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Abscess questions

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OpheliaRose

Junior member
Joined
Jun 16, 2024
Messages
4
Location
Massachusetts USA
Hello everyone. I am glad that this space exists as it is probably the one thing that gave me enough courage to go to a dentist. With that said I have a few things on my mind that I am hoping someone can help with.

Last week I started with a toothache in one of my lower teeth right before the molars (not sure what these teeth are called). This was the worst toothache I have ever had in my life. Since I don’t go to dentists. I just took the day off, took some over the counter pain meds and hoped it would go away. Well that plan didn’t work and what happened next I can only describe as I felt something “burst” inside my jaw/cheek which led to a lot of swelling.

So, when I say burst- it didn’t burst in my mouth- there was no pus- so I think it was my abscess spreading to my face. I have a lot of swelling in the space between the gum and cheek.

I went to urgent care who prescribed me augmentin for 7 days. Took a few days worth of it and did feel somewhat better. Meanwhile I did the unthinkable and booked a dentist appointment- which took every ounce of courage I had in me to put it mildly.

They took x rays all over and then they took some of that spot in particular. I could see what appeared to be (from my limited Google knowledge) a huge periapical abscess.

Dentist came in and said we are going to put you on antibiotics. I said I am already taking them and showed her the bottle. I begged for her to please remove the tooth today- if it was possible. As I was under the impression that extraction or root canal are the only treatments. She actually agreed to do it, provided she could get me numb enough.

She did get me numb enough on the first try and removed the tooth. I asked her about the rest of the swelling and abscess and she said that now that the tooth is out, the antibiotics should take care of the rest.

The extraction site is healing just fine. I am following instructions to the letter and that part is going well. It was three days ago. What worries me is that I still have minor swelling and feel pressure in that space where the abscess “spread” into my face. In a lot of YouTube videos I have seen dentists lance and drain that spot between the gum and cheek. Should I have had this done too? If so, why didn’t she do it? Since she’s a dentist I figured she would know what to do- or refer me to someone who does. Or am I just being impatient and since the tooth is now out- the antibiotics and my immune system will deal with the rest? I guess I imagined immediate relief upon tooth extraction. I think I am noticing slight improvement overall but the fact that I still have stiffness and swelling there is worrying me. I am afraid that I should have had this area drained in addition to my tooth extracted. Will the antibiotics and my immune system deal with this as she said, now that the source of the infection is out?
 
Should I have had this done too? If so, why didn’t she do it?
No need to, the bulk of the infection will drain out through the socket.

Since she’s a dentist I figured she would know what to do- or refer me to someone who does. Or am I just being impatient and since the tooth is now out- the antibiotics and my immune system will deal with the rest?
Yep.

I am afraid that I should have had this area drained in addition to my tooth extracted. Will the antibiotics and my immune system deal with this as she said, now that the source of the infection is out?
The drainage happens through the socket, no need to make another hole in you :)
 
@Gordon thank you so much! Your reply. I feel much better mentally. I guess time will take care of the rest and I can put this whole ordeal behind me ❤️

Again, reading the stories on the site gave me the courage to go ahead and see the dentist.
 
Well, I am not sure this issue is resolved yet.
Extraction site looks good. Antibiotics were all taken. However, I feel strange sensations in the area still. The only way I can explain it is that the area between the gum and cheek tissue that I suspected should be drained feels “full” although it does not look any more swollen and my cheek isn’t hot to the touch anymore. Not painful but a definite awareness of the area and discomfort. It feels the same really- no worse or better. It feels like pressure- like I have something sitting between my teeth and gums- like a piece of chew or something.
Would this still not be resolved from the antibiotics? Do I need more? Or just more time?
 
More time. There's a lot going on in the area as your body's cells move in to remodel the bone, fill in the gap created by the tooth roots and grow more tissue to cover the area.
 
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