A 35-year-old mother almost lost her life after a tooth abscess led to a brain infection.
Her health quickly deteriorated, her personality changed completely, and she even lost her ability to walk.
Rebecca Dalton from Lincolnshire went to a dentist in December 2019 and it was found that she had a small abscess on her upper wisdom tooth.
The mother was given antibiotics and told the tooth had to be removed but the dentist couldn’t do the procedure at that time as she was heavily pregnant.
In March, Ms. Dalton was given another course of antibiotics. However, her ‘personality changed completely.’
She explained: “I became really uptight, really anxious and quite emotional. I thought I was having a mental breakdown.”
Her friend took care of her 3-month-old baby while her mother cared for her three young children – two twins aged 3 and a 5-year-old daughter.
“I didn’t want them to witness me having a breakdown,” she expressed.
Her worried family then rushed her to a hospital in Scunthorpe where it was found that a brain abscess was putting pressure on the front side of her brain, affecting her bodily functions, cognitive abilities, and personality.
Brain abscesses, which occurs when bacteria from another infection in the head enters the tissue, are rare. There are only 4 cases in one million people per year, according to ISPN Guide to Pediatric Neurosurgery.
After Ms. Dalton lost her ability to walk, she was transferred to the neurological department at Hull Royal Infirmary where doctors confirmed that the abscess in her brain contained the same bacteria as the dental abscess.
The 35-year-old mother is now recovering at home but carers still visit every day.
“It has been a life-changing experience,” she expressed. “At 35 you don’t expect to have carers in every morning watching you take your tablets, it’s been such a big shock.
“It was really, really tough. It’s given me a different outlook on life – you can’t take for granted something so simple that could cost you your life.”
She added: “People need to know what can happen – a simple tooth abscess can take your life. Just be aware, follow up on everything and get checked even after you’ve had antibiotics.
“You don’t realise until you’re in that situation how dangerous it can be.”
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