Monday, February 28, 2011

A Fatal Tooth Extraction

Don's wisdom tooth was acting up again. At age 27, he'd been fighting off recurrent pain, gum infections, and crowding of his teeth. Finally his dentist told him it was time to see an oral surgeon. After X-Rays the oral surgeon advised Don to have all four wisdom teeth out at one sitting, so the procedure was carried out a few weeks later. Penicillin tablets were started a day ahead of time and the extractions went pretty smoothly except the one impacted lower tooth was tough to remove.

The following day Don's jaw was pretty swollen, as he expected. He had a low grade fever and took some tylenol plus lots of fluids. On the third day, a Saturday, he wasn't doing so well. The jaw was more swollen and he was having a little trouble swallowing. So he saw the on-call oral surgeon who examined him and doubled his dose of penicillin. Another on call oral surgeon saw him briefly on Sunday. By Monday, a holiday, he was beginning to drool and his voice was squeaky plus his fever was 102 degrees. He was seen by a yet a different oral surgeon, who removed the stitches, switched oral antibiotics and told him to see his regular oral surgeon the next day.

On Tuesday, I was the admitting Critical Care doctor and got a call from the ER MD. "Jim, I've got a patient here brought in by the medics. He saw his oral surgeon today about chest pains and breathing problems and their office called 911 because of a possible heart attack. He has a some bizarre findings. Can you see him right away?"

In the ER, it was obvious that Don was critically ill. His breathing was painful and shallow, his voice high pitched and squeaky, he was perspiring with a temperature of 104, and had a racing pulse of 130. The nurses were busy getting blood cultures, blood gases, starting an IV, and retrieving his chest X-Ray.

I was startled when I felt his neck and upper chest. It was the crackling feel of rice crispies, medically what we call crepitus - air in the tissues. Did he collapse a lung? The mouth revealed a swollen protruding tongue and I couldn't even see the back of his throat. The lungs showed diffuse abnormal crackles and even the heart had a rubbing crunching sound. The chest X-Ray was dramatically abnormal with air shadows in the soft tissues of the neck, shoulders and chest where no air should be. There were also large fluid collections around both lungs, but no evidence of a collapsed lung. The air in the tissues was being produced by gas forming bacteria!

We admitted Don to the ICU where he was seen by both ENT and thoracic surgeons. His breathing was so marginal that he required a ventilator. The neck and chest both needed to be widely opened and drained and a tracheotomy had to be performed. The foul smelling gas producing pus grew out three different species of bacteria common to the mouth plus a few others.

In the next 24 hours Don seemed to rally, but he had further complications of bleeding, dense pneumonia, and heart arrythmias. In 72 hours he was dead leaving behind his devastated wife and child.

Comment: Ludwig's angina was described by Wilhelm Frederick von Ludwig (1790-1865). This unusual ENT critical emergency is fairly rare these days with early intervention and antibiotics, but Don's case was a classic example. The problem was the delay of recognizing the severity of the illness and the critical importance of early intervention. Getting sick on a Friday of a holiday weekend, seeing four different oral surgeons, and unwarranted wishful thinking were all at play in Don's case.

The principles of wide drainage are especially difficult when dealing with the neck/thorax connection in a descending infection. Bilateral opening of the chest, drainage tubes in the neck, stripping off the pericardium (the sack lining the heart) are all recommended. But delay of diagnosis and treatment is the critical feature.

This case came to a lawsuit in which I was deposed as a treating physician - not a pleasant experience. My understanding is that the oral surgeon's partnership broke apart and they settled for the maximum under their insurance policy - small recompense for the loved ones. I mention this case to remind patients to push hard and get second opinions when things aren't going well. But also to remind dental and medical people to be very careful when covering for colleagues. Cases like Don's shouldn't really happen, but they do.

73 comments:

  1. My name is John Wisdom, no pun intended. My reply occurs almost 2 years to the post on a holiday weekend. I am undergoing treatment for 2 upper rear left infected jaw teeth which were extracted this past Thursday.
    About 10 years ago, I spent over $10,000 on a massive intervention program for my gums through a different dentist. The pain was awful and I would not do it again. My 80 year old dad, told me to get all my teeth pulled, to save money and lessen the pains. Hey, my dad had a point. I later saw my dentist at the horse track. Yeah, my dentist saw me and we never spoke again. I had just received a letter in the mail from the dentist inviting me back in to the his dental office for further treatments.

    Where are we going here? I would say Ethics in the end all game. The posting by this fine MD is looking for any comment in regards to the medical pofession. Two years and nobody gives a hoot. Forgive me, but I find this sad.

    One of my dentist, Ms. Hollar, thinks the infection will be cured with the baterial pills. As of right now, I am not so sure. I have pain at about 4 on a 1 to10 rating scale.

    Funny thing how a tooth infection can lead to serious health risks and or death. Yet Veterans do not get dental work unless the veteran is 100% disabled.

    From a 70% rated drafted disabled Republic of Vietnam combat veteran and educated with graduate degrees.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was 26 when I had pericarditis because my teeth were extracted by an oro-maxillofacial surgeon . Initially for the first 2 days, everything was normal then chest pains, a raging fever and pus from where my lower left wisdom tooth was removed.

    On the third day, I was admitted to the ICU because my infection got worse and develop into septicemia. During those 4 days in ICU, things were an absolute blur. Arterial lines, constant beeping, and a code called on me when I suddenly went into a cardiac arrest.

    A huge abscess was formed where my left lower wisdom tooth was. Now it is a pocket which the tissue failed to regenerate. So extra care is now necessary.

    It's rare but any oromaxillofacial surgeon or dental surgeon should NOT be pulling all wisdom teeth at a time. My first removal by another oro-maxillofacial surgeon - he refused to remove anything else other than the impacted tooth. No post operative problems. The second one (after my other upper right tooth started giving me problems) recommended the rest should be removed at a go for 'convenience' sake.

    Given the fate I suffered in ICU after the removal of 3 wisdom teeth, it would have been much better paying more to remove a wisdom tooth only if it is necessary, not for convenience sake.

    I can blame no one except the fact that this condition is so rare and life is like a lucky draw. There is no definitive cause to why and how all these infections developed at an alarming rate. I was young and healthy. No immune deficiency diseases. No heart diseases previously.

    I feel sad for Dan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your story. Your experience demonstrates that an infected impacted lower wisdom tooth extraction can be very dangerous. There is no anatomical barrier between the lower jaw and the mediastinum (the space between the lungs where the heart lies. So the bacteria can move down through the neck into the mediastinum causing chest pain and sepsis (mediastinitis). It looks like you dodged a bullet when you were critically ill. This is one of the few true life threatening emergencies that oral surgeons need do think about. It looks like recognition and early treatment saved you. Dan's oral surgeons didn't think of it until it was too late.

      Delete
    2. 6 days ago and 2 wks of antibiotics amoxi and rosef still in severe pain no feeling in lower lip and chin unsure what to due a dentist not oral surgeon pulled it help pain meds do nothing but make me sick

      Delete
    3. I can't give you medical or dental advice, but you might be wise to consider getting a second opinion.

      Delete
    4. Last week I went to my docto as I had a very sore throat and ears.
      I was told I had a viral infection.the pain got worse so I called again for advice was given a swab for strep throat and penicillin.
      Three days later.i had a fever fahd awfull pain and swelling in my throat went to the doctors but was sick,diarrhoea in the waiting room and had to go home.
      The doctor told me to stop taking the penicillin as I'd probably got a tummy bug on top of the virus
      The swab revealed thrush.
      Went home feeling very,very I'll.
      Called doctor as wanted medication for thrush
      Took it for three days but my symptoms became worse,terrible earache,sore throat unable to swallow ,eat or drink.
      Went to emergency room
      Told to go home and that my doctor was right I had just got a viral infection
      In the afternoon I was terrified at not being able to swallow so went back to doctor.
      She admitted me to hospital.
      Waited I hour before being seen.the docto revealed an abcess around Lowe wisdom tooth.
      I was admitted to hospital,put on a drip of antibiotics and fluids.
      The doctor then sent me at11 pm by taxi to another hospital to have my tooth xrayed and surgery.
      When I arrived the nurse in charge asked why I was their? And that she didn't think there was a bed!!
      I was eventually found one and put on a drip of antibiotics,no fluids ,nil by mouth and told to wait for a doctor
      8am following morning still nil by mouth sent for an opg ex ray.
      Waited until lunchtime still no fluids,wee dark red and foul,told nurse but she wasn't concerned. Just given pain relief and more antibiotics.
      Docter arrived saying he wasn't going to remove my tooth,to go home and visit my own dentist.
      Went to my dentist,off sick so sore another who said she wouldn't attempt anything until I'd finished course of antibiotics.
      I now have diahorea from the antibiotics and have to wait a week before having my tooth removed
      I'm very scared and so sorry for the loss of Dan
      I am a Uk resident and have little faith in the NHS anymore

      Delete
    5. Whats even more sad is that dentists not doctors will refuse to extract an infected tooth unless they forcibly upsell you for a bonegraft you do not need just to get them to extract a tooth. They care about life. Dentists only care about the money.

      Delete
    6. Looking for opinions here. I had one of my upper first molars extracted this past June after a root canal left me with a recurring abcess. The root canal was retreated multiple times but the abcess kept returning. I then had the tooth extracted, which seemed to completely resolve the problem. Now, six months later, I notice an abcess on my gum, in the place where the tooth used to be. No pain, swelling, etc.

      Delete
    7. I have this same issue after having a tooth removed which I thought would ultimately solve the problem but now it's a recurrence of the abscess where the gum is. I don't get it.

      Delete
    8. I have this same issue and a recurring abscess where the tooth used to be. I ish I work have just tried to save to the tooth now that it's still happening regardless.

      Delete
  3. Having 2 family members in the medical field I am surprised to have never heard of the dangers of these simple common dental procedures. Considering I am presenting with some mild similar symptoms (though not from an extraction but possibly an oral infection) I am taking this information seriously. Thanks for taking the time to post this though it is sad to think someone else's life ended so drastically due to multiple oversights.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read.... Cosmetic Dentist in NJ

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much for your kind & compassionate post. I came across this blog when I was doing research on my own serious, life-threatening dental scare. in September, I had three lower front teeth removed. It was a routine procedure-the teeth were loose but no infection or pain. After the procedure, the dentist sent me home with no antibiotics or pain medicine. The next day, I was experiencing pain. The pain increased into day 2. On day 3, I called the dentist as I was also experiencing severe swelling and horrible sore throat. I felt awful all over. The dentist said it was "normal".

    On day 5, I went into his office. My neck was huge, I could not swallow even water without huge effort and discomfort, I was having trouble talking. He prescribed me an antibiotic (at my insistence) and sent me home- he said all my complaints were "normal". I came back again the next day. He was irritated that I had returned and examined me in the hallway. By then, my jaw was numb, my neck looked huge like a pro football player, and I could not swallow the pills he had given me the day before. I could not eat or sleep, had severe body pain. my thinking was muddy and I had trouble speaking and breathing. He sent me home again and implied that I was making a big deal out of nothing.

    The next day, I drove myself to the ER. Within 2 hours, I was in emergency surgery to drain a massive infection in my throat under my tongue. I was diagnosed with Ludwigs Angina. The doctor packed the wound with over 9 feet of packing. I could not breathe on my own- my throat was so swollen, the airway had closed- so I was placed in ICU on a ventilator and fed with a feeding tube. I was in a coma for 8 days. The doctor told my friends that he wasn't sure I would survive. When I finally was able to breathe on my own, I had the tube removed and regained consciousness. I was hospitalized for another 5 days. I had lost 14 pounds. I had no ability to walk or stand on my own. I had to have nursing care at home. I had real memory issues and could not remember how to do basic things- using a phone or checking voicemail. I called friends and had no memory of the call. I could not drive and could not even walk to the driveway to take a cab. I had my dressing changed in my neck wound every day for over a month. After 7 months, I am not sure I will ever fully recover. I am having trouble with gaining weight (I have always been thin) and have no energy. I have had to hire someone to do basic errands. I have had to consider that I may not be able to care for the loves of my life, my dogs.

    I urge anyone who reads this to listen to their own body and never stop until you are heard. Had I listened to this arrogant dentist, I would be dead. I knew I was in trouble. You know yourself best and you are your own best advocate. I am researching a lawsuit but that will not change the outcome- my life has been forever changed. I am grateful to the kind doctors at the ER who worked tirelessly to bring me back. I know this is rare. Had I been heard, I could have been diagnosed early and avoided so much suffering- both my own and the suffering of friends and family who stayed with me through thick and thin. I am so sorry this man lost his life. I am extremely fortunate and there is not a moment that I don't appreciate this. My heart goes out to this man's family and friends. He will be in my thoughts always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your experience is both unfortunate and rare. Dentists and oral surgeons are (or certainly should be) well aware that Ludwig's angina is one of the most serious and sometimes fatal complication of a tooth extraction. My thoughts and wishes go out to you - with hopes for further recovery. Your medical care must have been superb for you to survive your ordeal.

      Delete
    2. I am so sorry for your pain and suffering.

      Delete
  6. My son had 4 wisdom teeth removed at one time. The lower teeth were badly impacted, however everything seemed to go "normally" according to his surgeon. Recently my son has developed left sided chest pain, It is now 3 months since his teeth were removed. After reading the nightmare stories other people have suffered through, I wonder if my son's chest pain could be linked to his surgery. He is otherwise healthy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. In October 2015 I had a tooth extracted... I was given a list of things I could or could not do & of course one of the do nots was smoking!!! I planned ahead with my Blu "vapor" cigarettes!!! This tooth was also was very hard to remove as mentioned in a previous comment, and then a week or so after; I got this growth that even stumped the dentist!!! So he put me on antibiotics which had little effect on this painful mystery growth and soon there after blisters in my gumline!!! He then put me on a different antibiotic which seemed to be the answer!!! So a few days after Thanksgiving I called him saying that the antibiotics and Tylonal 3's did the trick, but once again the mystery growth and blisters came back in full force!!! Of course not wanting to cast blame on himself; asked me if I went by the list and i replied yes and mentioned even smoking E cigarretts!!! He said that was probably why I had this infection!!! Of course I lashed back saying there was no evidence to back it up plus it's only vapor not smoke being ingested through the mouth!!! After the appointment he said he still didn't know what was going on so he had the secretary make me an appointment with an oral surgeon... Unfortunately, I missed the first appointment because I have sleep issues that did not allow me to make it to the initial appointment... So I rescheduled and low and behold I missed the second attempt by just minutes!!! Since it was December 23rd and having a great parking space; I decided to go to the Er... I first snapped a picture of what my chin looked like before I checked in and believe me; it wasn't pretty!!! Also being in the medical field; I couldn't understand why I had let it get that bad??? Well, immediately the ball started rolling!!! They were scrambling to get me to the trauma hospital and had already called for an emergency transport!!! I was insistent on them cancelling because I wanted to drive my vehicle there in fear of having it towed and they literally wouldn't let me leave plus they said the emergency vehicle was already waiting!!! Reluctantly I went not knowing what all the fuss was about!!! Within a short time of arrival; I had a hospital gown on, an IV in my arm, 20 questions, then down with the anesthesiologists with another 20 questions, and in walks the oral surgeon... She began explaining to me the process of this Penrose and I questioned her on how many years she had under her belt to be doing this??? She bluntly said that as of that moment, plus being right before Christmas; that she was about my only hope!!! She then went on to ask if I had seen my face within my initial check-in??? So as I lay in wait; I snapped a few more photos not even remembering that I had done so, but @ the moment I was going to look at them; they were almost ready for my surgery and couldn't understand that within a couple of hours; I was on the operation bed and thought to myself that it must be bad!!! I still hadn't seen my face and was informed; from point A to B the infection had spread like wildfire!!! I didn't know @ the time how close I came to being brain dead or dead plus after surgery I was all bandaged up and my phone had no charge so I had no access to see my glamour shots... When released on Christmas day; I was doing something later that evening and stumbled upon the pictures and staring in disbelief; is when I realized how close I came to dying!!! I thank my good Lord that I was parked so close to the Er or who knows if I would have ever gone to another hospital that day??? Shortly after my ordeal I was supposed to have another tooth extracted, but got cancelled as a patient!!! When I can afford another dentist; I hope it will put a nail in his coffin because all my teeth have shifted and my speech is slurred!!! Adding insult to injury; I have little sensation on my lower left lip and chin area!!! I just wanted to share my story so no one else will have to go through this!!!

      Delete
  8. As a previous RN, I am sure that the Doctor would agree to have it checked if you have any concerns. Thank goodness he is otherwise healthy ... my heart goes out to those who have had far worse outcomes. I know how hard it is to loose a loved one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had a wisdom teeth extraction two weeks before but my dentist did not tell me to take antibiotics. I had mild pain after the second day and taken ibuprofen. After a week I started having chest pain but I thought it is related to winter allergy. Later after a week the pain continued and had to see my doctor. I was requested to have x-ray taken and diagnosed with Pneumonia. Could the wisdom extraction without antibiotics be the reason for the pneumonia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't find any reliable data that shows antibiotics should be routinely given prior to wisdom teeth extraction (unless there is obvious infection). So I doubt your pneumonia could have been prevented. In fact it could have been harder to treat because the prophylactic antibiotics would have selected out more resistant bacteria.

      Delete
  10. It was taken me almost 3 years to recover from my 2 impacted wisdom teeth removal. Within 24 hours I had severe vertigo, pounding heart, muscle stiffness with twitches, I would have regular episodes of shaking, shivering, feel very sick, gasping for breath, begging for death. Drs and surgeon were in complete denial that tooth removal has caused this. I had no choice but to go the natural route, I have removed mercury amalgam fillings and gone on a high nutrient rich diet including juicing. I am managing to lead a normal life and hope to be fully healed in another year.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a tragic story! I found this post while attempting to do some research on my own issues. I had been having ear infection type pain for about a month, saw my pcp and everything was fine. I saw my dentist, who determined I had a bad cavity in my wisdom tooth. So, I had my lower right side wisdom tooth removed. I was sent home with two pain killers and an antibiotic. It's been four days, and my jaw, gum, and ear still hurt just as bad as before. Tonight I started running a low grade fever 99.4. I was wondering if I should wait for a bit or call my dentist office. After reading this and some of the comments, I will be calling first thing in the morning!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Experencing the same symptoms..Its been 6 days now

      Delete
  12. I'm desperately in need of some advice. I am due for removal of a wisdom tooth plus another which is either my first or second molar (it's the tooth just before the wisdom tooth on my lower set of teeth). I wanted both taken out on the same day, but was told it may only be possible if there was enough time to do so. My worries are as follows:

    About 5 weeks ago, I had a bad infection in the wisdom tooth, which may have resulted from my pricking it accidentally with a toothpick, whilst trying to get rid of food stuck in there. It was treated with antibiotics and got better, but a very bad fever and chest infection that saw me coughing up a lot f blood for about 20 days followed.

    I have since got a better, but my experience some tightening in my chest and pain in my throat that can be felt in the uvula. This pain makes it difficult to speak or swallow some times. I also seem to have pain in the other tooth (not the wisdom tooth) and was told it's likely the nerves causing pain and not another infection. I some times get a small fever and feel disorientated or a little dizzy and unsure whether my symptoms or the health issues 5 weeks ago has anything to do with it. I never had the symptoms prior to 5 weeks ago.

    With my surgery due in 2 days, I am very nervous that I may still have a chest infection and wonder whether this could post a health problem when my tooth/teeth (the the 2 are eventually removed same day) is extracted. I spoke to my family doctor about it but she strangely showed little interest and said I should inform them at the hospital on the say of the surgery. She asked me to go in for another X-Ray in 2 weeks, to check that the chest infection is no longer there.

    A research brought me to this page, because I believe I know my body better and know when everything isn't as it should be in there. I will really appreciate any advice in relation to whether it's worth waiting out the pain and carrying out other tests before the oral surgery. I appreciate that it is my doctor's place to advise me, but when they don't seem very interested, I often resort to research and will appreciate any advice you have before I go in for a surgey in days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith, I'm very sorry that I'm not able to give you specific medical/dental advice. You may want to see a ENT specialist or have an overall review by an internal medicine specialist if you're not sure.

      Delete
    2. Dr. DeMaine, I am in the process of having all of my teeth pulled due to pyorrhea and abscesses with decay. I have done very well until last Thursday. I had 2 molars pulled. One was fine but with the other, the root broke and left a gaping hole. Thursday night I was awakened by severe chills that lasted for an hour. Fever followed getting as high as 103.6. I was prescribed amoxicillan 500 and pain med, as always. I woke up this morning fever free but the pain is ridiculous. My family is pushing for me to go to the ER for bloidwirk. Do you feel this is neccessary? Any reply is appreciated

      Delete
    3. This is an issue for an oral surgeon to address. An exam and removal of infected tissue may be important. I can't give you medical or dental advice other than to follow closely with an oral surgeon. Considerations include infection, the beginning of a "dry socket", etc. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is a little unsettling to see so many complications attached to wisdom tooth extractions. I recently had all of my wisdom teeth removed on Friday. Since I'm relatively young, the oral/maxillofacial surgeon told me that there would be no obstacles in removing them as they didn't reach any sinuses nor any nerves in my jaw. They also told me that it would take one and a half to two hours for the extraction. I went in at 10 am and left at 2 pm. I'm hopeful, but also nervous because I'm continually witnessing more accounts on these sorts of issues. Difficulty breathing, shifting teeth, pain or infections that appear months later... I wasn't aware that this could be affecting patients long after the removal. Thanks for the read, I'm glad that I found this blog when I did.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is really nice because it well informative for me and hope for others also keep it continued so that we can get benefits.
    Dental implants
    dubai

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm not sure if you can answer dental questions over email, but I thought I'd see! I was wondering if you could clarify concerns I've been having over my wisdom teeth removal..I know you should always have a missing tooth replaced with the exception of wisdoms but I'm wondering if bone atrophy and therefore a receding/narrower jaw can also result from wisdom teeth extraction if they're fully erupted? I have read some things online claiming that the jaw will not grow to full size if the wisdom teeth are removed prematurely, that the chin and jaw will recede (as the mandibular angle is no longer as long without the wisdom teeth), and that the facial appearance in general can be affected. My intuition and common sense are telling me that these conclusions would be correct, and I'm strongly considering dental implants to prevent further atrophy/regenerate the bone. One article in particular stated that "removal of wisdom teeth deforms the mouth" and "if you must have wisdom teeth removed, make sure they are replaced with permanent spacers to avoid deformation." I know that the wisdoms start growing between the ages of 9 and 12 and presumably aid in the growth of the jaws, would their presence not be needed for further growth/proper aesthetics? And could implants possibly help restore fullness/regenerate the atrophied bone?

    Thanks so much for your time, expertise, and informative website,

    Victoria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That seems way over dramatized. The only deformity anyone would ever see or notice is if a doc was comparing before and after pics of your bones in an x ray. So if you were a walking skeloton under a huge magnifying glass, maybe. But realistically not. Ive had my wisdom teeth out and my face is still the same.

      Delete
  17. Teeth play such an important role in one's overall health. Extracting teeth should be an absolute LAST resort. I urge everyone to get a copy of Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. Weston Price discovered how important teeth are in the 1920's. WAY too many teeth are extracted in modern dentistry. Many dentists are out to make money. It's YOUR life. Take control of it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sharon in Fort WorthJuly 22, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    My 16 year old daughter had all four of her wisdom teeth removed two days ago. She was prescribed Amoxicillin, 600 mg. Ibuprofen, and Hydrocodone, and a salt mouth rinse. She is still having pain (pain doesn't seem to be controlled well enough) and is incredibly swollen. I've also been treating her with ice packs. During surgery, there was an issue with one particular tooth, when it "disappeared" into the sinus cavity. Her surgeon said its very rare. He was able to find it quickly but said extra precautions will need to be taken for post op care. This morning she had a fever, 102.6, so I called his office and will be bringing her in today. So far he seems to be a doctor that is on top of things, but after reading this article I won't hesitate in taking her to children's hospital should she not improve quickly. I'm not willing to take any risks. Thank you so much for posting this information Dr. deMaine and I am grateful to all the posters who have taken the time to post their own personal stories. It has become an eye-opener !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been over a month. Can we have an update? I need to get two removed and these posts make me really nervous.

      Delete
  19. Coming across this post when I am going through hell with my teeth right now is scared the life out of me. I have lupus and sjogrens as well as some vasculitis and ulcerative colitis. For the past 5 years or so my teeth and gums have been deteriorating at a fast pace. I have maxed out dental care and yet still no relief, the sjogrens is destroying my mouth and im getting inflammation and pain on new fillings, along with under the gumline cavities.

    I am disabled and cant drive, I can barely afford a filling at this point, and im starting to have that pain that runs under the gums along the teeth and a headache on the back left side. The dentist I was seeing is expensive and he just put a mouthful of composites in over the past year, and most have now have pain under them.

    We have no dental for poor or disabled here, its all out of pocket, and all I get a month is 725.00. So even though I want to go in because the pain is really starting to get to me, I cant afford it. There is no payments to make the dentists here want the bill paid at time of service. I have no car live alone and I am 57 miles from a town with a hospital. I know I will become one of those people that die due to dental complications, its the sad state of not having a safety net for people like me.

    Sad because 10 years ago my state, Missouri..did away with covering dental for medicaid. Last year our Gov signed a bill re allowing medicaid to pay again...but is withholding the funds to pay for other state budget issues. So there is nothing. And at 285 a pop for an extraction I just cant afford it right now. Prob never if I want to keep a roof over my head and the lights and water on.

    My only choice will be the emergency room when I get to sick from infection or pain. What a world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get HumanaOne Dental insurance, it's about $160 a YEAR and covers a lot. If you can go to a dental place, like Aspen or something like that, you might want to get the teeth removed and get dentures. I'm surprised a dentist would even DO a cavity on a tooth that is so compromised. You can get on a payment plan, like Dental First, where you could pay say, $100 a month or so.

      Delete
    2. I've used a bottle of MMS (Sodium Chlorite-about $25) to swish and kill bacteria in the mouth, and it can even be swallowed. It's used for water purification, malaria treatment, etc. Also: Many composite material has fluoride in it, which is a toxic poison.

      Delete
  20. Dr.Demaine,

    I removed my 4 wisdom teeth under GA about 2 months ago. I was fine after a week post surgery. i was out & about taking over my normal errands with the job etc. However after about 2 weeks i did start feeling a small stiffness in my right cheek/gum and went to the dentist and he told me not to worry. For the past month & half I went to him 4 times because I felt it was growing and still told me not to worry.

    Then I decided to go see a surgeon because by that time it has grown to a proper lump that is visible from outside too. We took an ultra sound & the conclusion was a haematoma due to a damage . The surgeon directed me to a maxillofacial surgeon and he advised me to remove the lump & again went into theater under GA & it was removed. ( this is exactly after 2 months from the wisdom teeth extraction) I was prescribed augmentin & diclofenac for five days and i noticed the swelling is not improving and another stiff lump is formed in my cheek which is bigger than the lump that was removed. When i told the doc he said not to worry it is normal & asked me to do all the post surgery exercises like force opening the mouth massaging the infected area heat pack etc. which i did for exactly 2 weeks and it was only getting worse. He still kept on saying not to worry it will go away and keep on doing the exercises.

    I knew it was not normal and went to a second opinion. The doc said i have been asked to do the opposite of what I should be doing post surgery exercise should do once the wound is healed & prescribed me oral penicillin for a week. Then saw him again after a week and again same antibiotic for a week & now another abscess with puss is formed up near the area where the stitches are. For today it is been the 25th day post surgery and i still look the same with the same swelling and another abscess on top of it.

    Right now I'm really worried having to see all these comments & doctors being all positive asking not to worry. Please let me know should i be alarmed ? What actions should I take? I would really appreciate your advice. ( My biopsy report was clear the lump removed was non malignant)

    Thank you very much

    ReplyDelete
  21. Two years ago the week of Christmas I had my wisdom teeth removed(3) of them my one of my lower ones was impacted requiring a it to be removed by a oral surgeons . I had been on antibotics for a week prior to removal. Within 4 days I was in the Er fighting for my life, my tongue had swollen out of my mouth & they were barely able to get me intibated due to the swelling. Drains were put into my neck within hours of me going to the hospital, taking to ICU loaded up with 4 of the strongest antibiotics & several very strong pain mess & basically put in a coma with the "Michael jackson" drug. Two days later back in surgery to remove drains & open incisions larger because the infections was spreading rapidly & heading to my heart. The Dr would come to my room 3 times a day & pack my neck in all three wholes. 5 days later I was back in surgery to have a feeding tube put in. I was finally exubated on the 12 day then remained in the hospital another 7 days as the Dr continued to come pack my neck 3times a day.
    I was released to go home under the care of my mother who is a nurse practioner who was able to address my neck. I was not able to open my mouth more than to put a tooth brush in, half my tongue had nerve damage so I could not talk very well, was unable to swallow for about 2 weeks had to use a suction to relieve my saliva from my mouth.
    Remained on a feeding tube for 3 months, used pliers that I had wrapped with cushion & pried my mouth open several times a day for several weeks. Was able to start eating with extreme difficulty.
    It took at least 7 months before my tongue finally was back to normal, I still hAve nerve damage in my face ( got a crooked smile now)!! In all that i had lost 25 lbs I have since gain ed that back & maybe more, lol. We did not file any kind of lawsuit as it happened to just happen. Ludwigs angina is very rare & agree with other posts here its important to be aware that this could happen. I have recently been experiencing some tightness in my neck i believe it is due to all the scar tissue. I am greatful to be alive as I was told it was very iffy for 10 of the 12 days I was in ICU. My heart goes out to Dan's. Family as I am a mother of 2 boys they were 16 & 17 at the time & very scary for them & my friends & family.

    Awerness is what needs to happen , not sure how other than sites like this!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think that as a whole, society tends to rely upon hearsay more than research when it comes to selecting oral surgeons. If the story you told were the only one of it's kind, I would say that hearsay is fine. But unfortunately, there are far too many who experience similarly tragic results as the one you just described because hearsay is only hearsay. That is, unless it comes from a trusted source. After reading your excellent article, I have decided to commit myself to a more thorough research whenever selecting service from a professional such as an oral surgeon.

    http://www.pinnacleoms.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am a 55 year old male who already has two heart stents and was taken off my baby asperin (2 81mg per day) so I could have my last 18 teeth removed last Tuesday. The oral surgeon said he wanted to help me out with price (I had two other quotes from other practices) and he said he would do it for a certain amount CASH. I joked at the time and said who carried that kind of money around, and his secy said I will look like a drug dealer for the day. I had a separate dentist doing my dentures. I had to have this done awake because I didn't have a ride to get there or home, so he used Nitrous Oxide and Novocaine to do this. He ended up sawing my jaw as well as hammering away at a few teeth. He also had to cut out some of my teeth because of the damage that was there previously that was not fixed and that started this mess. My prescriptions were Amoxocillion and Vicodin which were added to around 11 prescriptions I already take. When I got home, the pain started within a hour. I could not believe that he gave me 22 shots of Novocaine and I was in so much pain so fast. I also started running a fever of 100.7 and it spiked to 104 by the end of the day with pain so bad, I passed out from it. When I woke up, the pain was horrible and my fever was still 103.1. I called his service and she said she would call him and then she gets back on (I had horrible chills the whole time) and says he claims this is all normal. This is now 5 days ago. I saw the denture guy the next day and he said it looked very raw and I was going out of town for 11 days and he said he didn't recommend that at all. I already had all my plans made, so I flew from Florida and am in NY right now. I have been soaked in sweat ever since and running high fevers with pain that is unimaginable. This is coming from a man who has has 4 major back surgeries and some major stomach blockages where I also needed surgery. I cancelled the rest of my trip but am still on NY until Tuesday and I can't do anything without being short of breath and sweating like crazy, sleeping horribly and I can't come close to getting my bottom dentures in. I had the tops in and took them out a few times with some pain, but when I took them out today, the pain was absolutely horrible. I have yet to put them back in. I rather not ever put them back in then feel that again.'I also ended up with the worst cold sore I recall yesterday and I bought all the things they sell in a drug store for topical pain to try and help me. I used over a half bottle of Ambesol already and now I can't even touch that to my mouth. Ice does not help and I HATE hospitals, but I don't have a death sentence. I have not been very focused since and even yesterday, went to a Broadway Show and was outdoors where it was cool out and I was sweating like crazy. Should I be worried here? I know my fevers are pretty high, but the oral surgeon was not worried the first day. After all these letters, I think I know my answer, but I don't want tonjumpmtomconclusions. I have had some chest pain but I do suffer from angina. Your comments or suggestions please? Thanks.
    Mitch

    ReplyDelete
  24. I need some help....ive got really bad teeth and have had several abcesses lately....now im experiencing ear and throat pain wirh swollen glabds on right side....ear so painful it hurts to touch on the outside up through my hair on my scalp...I dont have dental insurance so dont know where to turn

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Dr.,
    I'm very concerned reading all of these stories. I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed last Monday and the healing on my right lower one is not going well. Yesterday the swelling began to increase again and now I'm having a lot of trouble swallowing. I went to see my dentist today and he said some people have complications such as these. He did an x ray of my mouth and saw no infection. He thinks the pain is due to inflammation that has aggravated a nerve close to my tooth. Given all of the above stories, I'm very scared. I want to believe him but a part of me doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello,

    I had been to a dentist in India, Maharashtra in a small place called Vasai where I live with my mother. I had a pain in one of my lower molars. The dentist suggested I go in for an extraction. I agreed. He injected anesthesia about 4 times (which was a way too much) but I didn't have much to say or do. When I got back my senses I found my wisdom tooth to be missing. He gave a vague explanation why it was important etc. I had fallen totally unconscious during the operation/surgery.

    When I came home I saw my entire face has changed, my lips are cut, my jaws are cut, my gums are cut, my throat had a painfully tingling sensation and a painfully awkward numbness in my ankle and fingers.

    The local police refused to take a case of medical malpractice/negligence. The dental association of India is aware of the case but is not willing to do anything.

    The doctors and hospitals have decided to save the doctor and is not giving a clear statement so that the patient can avail insurance benefits. It all looks very dismal and devastating sometimes but still hopeful that some surgeon/dentist can do something to help relieve the pain/discomfort and help me get back my normal face :)

    Well, this is how a normal persons life gets totally wrecked in the hands of a dentist and once anything happens by someone of the medical profession the entire system tries to safeguard the profession/industry in such a way that the person cannot get any help from anywhere.

    C'est la vie.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I had one abscessed tooth for a year before it was pulled. Just after it was pulled the tooth right next to it abscessed and a year later another tooth abscessed. I have now had abscessed teeth in my mouth for 4 straight years. The only reason I could live with these this long is because all three abscessed in years prior and each tooth had root canals. Because of the prior root canals I did not have horrible pain like when the teeth have the nerves in them. My symptoms were swollen, bleeding, draining gums with a horrible smell and taste in my mouth. I took 2 rounds of antibiotics during the four years. I year prior to the first abscess my MD told me that my heart was working too hard. I ask her what she meant and she told me would would discuss it at my next visit. She then moved to another practice and I never found out what she was talking about with my heart. I sweat real bad and I have NEVER been one to seat in my life. I also get real short of breath doing anything. I have blamed this on menopause ... but I don't know. Now 4 years after my first abscess ... my most recent dentist DDS said this was a challenge (he does implants) but referred me to another dentist DDS Periodontics & Dental Implants. So, on August 12, 2015 I got a headache on the back of my head more towards the base of the skull. August 13, 2015 the last two abscessed teeth were pulled. The Eye tooth ate through the bone in my face up to my sinuses and he did bone grafts in preparation for implants. Then at 2 AM August 14, 2015 I came flying out of bed with severe chest pains. I knew I was having a heart attack ... because my chest could not hurt like this and it not be one. Then I had another bolt of pain in my chest. I sat there wondering if I should get up and get to the hospital but it stopped. I kept waiting for the next round of pain but it never came. Before the teeth being pulled and since ... I have little tiny pains in my chest more on the left side. I also went to the chiropractor an few weeks ago and he told me that where I'm having my headache in the back of my head ... there are sinuses at that very spot. He feels that it could be associated with the abscesses. I've now been having the headache in the back of my head for 5 months. Is it possible that the abscessed teeth could be the cause for the pains in my chest and in the back of my head? Also, since the infection from the abscessed teeth was present for 4 straight years ... how would I know if it has damaged my heart or other areas in my body? Also, I am getting ready to start going to a College of Dentistry to have ANOTHER possible abscess tooth taken care of (under a crown), a cavity (under another crown) and 5 implants done. Is there any reason with my history that I should take any extra precaution or be more aware or in tune and looking for anything special during my treatment at the college? I'm going to the college due to the high cost I would be facing at a regular dentist for this amount of work. FYI - my regular dentist was wanting to go with me and watch the dentist he referred me to while he put in the posts and more bone grafting he said because it was challenging...do you know what might make this that challenging? Thanks so much for any help or suggestions that you can give! I know you cannot advise me exactly what to do because you have not seen me, X-rays or anything else. But general guidance and possible thing to be aware of would be greatly appreciated.
    Troubled Teresa :-(

    ReplyDelete
  28. I went through a similar experience. Pain started in my lower left jaw and extended to my ear and temple. It was radiating and throbbing pain and I had difficulty concentrating. The next day, Saturday, after trying Ibuprofen and oral gel, I went to Urgent Care and explained my symptoms and that my dentist has been telling me to get my wisdom teeth removed, and they sent me home with Naproxen and I was encouraged to see an oral surgeon. I had to go to the ER that night for stronger pain meds. There wasn't any swelling so they couldn't do much else anyway. Monday morning I scheduled with an oral surgeon for the upcoming Thursday. Monday night into Tuesday morning my jaw was very swollen, hard, hot, painful to touch, difficulty opening my mouth, and discomfort/pain when swallowing. I went to Urgent Care Tuesday morning knowing I needed antibiotics, and I was prescribed amoxicillion and prednisone. The NP couldn't tell if there were signs of an abscess and told me to talk to the oral surgeon since it was only 2 days away. Finally Thursday I got my wisdom teeth taken out, no special instructions regarding the still swollen jaw/neck, nothing unusual seen, and told the left side would have more swelling. Three days later, Sunday night after all seemed like it might be getting better, I was back at the ER after severe pain, inability to swallow, and difficulty breathing and talking. I was torn between going to the ER and waiting it out because I'd already missed work 4 days the previous week. I'm so glad I went. I got to the ER and they were immediately doing tests and CT scan and discovered an infected abbcess. I was admitted to the hospital and an ENT drained puss from the abscess (so gross). I'm still here for 24 hours surveillance and can understand why after reading this story. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I experienced same of your stories and im still suffering now.I have taken many kinds of medicine. My dentist just told me to gargle abetadine mouthwash. I haven't yet do the x-rays and CT scan but i take mx3 capsule and massage an krystall herbal oil to my jaw,those are really effective because before didn't yet used those herbal medicine,the level of pain and swellness of my tooth,jaw and cheek are very high..My dentist or most of the dentist don't now the right treatment or that case,and they should have to know that removing the wisdom tooth especially the lower impacted tooth is very dangerous,that's why,it is important to consult to a very intelligent doctor because i have many doctors to my conditions..So,for those who have conditions like this,you should buy mx3 capsule from philippines and it also available in USA and Canada. And for krystall products,you can buy that here in the philippines.. that is very effective herbal medicine,there are instructons on the box on how to use the products. And also, the most important way to heal the sick is to pray to God, HE is the best doctor of all.. God bless you always.. To God be the glory !!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I do not work for any of the places I'm mentioning on here. But I'm hearing nightmare stories and hearing people say they are doing insanely ridiculous things, like NOT going to an ER IMMEDIATELY upon having chest pains. YES, periodontal problems CAN affect the heart. Dentists should NOT be putting crowns on, or fillings in loose compromised teeth that will eventually need to be pulled out. So here is some advice for the poor (and yeah, I'm poor).

    There is HumanaOne Dental insurance. It's an HMO so you have to go to one of the places they have in their plan and get assigned to that place. This insurance is about $160 a year, very cheap and it covers more than any other insurance I ever ran across. Some places, like Aspen as one example I know of, have all kinds of dental people working there, periodontal people, surgeons, denture specialists and regular dentists - all in one place.

    There are also plans, like Dental First, that let you pay monthly, sort of like credit cards - these places can inform you of this when you go for treatments. Some payment plans have NO interest on them. If you are on disability, it's OK, it seems they approve it.

    You should NOT get teeth pulled out if there is an infection there or abscess. The infection should be cleared up first. If you get them pulled, ask for stitches, demand it to prevent dry socket (don't argue on this). If you have to get a lot of teeth pulled, try NOT to get them all pulled at once (unless it's a GOOD surgeon doing it to put in dentures); leave yourself one side so you can chew and eat.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I had an impacted supernumerary removed because it "might cause trouble later." The ensuing fistula and sinus infection nearly ruined my life. High fever, discharge, pain. And like the patient in the original article, there was no one looking after me; the oral surgeon pointed to the ENT (in another medical plan) and the ENT pointed to the oral surgeon. I had to manage my own care, talking to both parties and synthesizing. I ended up telling the ENT what antibiotics the DDS would have used if it were his problem. After two antral punctures I got a Caldwell-Luc and a course of antibiotics for Gram+ and - infections. IMHO, oral surgeons should not be doing these operations unless they have hospital privilege and there is insurance covering all outcomes. And don't do operations "just in case."

    ReplyDelete
  32. I had an impacted supernumerary removed because it "might cause trouble later." The ensuing fistula and sinus infection nearly ruined my life. High fever, discharge, pain. And like the patient in the original article, there was no one looking after me; the oral surgeon pointed to the ENT (in another medical plan) and the ENT pointed to the oral surgeon. I had to manage my own care, talking to both parties and synthesizing. I ended up telling the ENT what antibiotics the DDS would have used if it were his problem. After two antral punctures I got a Caldwell-Luc and a course of antibiotics for Gram+ and - infections. IMHO, oral surgeons should not be doing these operations unless they have hospital privilege and there is insurance covering all outcomes. And don't do operations "just in case."

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think doc has left the building.. but this goes to show to trust in your body. If you arent getting any beter after a day or two of any oral surgery or treatment then show some concern, and if it isnt getting better after you are seen again, trust in md.. not dds.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think doc has left the building.. but this goes to show to trust in your body. If you arent getting any beter after a day or two of any oral surgery or treatment then show some concern, and if it isnt getting better after you are seen again, trust in md.. not dds.

    ReplyDelete
  35. My son is having the same problems with his four wisdom teeth removals. He has a very high fever throwing up & chest tightening we took him to ER and they just took his money and sent him home telling him to see Dentist on Monday which started Friday. Getting worst what can I do really worried please help thanks ,Alana.L

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't give you medical advice, sorry. Please continue to work with your dentist and doctor - please get a second opinion is things are not going well.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jim...
      Hope you can help me.
      Day 4 of post dental surgery of infected back lower tooth and my neck is completely swollen and hard.
      Lots of pain after long surgery and a hard lump on cheek at extraction site.
      Day 2 very swollen lymph node and lump on cheek is now subsided.
      Day 3 neck is now swollen and lymph node is huge.
      Go to ER for extreme mouth jaw and neck pain.
      Given Naprosyn and Penicillin with instructions to return if symptoms got worse.
      Neck is now completely swollen and hard in places.
      Can barely swallow and pain is severe.

      Delete
  36. Came across this site while searching for info, for what I was just released out of the hospital for. Ludwigs angina. I've always heard you can "die from a toothache, but who honestly ever really believes that?! After having a severe toothache for 1 day, I seen a dentist immediately and was put on antibiotics. The next day I woke up with my neck/throat swollen and so painful. I figured it was the infection and the antibiotics should be kicking in shortly. The very next day, I woke up with my neck more swollen, and a huge swollen mass under my tongue. I could barely open my mouth and for the second day , couldn't eat and barely drink fluids. I had my husband drive me to the er straight away! They told me as soon as they seen me, that I was being admitted. I was put on antibiotics thru an iv and steroids and given fentanyl for my pain. Luckily, I wasn't having breathing problems yet. Had an ent doctor drain the mass under my tongue and a day later, I convinced them to let me go home... as I can't do hospitals and was freakin out the whole time! They said they were comfortable letting me go, as I had early ludwigs and was showing improvement already. Now I am still on strong antibiotics and steroids. The swelling and pain have went down tremendously and when this whole ordeal is over, I'll be getting this tooth removed!

    Please please, always listen to your body, your symptoms and never delay treatment. Had I waited a day or two, I'm told I would have probably needed a breathing tube inserted and things would've been terribly worse!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dr. deMaine I think I may have a systemic infection from an infected root canal. I had a root canal done one year ago. I started losing weight since then and feeling weaker. One day I started feeling tingling and needles through all my body, high blood pressure and I felt like the blood was going up in high speed from my legs to my head. My head beated and was swollen. After that day I developed arrythmia, difficulty to breath, difficulty to swalow, digestive and articulatory problems, back and cervical problems, my neck has that crispy sound that you mentioned, my heart aches. I've visited many doctors, they say the blood results are ok but I know there's a problem and i don't want to wait to be critically ill like the patient you mentioned. I feel tingling through all my body and my legs and arms numb. I visited a neurofocal dentist and he confirmed that I have an infection in my root canal, he says that it is probably the bacteria in this molar which is causing me all these symptoms and he sent me to do a blood culture. But the regular physicians don't recognize the problem, please tell me what specialist I should see to adress this problem. I'm sure the infection has gonge to my neck and spine but I can't find a doctor who can diagnose it. I know I'm still in time to save my life, but I need the right doctors to help me. Please give me some advice on what to do or on how to convice the doctors about this.I'm afraid to remove the molar because I don't want to worsen things, I want to be sure that the infection won't spread. Thank you very much. Mariana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mariana, I can't give you medical advice but I have a few suggestions. You could see an oral surgeon or an endodontist to further evaluate you for an infected root canal. A lot will depend on your X-Rays and clinical evaluation. Sometimes when you're sick or scared, the anxiety can make you hyperventilate which can your body feel numb and tingly. So I hope you can get this sorted out. But again, I'm not in a position to offer medical or dental advice.

      Delete
  38. I am 20, soon to be 21. I had all four wisdom teeth removed on Thursday, the lower left being impacted and infected. It is now Sunday and I'm terrified. I wasn't given stitches to close the wounds. The sides and underside of my neck feel swollen and tender and I've been short of breath and nauseous. I have been taking my antibiotic as instructed but I'm not sure if I'm worrying over nothing or if something is truly wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't give medical or dental advice, but I'd recommend you see your dentist or oral surgeon today for your symptoms, or go to the ER if very sick.

      Delete
  39. I had all of my top teeth removed or August 5th. August 7th my face was swollen like a chipmunks called dentist he said it could take be that bad. Husband cAllen and insisted the next day it was that bad so dentist called in a different time antibiotic to help and assured me he would check on meach hybrid Monday.
    As it was I woke up during initial surgery and I am glad I did too. I was getting an implant denture. Which I told him even when awake it was to tight . .. he ignored me. When complaining about face swollen... he ignored me.... now after finally going I aNFL demanding he look at my face sincream I could not longer see from my left eye did he loosen up tell bolts which immediatly gave me some relief. Where he then stated I had 2 infected teeth up in extraction.
    So almost 7 days later and I'm just now hearing this???? Here I am now on day 17 and had an appointment for stitches removal to be done on Wednesday (which the forgot about) and finally today they call me to set up removal next Thursday which will be day 22 after. Here is my reasoNing for not dropping him already...2 weeks prior to surgery I was told payment due in full. I have no insurance health or dental any longer so 22k came out of my savings. I am staying my story because I have 2 questions...
    1. How long before stitches become harmful???
    2. Do I have ever any groundsuggestions to sue this Jerk, and if so do I look for a malpractice lawyer or ????

    ReplyDelete
  40. I recently had two left bottom teeth pulled, at age 24 i was a nervious wreck, I've been dealing with tooth pain my whole life. So I had my mom take me to and from the appointment. I took a sleeping pill before they were pulled, so I could go right to sleep. Later that night around 9pm I woke up and could hardly breeth my face was swollen. My mother came and picked me up and drove me to the er. They sent me home with ativan to help me sleep.two days later I woke up and couldnt swallow, talk and was really struggling to breeth. I drove myself to the er and was told that if I would have layed back down I wouldn't have woke up. I was there for about 5 hours and ready to be admitted. At that point they wanted to transfer me to a ENT. It was all very overwelming and I sent my stepmother to tell my husband how sick I was. But instead of her doing that she acted as if I was okay and never told my husband what was going on. She's all about drama, that's why we never got along, the type of person to talk about you when you leave the room. So of course I'm freaking out like why hasn't my husband came to see me.. and not only that I have a 3 year old daughter a 2 year old son and a 3 month old baby girl at home. So I signed myself out of the hospital was sent home with antibotics and steroids. The next day we had my stwpmom come watch the kids while me and my husband went to a different hospital. My experience there was unforgettable the nurse was very rude and would cut me off every time I tryed to talk. They diagnosed me with lugwig agina, and told me they were going to transport me by ambulance to the ENT specialist and at that point I knew I couldn't go through with it, I needed to get my husband home to our kids, so again I signed myself out. From there I drove my husband home and packed my things to take and drove my self to the hospital that had the ent, I was admitted and treated for next 3 days. So while I'm in the hospital getting the treatment I need, my evIL stepmother was talking bad about me. So I freaked out and just wanted to be home. after being poked over 15 times my arms were raw and black and blue. And again I signed myself out, the doctor sent me home with pain meds antibiotics and steroids. Its been about a week and I finished the course of meds. I went and got the stiches removed two days ago. My face is still numb where they pulled the teeth, I can't open my mouth wide it feels like I have lockjaw. Not only that I can't move half my tongue and I have a really sorethroat it hurts to swallow when I can. My next move is going back to the er but I refuse to miss Halloween with my little ones, until then hopefully the feeling in my face comes back and my pain goes away.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Guess I dodged a bullet. Had a tooth out yesterday morning (maxillary first molar). Not infected, but it had been cracked down the middle for over a decade, it had begun to hurt, and it wasn't fixable, so it was a disaster waiting to happen. By mid-afternoon after the extraction I had chills and profuse sweating, which worsened overnight, along with muddleheadedness for lack of a better term. I might have had a fever, but I was loathe to leave my warm bed to find the thermometer. Feeling much better today (it appears that the antibiotics are working). I had intended to call the dentist and/or my doctor if I felt worse today, but if things had gotten much worse overnight, I might not have had the presence of mind to get help in time. Should have called yesterday, should have arranged for someone to check on me this morning. I'm pleased to say that my dentist called this afternoon, to see how I was doing. Hopefully at this point I am out of the woods, but I'll ask my family to keep an eye on me.

    ReplyDelete
  42. To all facing the extraction of wisdom teeth, please insist on having a CT scan done prior, to accurately assess the locations of all nerves. I have been in misery for the last 2 1/2 months from a lower impacted wisdom tooth. My lingual nerve was severed, and I was misdiagnosed with a hematoma, when I actually had osteomyelitis; I then had a debridement of my jawbone & biopsy. I am in constant pain, my entire head, neck, jaw, chin, & lips. I was denied antibiotics & xrays initially, I had to take a very proactive approach with my oral surgeon to make progress in a diagnosis. Many follow up visits, & ER trips later I was finally taken seriously. Often times medical professionals do not want to admit making an error, they are afraid of malpractice lawsuits so they intentionally dismiss life threatening concerns. I am very hesitant to return for any dental work. Still fighting this bone infection & nerve damage due to botched extractions. I even went to U of M thinking they were one of the best in the country. I now can't function or work, I'm constantly taking oxycodone, and tramadol, which provides little relief. It has left me a shell of the vibrant woman I was 3 months ago. I hope I fully recover, and can stop taking medication; it has been a horrible experience. It is very sad reading all of these testimonies, hopefully our words reach some individuals, and give them needed foresight into surgical extractions, & different scenarios.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hello I feel so miserable.
    Last year at Christmas time I had an embedded wisdom tooth removed.
    It didn't run smoothly and the dentist could not get out all of the tooth fragments.
    Throughout the year I have suffered from grumbling sort of ache but now it's absolute agony.
    My lovely dentist checked my mouth and said everything looked fine but x- rayed where my fragments were and said they looked really infected and need to be removed.
    He couldn't believe I had been left this way I am 48 years old and stated I should have been put to sleep and have it all removed properly.
    I got a prescription for antibiotics and got home and have been crying the pain is so bad,
    My cheek is swollen I can hardlys open my mouth and have been overdosing on pain relief.
    I have been holding hot water bottle on my face and just feel so poorly.
    This is day 3 of antibiotics and I'm scared and really can't manage the pain I wish I could just die.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah, I can tell you that root tips can and do separate during extractions. I can also tell you that there is a time to go after them, a time to leave them. Both options have pros and cons. For example, if the root is close to the nerve in the lower jaw and the tooth was not infected, it is likely that the bone will fill in the socket and you will go the test of your life without infection. But in some instances the root may become infected and it may be necessary to have it removed. But if the initial decision is to go after the root tip, it is likely that the tiny fragment will pop out, however there is a risk that if the nerve below the root is damaged during the removal, you may suffer a numb lower lip, sometimes forever. So you see there are a hundred variables and decisions made during the surgery and desicions made for years before the surgery that will play to the outcome of your procedure. Ultimately I would recommend finding a dentist that you relate to and has a similar personality. I find that the decisions you both make for your care will mirror each other's and if procedures do not go as planned, you understand how it is that you got to this place and that direction to proceed will again suit you. This is the best way to be sure your confidence in your dentist is not compromised.
      Another bit of advice is to bring an advocate with you. A spouse, friend or parent. It is impossible for any one person to process the information being laid out to you and you. I wish you well, you are a good communicator, that will serve you well with the decisions you will be making in the near future.

      Delete
  44. I was on cephaloxin for five days before wisdom tooth extraction and continued in it after surgery. Next day I had fever and swollen jaw and the dentist switched me to penicillin. The fever went away and so did the swelling in the following days. Now I have completed the one week course of penicillin a couple of days back. Now I have an extreme case of sore throat, no cold symptoms, no swelling, just an extremely raw sore throat the likes of which I have never had before. Could this be bacterial after two weeks of two different antibiotics? Should I go back to my dentist or a regular GP? Appreciate any help.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks for the explaining the anatomical link between dental and mediastinum. I was aware of the concern but never fully understood why.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Erie resemblance. I had Ludwig's angina in Feb 2011 as well, almost didn't make it. Don's family will be in my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I had 2 wisdom on bottom of jaw removed. Now infected. I am on amoxicillin 500 mg but also have immune difficiency due to humira injections for ulcerative colitus. Hope all works out for me

    ReplyDelete