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Why would white blood cell count be normal even with bad jaw infection?

I had my first root canal (done 7 months ago) that became reinfected just 3 months after the initial procedure. It wound up causing a massive infection, along with near constant fever and previously a very ill period of 4-6 weeks where I had the most horrible waves of debilitating flu-like illness.

At the onset of the infection, which turned into an abscess, my white blood cell count was slightly elevated. 4 months later, still fighting this awful infection (that spread into lymph passages, ear and eye on that side), my white blood cell count is normal. My doctor seems to interpret this as being a sign that the infection is not as bad as it feels, even though I have almost constant fever, still don't feel well, and have deep aching pain in jaw especially at night, when the infection seems to intensify.

I'm working on posting the whole story, but in the meantime, in what circumstance would a white blood cell count test normal, even when there is an infection present in the body? Is it possible that the infection is so closed off (I've heard deep jaw infections can be), that the white blood cells aren't fully aware of its presence or something, so aren't multiplying and sounding the alarm?

Also, the infection has been treated with numerous antibiotics (amoxicillin, flagyl, omnicef, augmentin, clindamycin), and all seem to help at first, but only clindamycin has lasting effects. Not even augmentin worked. Any idea on what kind of bacteria would respond to clindamycin but not augmentin?

I was taken off clindamycin mid-treatment (I was feeling dramatically better, but was taken off it before infection was totally gone for blood tests) and am now trying to play catch-up, back on it and augmentin at the same time.

Thanks!
3 Responses
Avatar universal
p.s. I've been fighting this for 4 months, almost 5 actually.
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Seeing an oral surgeon to eliminate the source of infection is advised. Although clindamycin is narrow spectrum antibiotics, it is highly effctive for bone infection.
Avatar universal
Thank you, I actually have an appointment with a new oral surgeon tomorrow. Thank you for your input! That is interesting to know about clindamycin.
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