you to get really sick and you could get a fever. maybe you should go to the doctor and tell them about the infections and let them know that you are concerned about your health due to your teeth

  • spongebobrogers

    YES! Infections of the mouth affect your body in several ways. If left unattended too, too long it can spread bacteria into the blood stream. For people with heart problems (many are undetected), this can easily attach to problem areas and set up severe infections that can quickly become life threatening. This is called infective endocarditis. It will land you in the hospital quickly and dead quicker. Also, infections of lower teeth can quickly spread infections into tissue space underneath the chin and around the throat and cause swelling that closes off the airway and causes death. Not to mention inflammation in the mouth of teeth or gums can spread inflammatory cells through the body that can increase problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and increase chances of heart attacks or similar problems. It can also just make you feel sick in general and give you fevers, etc.

  • Binh N

    Yes, more and more studies are finding that oral health is in fact linked to a person’s overall health. It is possible that bacteria from your infected tooth may travel to your heart via your cardiovascular system, which may lead to cardiovascular disease. Also, your teeth can sometimes be a general indicator of your health. The susceptibility of your teeth to disease means you may not be getting the proper minerals and nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium. Try and get to a dentist if you can!

  • butterfly


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