Toothpicks Cause Infection

Can Toothpicks Cause Infection? 5 Reasons to avoid Using Toothpicks

Can toothpicks cause infection? the answer is, YES. Toothpicks can cause infection in more ways than you might think. The usage of toothpicks these days is very high due to different reasons such as tooth condition, type of food, habitual use, etc

The use of toothpicks is not recommended by many dentists as it causes more harm than good. its use can cause dental damage, tooth decay, gum puncture, mouth sores, and infections.

Can Toothpicks Cause Infection? Toothpick Infection and other medical problems caused by Toothpicks:

Toothpicks can cause many types of infections and other medical conditions.

Lennier’s Disease

lennier’s disease is defined as infectious thrombophlebitis of internal jugular veins. It is most commonly caused by the bacteria Fusobacterium necrophorum and complicated by metastatic infections.

The use of toothpicks is often considered a secondary cause of Lennier’s disease because it could be the source of the bacteria. several cases have been reported where Lennier’s disease is caused by the usage of toothpicks.

The use of antibiotics is very effective in the early stages and helps recover the disease.


pyorrhea also known as periodontitis is a disease that directly affects the gums and bone underneath. Its leading cause is bacterial toxins and toothpicks can be a major source of bacterias that reaches gums and gum puncture by toothpicks gives them the environment to set up colonies.

Acute trauma or injury to gums by the usage of toothpicks especially in patients with tartar and dental defects can lead to pyorrhea.

Toothpicks are used to remove bits and pieces of food stuck in between the teeth. these food particles are the source of bacterial infection so people use toothpicks to remove them and they might break or puncture gums in the process resulting in infections. Toothpick infection is one of the major cause of pyorrhea.

Colon perforations

Cases have been reported of colon infections due to the ingestion of toothpicks. colon perforation due to toothpicks lead to necrosis of the affected area and this condition is called Fulminant necrotizing Fasciitis.

Indirect Cause of tinnitus

Can toothpicks cause infection? yes, toothpicks cause infection of the gums, and tooth and tooth infection is one of the leading causes of tinnitus so toothpicks can indirectly cause tinnitus.

Tinnitus caused by tooth infections usually goes away as the condition is treated. use of antibiotics is recommended in this condition as they treat the underlying cause.

Diabetic Toothpick puncture

Accidental puncture with toothpicks of the foot in diabetic patients often leads to complications. Due to a lack of blood supply infection can take a lot of time to heal even with antibiotics. Care and preventive measures are recommended for diabetic patients not only while using for removing food particles but also for other parts while handling them.

Erikenella Corrodens is gram -ve bacilli that cause infections in soft tissues, especially in diabetic toothpick punctures.

Infections of hands

various cases have been reported of severe infections of hands from toothpicks. obviously, these infections are caused by punctures of the skin with contaminated toothpicks.

Clinical cases are reported as a result of injuries to the hand by toothpicks such as

  • Cellulitis
  • Abscess
  • Septic Arthritis
  • pyogenic tenosynovitis of flexer tendons

`for infections like these antibiotics are recommended and early surgical treatment is also very helpful.

Infections of intrapericardium

Even though it seems very unlikely but some clinical cases of intrapericardial infections are clinically reported.

A clinical case was reported where toothpick fragments were found in the infected intrapericardial cavity. The potential route for this infection is through the duodenum to vena cava to atria thus leading to infections.

Soft Tissue Infections

Clinical cases of soft tissue infection are reported due to toothpick ingestion such as.

  • Gestro-intestinal infections
  • Hepatics infections
  • Cardiovascular pleural infections
  • Oesophageal infections

Reasons to Avoid using toothpicks

Toothpicks can cause many dental problems and their use is discouraged by dentists as well as physicians. Followings are basic reasons enough to discourage the use of toothpicks

  • Infections of gums and oral cavities
  • Toothpick debris can be harmful and cause long-term damage to gums and tooth roots
  • It may cause spacing in teeth.
  • It may cause permanent gum damage.
  • Excessive usage of toothpicks causes damage to tooth enamel.


So, Can toothpicks cause infections? Yes. The use of toothpicks is discouraged by dentists and physicians because it can cause medical complications, soft tissue infections, and permanent damage to gums and teeth. Even infections of inner organs are also reported. In diabetic patients there is a strong risk of chronic toothpick infection, So the practices such as dental flosses and mouthwashes are recommended by physicians.

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