I went to the doctor for some swelling in my neck. He said I have an infection in my salivary glands, but he thinks I need to see a dentist for it. Why would I need to see a dentist? Is he just passing the buck? Wouldn’t it be just as easy to prescribe me an antibiotic?
Please bear in mind that I haven’t examined your case. I can make an educated guess based on the information given, though. It sounds like your doctor did an x-ray and saw there is a substantial dental infection there. I say substantial because it spread to your salivary glands.
Whenever you have a tooth infection, it is considered a dental emergency. This is because of the potential dangers as the infection spreads. Think about how close your jaw is to your heart and brain. If the infection spreads to either of those places, it will become life-threatening quickly.
Treating a Detnal Infection
Unlike traditional infections, you can’t just treat a tooth infection with antibiotics. That is because the infection causes the pulp of the tooth to die, which no longer allows blood flow. Without blood flow, there is no way for the medication to reach the infected tissue.
Because of that, your dentist will need to get in there and physically remove the infected pulp. This is done with a root canal treatment. However, because the infection has already spread, you will also need some antibiotics. I wish your doctor had given you some just to keep the infection at bay.
The good news is, many dentists will work you in the same day when you have a dental emergency. Give your dentist a call. If you don’t have one, you can do an internet search for a dentist in your area and let them know what is going on.
This blog is brought to you by the Garfield Heights Dentists of Angel Dental Care.