I’ve had a low fever for two weeks, and I think a tooth infection may be causing it. At first, I thought it was the flu or some virus because I have been running a temperature and am achy. Last night, my temperature was 102.6. I know I have a few decayed teeth that I think might need fillings or root canals, but I have put off going to the dentist. Could the tooth infection be giving me a fever and making me sick? Marcus from New Haven, CT
You may have a tooth infection. Fever alone is not a sign of a tooth infection, but you may be right if you have decayed teeth that need root canal treatment. But please do not guess what is causing your symptoms. It is best to see a dentist promptly because you may have a tooth abscess.
What Are the Symptoms of a Tooth Abscess?
Some of the symptoms of a tooth abscess include:
- A persistent toothache with pain in your jaw, ear, or neck
- Sensitivity in the tooth to heat and cold
- Pain or sensitivity when you chew or bite
- Swollen face or cheek
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes in your neck or under your jaw
- A sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting fluid in your mouth and toothache relief if the abscess ruptures
What Is the Treatment for a Tooth Abscess?
A dentist can save an abscessed tooth with root canal treatment or surgery (apicoectomy). A tooth infection can poison your system and cause the symptoms you describe. See a dentist immediately to determine if you need a root canal treatment or a different treatment.
Most likely, a dentist can save teeth in bad condition with root canal treatment. In rare cases, a dentist must remove and replace the tooth. Replacing missing teeth protects you from further oral health problems. When several teeth are missing, your body resorbs the jawbone and uses minerals from it elsewhere. Dental implants are the most effective treatment because they fuse with your jawbone and prevent jawbone resorption and facial sagging.
The sooner you seek treatment, the easier it will be to resolve the issue. Contact a dentist right away.
Dr. Steven Brooksher, a Baton Rouge dentist, sponsors this post.