Apical infection and our body

A question I am regularly asked by my patients at the clinic Vélez and LozanoThe question is whether infections in their teeth can have repercussions on the rest of the body. Sometimes they come asymptomatic, i.e. without pain or inflammation, and we happen to see on an X-ray a large focus of infection associated in many cases with a previous endodontic treatment that has not been effective.


The reasons why a previous endodontic treatment has not been effective can be very varied, from an inadequate technique to anatomical difficulties that are difficult to resolve. But an endodontist, with appropriate diagnostic tests, and above all with an operating microscope, will be able to resolve many of these situations.

However, we are not always able to convey to the patient the importance of treating such infections, and it is precisely this aspect that I wanted to talk to you about today.


The apical abscess, that infection at the tip of the root, has many adverse effects, sometimes it hurts, or the gum becomes inflamed, and can cause the tooth to move and even be lost. Instead, the real problem, and what we are asking ourselves today, is whether this type of infection can pass to the rest of the body, through the blood vessels that pass around and inside our teeth, and travel to the rest of the body.

This article y this other, they delve deeper into the issue and find association between periapical infection and systemic diseases. These are some of its conclusions:

  • Apical infection can boosting diabetes y increases insulin sensitivity.
  • Serological markers of inflammation are on the riseand can trigger a systemic immune response, affecting overall health.
  • The presence of apical infection increases oxidative stressYou know all those healthy antioxidant foods they recommend we eat? Oxidative stress does just the opposite, it alters the prooxidative-antioxidant balance in favour of the former.
  • Increases risk of developing cardiovascular disease between 3 and 5 times.
  • In pregnant women, the risk of pre-eclampsia (hypertension, oedema, weight gain).

So, yes, we should put ourselves in the hands of an endodontist to treat those small infections even if they don't hurt. It is common sense, that having infection inside any of our bones cannot be beneficial, but knowing what science says about it, there should be no doubt.