I heard the craziest thing today, and have to ask someone about it.
I broke one of my molars off a little while ago, maybe 10 days or so. After a day or two, I started having pretty bad pain in my face and jaw. It has been getting worse, and now it seems like I feel pain in my nose and behind my eyes. I was talking to one of my co-workers about it, and he said that you can get an infection inside the bone of your tooth, and it can be dangerous!
Seriously? Dangerous? That seems pretty dramatic. Anyway, my face hurts. I don’t have dental insurance. Can I just go to the emergency room and have them take care of it, or do I have to go to a dentist? This might sound bad, but I can get seen at the ER, for sure, but I doubt any dentists will take an appointment with me when they find out I am uninsured and a broke student. I’ve been taking some old antibiotics from when I had strep earlier this year – will that help?
Angie in Big Rapids
Yes, a tooth infection can be dangerous. You have an infected tooth, and that infection is spreading. If left unchecked, the infection could spread to your brain. This is very serious, and you must address it.
It would be best if you could be seen by a dentist. Check with the university to see if they have the names of dentists who will work with you to get this procedure done. If that is not successful, follow your plan to go in to the emergency room. Whatever you decide, do it quickly.
If the tooth can be salvaged, a dentist will perform a root canal treatment to remove the source of the infection, and the “cap” the damaged tooth with a porcelain crown. If the tooth cannot be salvaged, the dentist will extract it. In that case, you may want to consider a dental implant or dental bridge to replace the missing tooth. If you just leave the socket empty, your remaining teeth will shift, and you could develop problems with your jaw alignment, or experience pain in your temporomandibular joints.
This post was completed courtesy of Cleveland Cosmetic dentist Dr. Goldstein.