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Re: Tooth abscess and heart valve damage

Posted By Francis on April 17, 1999 at 23:55:48
     My problem doesn't compare to the other life and death posts that I read here but it is important to me.  My dentist is unsure if I have an abscess in one of my molar teeth.  The tooth has been chipped off for years and while it doesn't look normal but it causes me no trouble either.  I read where a dental abscess has symptoms like--sensitivity to hot and cold foods, pain, sinus infections, facial swelling, etc..  I have none of these symptoms but the dentist still wants to extract the tooth.  I do not want to.  If I leave the tooth as is and there is a low grade abscess present and it exists for a long time will I be doing possible damage to my heart valves?  I should add that I am in my late 30's, male, and my general health is good to very good.  I do not want to leave the tooth as is if I am going to cause long term serious damage to myself (heart valves).  Is there any information on links between dental abscess and heart valve damage?  And h
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - DLB on April 18, 1999 at 10:25:24

Dear Francis
If you do have an abscess, the tooth needs to be removed for a variety of reasons. Among the reasons, is the possibility of the infection spreading through the bloodstream to the heart valves and damaging them. This is not something that occurs slowly - it is an all or none phenomenon. Thus, there is no way to know if it will spread ahead of time or when it might spread.
I hope this has been useful. Feel free to write back with further questions. Good luck.
Information provided here is of a general nature.  Specific diagnoses and treatments can only be made by your doctor.  If you would like to be seen at the Cleveland Clinic, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE for an appointment with a cardiologist at Desk F15.

Follow Ups:

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A related discussion, Connection to abscessed and arrhythmia was started.
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A related discussion, long term tooth infection was started.
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