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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Aches, Pain and Fever after Dental Work

11/16/2010

Question:

It seems like every time I visit the dentist I get sick afterwards. The first visit consisted of deep cleansing around an infected tooth. (I got multiple very painful canker sores immediately). Dentist gave me antibiotics which I took for 10 days. On Tuesday a week ago I had a second visit with more deep cleaning. I went to work afterward, but on the way to work I started having a slight chill and aches. By afternoon I took Ibuprofen which eased the symptoms. By the time I got home that night around 9pm I had strong chills, low-grade fever and aches all over my body. I was sick for 2 days in bed and could not work. By Monday I felt better, but still had massive canker sores. This is not the first time I have had problems like this. So, what could be causing this reaction? Is it the dental work which releases some kind of bacteria, could the instruments be unsanitized or is there some other explanation for a reaction like this?

Answer:

The canker sores are a fairly common reaction to dental treatment. Any slight scrape or abrasion on the gums or cheek can lead to this in certain individuals. It is similar to what many people experience when they have braces.

As far as the fever and other symptoms, I can only say that I have encountered a couple of people who get infections after having dental treatment done. I can’t explain why, but it happens. I am sure that the instruments are sterile, so I wouldn’t worry about that.

Talk to your dentist about having a single dose of antibiotics prior to your dental visits. That should help. Good luck.

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Response by:

Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University