Believe it or not, this is a highly infected tooth that I surgically extracted from a very sick patient. The lay public needs to know that infected teeth can kill. I know it is not pretty but this subject cannot be ignored.
Science has proven for years that infections from the mouth travel to other parts of the body including heart, lung, kidneys, brain, newly placed valves, organ transplants and joint implants.
The important part of the above picture is the balloon/sponge looking ball at the end of the intact root. This is a full blown tooth abscess, AKA infection. Yes, it is very ugly, dangerous and serious. The body is rejecting this tooth due to its infection.
That round ball leaks bacteria and pus into the blood stream which allows the infection to roam all over the body via blood vessel giving them free access to every part of the body. The bacterium sticks to the cell walls of blood vessels, valves and to organs. There, they can grow, cause obstructions or break off to be implanted somewhere else.
In some rare cases, the infection can go to the brain or heart which can cause death. And like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, the warning sign is not always pain.
Importance of Check Ups
Even though infections like the one in the picture are considered medical, only a dentist can diagnose and treat it. Antibiotics will not and cannot make this go away.
Yes, I know, it takes time, energy and money to go to the dentist. Yes I know, “it is summertime”, “going on vacation”, “I got kids in school”, “I can’t stand going to the dentist”, etc may seem to be reasons for not going. Those are not excuses, they are realities but the truth be known, an infection like this doesn’t know or care what your realities are.
Please, pick up the phone and call a dentist you trust and simply ask for a thorough dental exam. There are no shots, drilling or anything really dental in the complete exam so fear should not be an excuse.