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Richland, IN
A 19-year-old female asked:

is it rare for tooth infection to spread and cause the throat to swell shut? i am on sulfamethoxazole. paranoid.

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Not likely: Tooth infection can spread in very sick people, but if your throat is swelling you need to see a doctor asap. There can also be allergic reactions to the antibiotic -- and this would be the more likely cause of throat swelling. Please go to the emergency room if this is happening to you! your prescribing physician also needs to know.
Dr. John Chastain
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 19 years experience
Rare: Dental infections do tend to involve surrounding oral tissues, but severe cases of so-called odontogenic deep neck space infections and cellulitis (e g ludwig's angina) are fortunately uncommon in otherwise healthy folks. Early treatment makes spread of infection less likely, but sulfamethoxazole would not be a first choice. Get rechecked if no improvement, especially for any breathing difficulty.

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Last updated Dec 9, 2013

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