Blood glucose and dental woes

I had to have an emergency root canal this week. I went from moderate jaw pain to major swelling and major pain in a matter of 24 hours. I’ve had the pain on and off over the past year (with no swelling) but they could never quite figure out for sure if I needed a root canal. I thought maybe it was some kind of facial neuralgia from inflammation, the last two spells followed periods of high post prandials (from not eating low carb enough). After the procedure I needed a snack and checked my BG to determine what I should eat and was surprised it was 170 mg/dL since I hadn’t eaten anything that would normally run it up that high. Later I noticed I needed to use the bathroom a lot (as I do after going very high). I checked for ketones and was shocked to see a moderate amount, so I must have gone well over 200 at some point and from a bowl of oatmeal which would normally only send me up to 140 or so (I’m not on any meds right now, just watching my diet). I don’t know why it went so high, maybe the stress? I’ve never had a root canal or any infection like this before, is this the kind of dental problem that high BG problems can cause? I’ve also never taken anything stronger than advil before but needed to for this pain, it’s been an awful week. My hilarious husband told me at least I wouldn’t need a Halloween mask Friday, the swelling did make for a rather freaky face!:frowning:

I had a sudden infection which resulted in swelling and pain. My dentist fit me in immediately and treated me with direct antibiotic injections. I suspect that if I had just waited another 12-24 hours I would have been in your situation. Dental infections have a death like embrace with diabetes. High blood sugars feed infections and infections are a huge source of inflammation which causes high blood sugars. A dental infection can start you into a terrible spiral.

Nobody can tell you exactly what cause this, but high blood sugars don't help. I also take great care now to do my best on dental health by flossing and brushing multiple times a day and I use an oral irrigator. And I visit my dentist (and periodontist) regularly.

I've had dental problems compounded with infections, too. I once had a routine root canal and the endodontist put me on a penicillin prophylactic for a few days before the procedure.

Two days later, in the middle of the night, I awoke with swelling and pain in my jaw. I called the number the endodontist gave me for emergency purposes. The dentist prescribed an antibiotic, clyndamycin, apparently an antibiotic favored by dentists.

A few days later I started to have gastro-intestinal upset and went to the drug store looking for a pro-biotic over-the-counter treatment. When I explained to a pharmacist that happen to be passing in the aisle what I was looking for, he asked what antibiotic I was taking. When I told him clydamycin, he told me that many people that take that drug came down with a c-difficile infection.

Sure enough, when I went to my primary care doc and submitted a stool sample to a lab, I came up positive for c-diff.

C-difficile is a normal yet opportunistic gut bacteria that can flourish and become over-abundant in the gut-flora causing all kinds of gastro-intestinal sysmptoms. It took me two 14 day courses of yet another anti-biotic, Flagyl, to rid myself of the c-diff.

C-diff is a common infection in nursing homes and hospitals. I was aware of it due to an elderly aunt fighting off repeated bouts in her last few years.

I don't remember if my blood glucose was high going into the original root canal but it was high for several weeks due to the dental infection and major disruption to my gut with c-diff and the related med.

Ever since, I've had a newly found respect for excellent BG control when undergoing dental procedures. I've also learned about the big connection between gut health and the immune system. It's all intimately tied up with blood glucose control.

I hope your infection resolves quickly without any of the bad luck I had. I thought you might benefit from my experience, just in case. If I were you I would take some very good pro-biotics, maybe the kind that can be found in a good health food store. Good luck!

Thanks for the heads up Terry, I am taking a probiotic already because I also had c-diff from taking antibiotics some years ago. It was awful, plus I then had an allergic reaction to flagyl, swollen throat, so they gave me vancomycin. My c-diff also came back, it was tough to get rid of and that experience made me totally avoid antibiotics…until now. Truth is I am a little scared it could happen again but I had no choice with the dental infection spreading, doc said it could go through the sinuses to the brain or into the blood or heart if left untreated, not good! So I have to risk the c-diff and cross my fingers.

I wish I could have gotten the antibiotic by injection Brian, especially since I couldn’t keep the first one he gave me down, fun times. My old family doctor used to give them by injection and they seemed to work much faster which makes sense. It’s been 4 days and the pills seem to be finally working.

Yeah, when you really need the antibiotic, you just have to take it. Modern antibiotics are one of the drivers of a rising lifespan in the last 100 years.

I've been taking a couple of tablespoons of raw potato starch mixed with water once a day. The potato starch is known as a resistant starch in that it cannot be digested in the stomach or small gut but moves on to feed the bacteria in the lower tract. It's called a "pre-biotoc" in that it feeds the bacteria. These bacteria then produce short chain fatty acids that supports a healthy gut.

I started to do this to treat the symptoms of gastroparesis, a diabetic complication. It does a remarkable job. I've been at it since last January and and the good effects continue. The overall symptoms of the gastroparesis have been moderate.

I was lucky to shake the c-diff when I did because I later understood that for an unlucky few, it turns into a chronic condition. Talk about misery!

How do you make raw potato starch Terry, or do you buy it?