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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 how long will it take for this damage to occur?  (I know this will be just a range--as each person is different)  Any help or guidence would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks,

3 Responses
Avatar universal
Posted By Hank Eyring on April 18, 1999 at 20:08:39
Hello Francis,
I am 32, Male and have no remarkable medical history whatsoever.  That is until 6 months ago when I chipped two of my wisdom teeth (i still have all 4 of them in).  I have always been a poor brusher.  within a month, I started having pain in my ankles and knees that was unexplained.  I saw many doctors.  Finally my Dr. did a blood culture and found a strep infection in my blood.  He then re-examined me and heard a significant heart murmur that he and I knew was not there before.  I had an echocardiogram which showed a problem with my aortic valve.
To make a long story short.  I am 2 weeks post aortic valve replacement and 32 years old because of chipped teeth and poor brushing habits.
Get the tooth fixed buddy.  Open heart surgery is much more painful!
Hank Eyring

Avatar universal
Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - DLB on April 20, 1999 at 09:06:28
Dear Francis
This is good advice from Hank. You ought to get the tooth fixed.
I hope this has been useful. I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to write back.
Information provided here is for general purposes only. Specific questions should be addressed to your own doctor. If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.

Avatar universal
Posted By Sandra on April 24, 1999 at 18:10:49
My father is 73 years old and had a single bypass 6 months ago. He has resumed normal activities, including: golf, treadmill 45 min 3x a week and tennis.  He had to have a tooth extracted last week and I am curious if this is a sign that not all is well with his heart.

Follow Ups:

Tooth abscess and heart valve damage CCF CARDIO MD - DLB 4/26/1999

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