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Author Topic: Can you die from a gum infection?  (Read 198 times)

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Offline skleep

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Can you die from a gum infection?
« on: December 26, 2013, 07:24:56 PM »
My boyfriend got a minor gum abscess last week.  It was caused from food getting caught between an erupting wisdom tooth and his gum.  He went to a dentist who prescribed penicillin and topical antimicrobial therapy.  He's been taking his medication.

He told me a second dentist evaluated him today and told him that his wisdom tooth is not impacted, the infection was gone (so he says) but that he should get his wisdom tooth removed (unclear if the dentist meant "right away" or "sometime in the future").  Sounds great, except his cheek and gum are still a bit swollen.  I know none of this sounds major, especially because my boyfriend feels fine and only has some irritation around the gum, no swollen lymph nodes or major symptoms (that I know of) but I keep wondering if this infection could spread to his heart/brain and kill him.

If he's already on antibiotics, is the risk of this basically zero?  Does that only happen to people who don't treat the infection?
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Can you die from a gum infection?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 07:39:04 PM »
I keep wondering if this infection could spread to his heart/brain and kill him.

 :laugh3: :laugh3: :laugh3:

Well I don't really know since I'm a lawyer and not a doctor but I think it can't. But if it could, I bet it can happen only in your wildest dreams AKA practically never. You live in a developed country, how reasonable is to even think that?
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Offline skleep

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Re: Can you die from a gum infection?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 07:47:20 PM »
@Overthinkingextrovert

Well, there are a few famous cases of people dying from tooth abscesses, but in those cases I don't think they took antibiotics (in fact it seems like they just didn't do anything about the infection at all).  I know it's rare regardless but I'm still so scared!  Hugo Boss died this way (but it was a tooth abscess not gum)
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Offline michelle360

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Re: Can you die from a gum infection?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 08:33:21 PM »
Actually a bad infection anywhere in the body has the potential to be fatal if left untreated and enters the blood stream (sepsis). A tooth abcess is one of them. It can and will kill you if left untreated. That being said you would be in UNBEARABLE pain and would have ended up in an emergency room on IV antibiotics before that happened. If it happens with a root canaled tooth that's where it becomes dangerous as the tooth doesn't hurt to warn people something is very wrong.
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Offline skleep

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Re: Can you die from a gum infection?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 08:42:49 PM »
@Michelle

Yeah, the pain for him is pretty minor, and it's not a tooth, just the gum.  I think his tooth itself is in fine condition (not impacted).  Is it still something to worry about then?
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Offline michelle360

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Re: Can you die from a gum infection?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 09:08:56 PM »
I wouldn't think so at all. Especially since he is under treatment and on antibiotics. I would think there is virtually no chance of anything you are scared of happening actually happening.
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Offline park682

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Re: Can you die from a gum infection?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2013, 09:13:56 PM »
Hugo Boss died in 1948...so I would like to think we have better medicine now :) He should be fine!

This is a fear I have because I heard that if you have gingivitis, something like that could happen...
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Offline Pichooi

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Re: Can you die from a gum infection?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 03:04:44 AM »
He will live :)
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Offline skleep

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Re: Can you die from a gum infection?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 03:24:49 AM »
Yeah, he is on antibiotics.  I'm worried because I saw some post online (no source though) about a woman who died of a tooth abscess (he has a gum abscess so maybe it's different- and hers was caused by tooth decay whereas his tooth is fine) and that woman was on antibiotics.  However I only know of two sourced modern-day examples of people dying from tooth abscesses and they were people who couldn't afford treatment so they never took any pills.
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