My daughter has had two salivary gland infections right above where she had two root canal treatments on the same tooth. Could this be spreading to infect her salivary gland? The doctor can’t seem to figure out what is leading to the infections and this is the only thing I could think of that makes any sense. Do tooth infections spread out of the teeth?
A tooth infection can spread outside of the tooth. This is one of the reasons they are considered dental emergencies. Your jaw is very close to your heart, lungs, and brain so a dental infection can turn life-threatening if left untreated. That being said, yes, it is possible an infection has spread to your daughter’s salivary glands. However, that would only be possible if her root canal treatment had failed.
You mentioned this is the second root canal treatment on this tooth. That means she’s already had one failed root canal treatment. The chances of a successful treatment go down with each successive re-treatment. My advice to you is to see an endodontist, also known as root canal specialists, to have an x-ray done. The x-ray should show you if there is an infection present.
If the Tooth Can’t be Saved
If there is an infection, the root canal specialist will have a much better chance of giving you a successful treatment. It is also possible that this tooth cannot be saved. In that case, all that would be left is a tooth extraction. When a tooth is extracted, it needs to be replaced otherwise the adjacent teeth will shift or tip into the space, completely throwing off her bite.
The best tooth replacement option is a dental implant. However, if your daughter is a teenager, her jaw isn’t developed enough for that treatment yet. In that case, I would get her a dental flipper, which is an inexpensive temporary tooth replacement. You can use that until she is old enough for the dental implant.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. John Weaver.