Brooke Mueller, wife of actor Charlie Sheen, is apparently facing a lot more trouble than expected with her impacted wisdom tooth. It has, reportedly, escalated to a serious infection.
According to People magazine, Mueller had gone in to have an impacted wisdom tooth removed and ultimately landed in the ICU with a 105-degree fever, being treated for double pneumonia and a systemic infection.
Dental experts have said that the kind of infection Mueller went through is very rare.
"The body has a great way of localizing infection and fighting it off," the New York Daily News quoted Dr. Timothy Chase, DMD.
"But what could have happened here is that the body has potential spaces where infection can travel to.
"If a lower tooth gets infected, it could travel down into the space and cause a serious infection. You could even get a swelling that blocks your airway if it's not treated," he revealed.
Dr. Jonathan Levine, DMD, a dental specialist said for a wisdom tooth to get infected is not unheard of.
"Any time you have any cut in the mouth, there is a portal of entry for bacteria," he explained.
"And the bacteria can spread, especially if people are run down from a lot of stress.
"Then the immune response is not what it normally is, and this could spin out of control. It does get very frightening very fast," he stated.
Undergoing narcotic sedation for a dental procedure can increase the possibility of an infection, says Dr. Steven Smullin, DMD, a head and neck surgeon.
"Then you can theoretically swallow or inhale secretions into the lungs and it's possible to develop pneumonia," he says.
Chase also said that after any dental procedure, it's crucial to watch for swelling.
"You can have a small swelling and think it will go away, but then suddenly it is a very large swelling, which is a sign of infection," he said.
"Dental abscesses rarely turn into a systemic disease," he added.