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    Thread: Calculus working thru gum??

    1. #1
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      Default Calculus working thru gum??

      Hi all!

      I recently had a really sore spot on my gum after my second molar, on the tongue side. (I do not and have never had a wisdom tooth there.) It started out as a very sharp pain while eating raw carrots one day and so I looked in the mirror and there was a little hole and it was very swollen around it. It hurt when I ate.

      I went to the dentist and he took xrays and examined me and said that my lone upper wisdom tooth was digging in to the gum right there as it had grown a very long and sharp point. So he scheduled an extraction and I had that wisdom extracted yesterday.

      Well, in the time between the dental appointment and the extraction, I noticed the hole on my bottom gum getting bigger and there was something white and hard in there. Yesterday, I stuck my fingernail under the hard thing and pulled it up a little, and it was very stiff. I thought it almost was a bone fragment or something. So I had my husband look and he grabbed a pair of tweezers and pulled the thing out. It was about two millimeters long and to me it looked and felt like a bone fragment. And it was embedded in my gum. The swelling and pain immediately went away after the thing was gone, but the gum area still looks pretty traumatized, I guess from that thing being in there and causing damage.

      Well, I took the extracted "thing" to my dentist today and had them look at it. They said it looked like calculus. Can calculus dislodge and work it's way through your gum? I have been recently been using an oral irrigator and I was wondering if it could have knocked something loose? Also, I haven't had a tooth cleaning in 15 years and I am scheduled for scaling and planing in about twoo weeks.

      I am for some reason just worried that the dentist and oral surgeons have been wrong and that this is something more sinister like cancer. I don't have any white spots or anything. Just the hard thing that came out of my gum and the resulting irritation. Please help me I am freaking out and thinking I am going to die.

    2. #2
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      Default Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      First of all- despite being unable to see what it was - I can tell you straight away that you are going to be fine. You said you were worried about cancer but I can say with almost 100% certainty that this isn't the case here.
      It is possible that it was a tiny fragment of bone. It also could have been something external which became lodged. If it was calculus- then it may have come from somewhere else and got stuck in the gum.
      I think that the tiny bone fragment is most likely- especially as you said it was from the tongue side of the gum. These can occur some time after the removal of a wisdom tooth- or may have been caused by the trauma from the upper tooth.
      Your dentist will keep an eye on things and will tell you if s/he has any concerns whatsoever.
      Relax- it will be fine
      regards
      Dr Mike
      Last edited by DrMike; 7th November 2008 at 22:18. Reason: spelling
      Dr Mike Gow BDS (Gla) MFDS RCPS (Gla) MSc Hyp (Lon) PGCert (Edin)
      The Berkeley Clinic, Glasgow
      www.WhatFear.Com

    3. #3
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      Default Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      Hello,

      I found your post by specifically searching the internet for calculus not adhering to tooth, but embedded in the gums. It does not seem to be a condition acknowledged in dentistry, as far as my searching, so apparently it is pretty rare and completely unstudied. I believe that it exists though, as I think I have had an unusually extensive case of it. I hope a dentist here can shed some light.

      For background, I had poor brushing habits and did not see a dentist or dental hygienist for many years. I am embarrassed to say that I could go a week or two or maybe more without brushing at all. I lived alone and because I often went for hours without speaking to anyone or opening my mouth, I think in retrospect that aerobic bacteria probably did not grow much in my mouth, though anaerobic bacteria probably thrived. I believe tooth decay was not a problem at that time because the aerobic type of bacteria were thus in check.

      One day my Reserve unit said everybody was required to see a dentist for a deployability check up, so I went after many years. The dentist said my plaque/calculus situation was bad so I went back for a scaling. I could tell the dentist was disgusted with my poor hygiene, but I am basically healthy overall so luckily there weren't more serious dental problems, and new decay was minimal after all those years. I had one or two small cavities found, as I recall, which is not too bad after 15+ years of dentist avoidance and poor habits. (My molars have all had fillings in the crown grooves since I was a kid, except the wisdom teeth. I never had had other non-molar fillings or serious restorative work at the time.)

      So my dental background was years of poor habits, but for whatever reason, it didn't lead to root canals or losing teeth or anything. Since that checkup I have gotten on the bandwagon and take tooth care seriously.

      Anyway, for a long time I had noticed slight sensitivity to pressure in several areas of my upper gums. There seemed to be areas that very slightly protruded and when touched would be tender and slightly painful in proportion to the pressure. It was so mild a tenderness I didn't think anything of it. These spots were along the sides of my upper gums, way up above the toothline. Always on the outside (non tongue side) and never by the front teeth. One such spot had what I thought was a tooth root protruding. It was maybe the size of a grain of rice, tooth-colored and stuck right through the gum. Now I realize a root wouldn't stick out in that spot, but for a long time I thought it was some aberrant piece of tooth or bone. One day when I was touching it, I realized it slightly moved. It wasn't fixed to the tooth, but moved slightly along with the gum. I ended up playing with it and eventually digging it out with my fingernail. I was surprised it was convex and thin - attached to nothing but embedded tightly in the gum. It felt like a big relief to get it out and heal, making me think it may have harbored some low level infection.

      Since then I have dug out several more such pieces from these little tender mounds. Though none protruded visibly, scraping away some gum tissue revealed that these semi-hard, flat bits of whitish material were the source of the tenderness and I dug them out. It has always felt like a huge relief to remove them. These pieces were not resulting from any extractions, as I had had no teeth removed and still had my wisdom teeth.

      I mentioned them to my dentist and he had no idea what they could be. He said it sounded like nothing to worry about.

      My theory is that when I didn't brush for long stretches, food trapped up near the gums eventually turned to tartar, and the gum tissue grew over them. I also believe that these pieces are potentially infected, and should be removed from the gums.

      I post in the hope that some dental professional might be familiar with these things and can shed some light!

    4. #4
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      Default Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      Hi there and thanks for your post.
      It is a hard one to comment on without having a look to actually see the fragments.
      Do you still get these fragments now?
      How many exactly do you think you've removed?
      One way of finding out for sure would be to send one or two off to be examined under a microscope. Most hospitals (in the UK anyway) should do this for free via your Dr or dentist.
      If I was uncertain- that would be my first move as it will answer the question of whether these are as you suspect pieces of calculus, or if they are tiny devitalised bone fragments. I think it is possible to get these tiny bone fragments, even if you haven't had an extraction.
      I would be interested to know your full medical history, as there may be some clues there. feel free to personal message me with details of your medical history.
      In the meantime, I will speak with some colleagues in Oral Medicine and get back to you with any more info
      regards
      dr mike
      Last edited by DrMike; 7th November 2008 at 22:46.
      Dr Mike Gow BDS (Gla) MFDS RCPS (Gla) MSc Hyp (Lon) PGCert (Edin)
      The Berkeley Clinic, Glasgow
      www.WhatFear.Com

    5. #5
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      Default Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      Thank you Dr. Mike

      In response, yes, I still have a few tender, slightly protruding spots I'm sure contain fragments. Spots where I have removed fragments have healed quickly and never produced more fragments. I have kept the fragments I've removed and I have two about lentil sized, five smaller, and three tiny bits.

      Also much later, last month at age 44, I had all my wisdom teeth removed. Near the upper left socket I can feel something (hard pieces) in the gums in addition to a piece of root the surgeon deliberately left in place. He said all my wisdom teeth were some of the most stubborn he has ever removed due to very strong bone, and he left a sizable chunk of tooth root in place.

      Since the forum is anonymous anyway, I'll just detail my medical history here for you. I have always been healthy and strong constitutionally. My routine lab work at exams always has come up fine. I have never broken a bone or needed emergency care except for a few stitches from minor sports knocks. I've had a polyp removed, and years of chronic constipation (IBD?), but no other significant ailments I can think of. I am not particularly susceptible to colds or flu. I am allergic only to cats, so far as I know. I get a migraine once in great while - not for over a year I would say.

      I sure appreciate your help. I could photograph the fragments, although without a close up lens I doubt you would see much.

    6. #6
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      Default Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      hi there
      sorry it has taken a while to get back to you.
      I have spoken with a few colleagues, all of whom have said the same thing- they would need to take a look to be able to know for sure! And that the best thing for you to do would be to ask your dentist to refer you to your local Oral Medicine Clinic for a consultant's opinion.
      I think that you should get it checked out, while it is unlikey to be anything to worry about, I think that it is important to get a diagnosis so that you know for sure what exactly is going on.
      Please let me know how you get on.
      Kind regards
      Dr Mike
      Dr Mike Gow BDS (Gla) MFDS RCPS (Gla) MSc Hyp (Lon) PGCert (Edin)
      The Berkeley Clinic, Glasgow
      www.WhatFear.Com

    7. #7
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      Default Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      Dr. Mike,

      Today I sent several pieces to my oral surgeon to forward to the lab. I'm very curious.

      And this last week I found a very sizable tender spot behind the socket where my upper right wisdom tooth was pulled last month. The surgery has healed just great, but there was a fleshy protrusion sitting behind the wisdom tooth spot like another false tooth (roughly same size, shape and position). So I was feeling it and sure enough beneath the flesh was a hard, sharp edge that caused pain upon pressure. I sort of played with it all week with the result that I uncovered this bonelike/toothlike ridge that was right behind where my wisdom tooth was. It didn't seem right to me, so I worked at loosening it and eventually it came loose of whatever it was anchored to and came out in my hand. What a relief!

      Anyhow, these things are nearly all gone now from my gums and it feels wonderful. I really think there may have been some low level infection going on with these things as I really generally feel better than I have felt in a long time!

      I'll let you know the lab result. My surgeon says this situation is so unique I may have a new bone-sloughing condition named after me! I said I don't really care unless there is some money in it.

    8. #8
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      Default Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      I think it still could be linked to the removal of the wisdom teeth, but I think you said that some of the pieces were from quite a distance from where the teeth came out? It is common to get thin pieces of bone working themselves ou after a wisdom tooth removal. Anyway- it will be interesting to find out the results from the tests- please do let me know what they come up with!
      regards
      Mike
      Dr Mike Gow BDS (Gla) MFDS RCPS (Gla) MSc Hyp (Lon) PGCert (Edin)
      The Berkeley Clinic, Glasgow
      www.WhatFear.Com

    9. #9
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      Default Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      Some pieces may be due to the wisdom teeth removal but many others could not. My wisdom teeth just came out this October and the condition long predates that. Many fragments came out quite a ways from the wisdom teeth as well. I'll keep you posted - and thanks!

    10. #10
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      Idea Re: Calculus working thru gum??

      Hello-

      USA here, and I hope I'm not intruding, but like Ricmoh I happened to be looking for any information on what has recently begun happening in my mouth,
      and found a good deal of what you describe to be quite near my own situation, so thought it could be of help to us all to pool info so to speak. Briefly my issue is this:

      I am a 45yr. old male, smoke & drink coffee like crazy, and had all 4 wisdom teeth removed at once around 18-19 yrs. of age, with no trouble since. About six weeks ago I had the first instance of something feeling fairly hard, sharp-edged and flat (sheet-like) suddenly puncturing from my gums while eating. Once I had removed it I noticed it was a dull translucent gray-white, and stiff but could be flexed. I at first attributed this to most likely having been a small bone shard I ingested from the beef in my meal instead of it coming from within as it had felt like it did. The small cut in my gum closed up quickly and I had no further trouble for 10-14 days; and then I had a repeat occurrence of this, coming from the same area (essentially near what used to be the inner sidewall of a wisdom tooth socket in my lower jaw). But this time it was not one, but several pieces which worked their way to the surface over several days where I could extract them. The material definitely puts you in mind of bone or shell, and it's as if it were delaminating in layers or sheets. Again the eruption stopped and cleared up well, however it began again last week, and I've been digging out slivers all weekend as quickly as they come out, particularly because if they get loose in my mouth they are harder to see & easily start getting swallowed and are a definite irritant, sticking to the throat and esophagus all the way.

      My first guess on finding they did not originate elsewhere was that shattered remains from my wisdom tooth extraction (which was a very harsh one) were finally breaking down and coming loose, but the more info I find I'm now planning to seek help, as it could potentially be related to more serious trouble such as osteonecrosis of my lower jaw. I, too haven't seen a dentist in years, primarily because I am self-employed and no longer have any means of keeping any health insurance as costs have rose, but I don't feel I can delay any longer now. So far this is all still emanating from this one single area, however weak gums/teeth run in my family (father and brother both had full dentures by age 24), and I fear this would be inviting any cause or infection to further take hold.

      I will also try to return and offer update of the situation as time permits-
      Regards to you all-

      Asher
      Last edited by Asher; 15th December 2008 at 00:50.
      EVERYTHING AFTER 40 IS JUST PATCH, PATCH, PATCH!

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