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is a tooth abscess ER worthy?

Posted by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:42 PM
  • 12 Replies
Its sunday, so is a tooth abscess ER worthy or should I wait until tomorrow? I've had it for three days but its really starting to hurt today. I've been sick and throwing up a lot too the past 4 days, are they related? So ER or wait until tomorrow. The on call doctor said it was up to me.
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by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:42 PM
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by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:46 PM

I would so you can get some anti-biotics.  Once they get infected, it can spread to your brain and make you very sick, even kill you.

ER docs won't be able to pull the tooth, but they can give you something to get rid of infection.

I was in agony for MONTHS.  I finally got the teeth pulled.  They were so infected, the dentist was shocked I had made it as long as I had before seeking help.

by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM

If it's causing you a lot of pain, I would go. They can give you an antibiotic and something for the pain.

Most likely the dentist won't work on the tooth until the infection has cleared up a bit, so they would prescribe you an antibiotic first, then have you come back. You could go ahead and get a jump start on that.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM

go to an urgent care if you can. less money to spend there. You need antibotics and pop U some tylenol or motrin and make a dentist appt, ASAP tomorrow!

by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM
if it is that infected, it can cause sepsis. I would go in. I am not one to go to the hospital for every ache and pain, but an infection like that can go from bad to life threatening very fast.
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by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM


by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:49 PM
Yes. You don't want to mess with infection that close to your brain.
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by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:50 PM
Thanks guys. The next appointment the dentist has is monday the 10th or I have to pay the $200 after hours emergency fee. I know it doesn't seem like that much but it is.
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by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Yeah I would go and I have went for toothaches.

by Silver Member on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:52 PM
I had one for nearly a year, had no insurance and when I did I was pregnant. That being said, an abscess can kill you.
by on Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Untreated consequences

If left untreated, a severe tooth abscess may become large enough to perforate bone and extend into the soft tissue eventually becoming osteomyelitis and cellulitis respectively. From there it follows the path of least resistance and may spread either internally or externally. The path of the infection is influenced by such things as the location of the infected tooth and the thickness of the bone, muscle and fascia attachments.

External drainage may begin as a boil which bursts allowing pus drainage from the abscess, intraorally (usually through the gum) or extra orally. Chronic drainage will allow an epithelial lining to form in this communication to form a pus draining canal (fistula). Sometimes this type of drainage will immediately relieve some of the painful symptoms associated with the pressure.

Internal drainage is of more concern as growing infection makes space within the tissues surrounding the infection. Severe complications requiring immediate hospitalization include Ludwig's angina, which is a combination of growing infection and cellulitis which closes the airway space causing suffocation in extreme cases. Also infection can spread down the tissue spaces to the mediastinum which has significant consequences on the vital organs such as the heart. Another complication, usually from upper teeth, is a risk of septicaemia (infection of the blood) from connecting into blood vessels, brain abscess (extremely rare), or meningitis (also rare).

Depending on the severity of the infection, the sufferer may feel only mildly ill, or may in extreme cases require hospital care. In 2011, a death from an untreated dental abscess was recorded in Cincinnati. Reports indicate that local free dental clinics had too long a waiting list to be effective in this case


I would say go to the ER

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