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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Post-root canal abscess

06/21/2007

Question:

To make it short..... last year i had a root canal done by my dentist. He felt he could take care of it since it was a front tooth with one root. He usually sends patients to a specialist. After almost a year, my temp filling came out and i went to a different dentist who referred me to a specialist. Two months ago i had the root canal redone and i know he said there was a small piece left in there that he could not get out. He didnt` seem too concerned. Well it`s one month after my last visit with him and the area between my two teeth is still red and swollen a little and it throbs. i went to my regular dentist today just to get an x-ray to see if he sees anything and he said that the bone hasn`t begun the healing process yet but it looks like there`s a cyst. i haven`t been feeling well (very sluggish and thickness on that side of my neck and ear feeling strange) so i called the specialist and made an appt for next week. by looking at the xray can they tell if it is infected and sprading? can this be making me tired? (the lady at the specialist place said i wouldn`t feel sick from it)... i had an echocardiagram and it showed minor leaky valve. i`ve been reading that it`s bad to have that and a tooth abscess. of course i`m nervous now. any suggestions, comments will be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

The endodontist that you have the appointment with should be able to determine by films and an exam whether everything is in the process of healing properly or whether additional steps need to be taken. Infections associated with a tooth are very localized to the tooth and do not usually affect any other aspects of your body. Systemic involvement is a concern when the tooth infection causes large facial swelling and a fever.

According to the new American Heart Association Guidelines, leaky valves aren't a major concern.  Dentists and endodontists do not have to give antibiotics prior to treatment in these situations. Please see your endodontist for an evaluation to help answer any of your questions or concerns more specifically.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University