I have a tooth that I know is infected in the back of my mouth. The side of my mouth is completely swollen and it looks like I’m hoarding food in my cheek. I’m out of work at the moment and don’t have any money or insurance. Are there things I can to deal with this myself?
I’m sorry you are facing this while unemployed. What I don’t want you to do is try to take antibiotics to “cure” this infection. It won’t work. The problem is there is no way for the medication to get to the root of the infection which is inside your tooth.
The only way to truly treat an infected tooth is to physically remove the infection. This is either done by a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction. While some people have attempted to extract their own teeth, it rarely goes well and back teeth are especially complicated because of the extra roots. You could end up worse off than you are now.
Tooth infections are considered dental emergencies. They will spread. Yours has already started to. If it reaches your braid, heart, or lungs it will get life-threatening quickly. I’m not trying to panic you, just help you understand the severity of the situation.
The good news is, even broke, there is a way to get this taken care of affordably. I would first call a local clinic to see if they know of any programs in your area for people with urgent care needs who are low income. If there isn’t, you could call some dentists directly.
Most dentists went into their field because they wanted to help people. I’m sure if you explained your situation, there would be someone willing to work with you by treating your infected tooth and then allowing you time to pay out the fee.
Please don’t put off getting this treated.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.