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Abscess, sent to hospital - from bad to worse! :( need support

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Sparrow

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Aug 1, 2019
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Hi guys, this is part 2 or 2 million of my scary abscess journey. Recap - have dental abscess on crowned tooth for two years. Was piercing it myself and draining it. Haven't been doing that for the last year, just have a lump that you can't really see but I can feel with my finger. Sometimes gets slightly bigger but then returns to this size. Sometimes, not often the area is painful.

So I managed, somehow miraculously during lockdown get to my dentist because I had a new cavity open up. I had chickened out of the hospital maybe 2-3 times by now. Drummed up courage to ask for a rereferral. She did an xray on that tooth again and said the infection is still there but seems contained, the current xray looks very similar to the last one.

Call from hospital. They couldn't see the infection on the xray dentist sent because it was scanned or something? So had to get full mouth xray at hospital. Barely managed that, but got it done!

This morning had my scheduled phone appointment with the oral surgeon. And I've been in tears ever since - he said he couldn't see no infection or 'white line' my dentist pointed out so now I need a ct scan!! He asked about ulcers, bleeding etc - I don't have any ulcers but forgot to mention that the gum slightly bleeds sometimes now when pushed on, but I think another tooth does it as well so thought maybe gingivitis and my not slthe best oral hygiene?

So should I not trust my main dentist who said this is an infection? Should I not trust the hospital specialists for not seeing something that should be obvious? I have a lump that hasn't gone away and is probably an ulcer underneath, so it's cancer isn't it? : ((
 
S

Sparrow

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Hello anyone? I've been crying for most of the day and don't know what to do with myself : ((
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi Sparrow,

sorry to read about your situation! It looks like you got yourself pretty worked up, I see the confusion and fear that this is causing you.

First of all, give yourself a pat on the back because this is super scary and you are pushing yourself bravely. It's ok that it's freaking you out and it's also ok to think of the worst, not because it is probable but because this is what anxious mind does: delivering you even more stuff to worry about.

So if I got you right, your dentist knows about that tooth and had been monitoring it and were referred to the hospital but chickened out 2-3 times. Were you referred because of this tooth? And treatment was planned?
You ended up going to the hospital and getting an x-ray. From reading it sounds like they sent you home then and nobody looked at the tooth and you didn't have a consultation with the dentist, but you were called by the oral surgeon later instead? I wasn't sure I understood that one right.

When it comes to the question of "who should I trust", this is a decision for later. You are getting two different kinds of information from different people and I see how confusing this is. So before settling and deciding to do anything, it may be good to get in touch with your practice and tell them what happened. Your dentist may be able to get in touch with the oral surgeon. Also, before doing any scans, it may be good to get accurate information. It can be difficult to understand what is meant, particularly if you are stressed and to me it seems that you do not have much of a clarity what is going on. I can only encourage you to ask questions until you will be able to understand what this is going on and how would you like to proceed.

This is super stressful and you are doing a great job anyway. If you can, just take it slowly, one step at the time, don't let your mind scarying you because fear is a liar and most importantly, for now, take a deep breath and try not to panic. It's New Year's Eve and you are starting the year very bravely and courageously! :grouphug:
 
M

MountainMama

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I second Enarete. Was the x ray the oral surgeon recommending a CBCT (cone beam)? He may not be saying there is no infection, but since he is only looking at an x ray and not seeing you he may need something more conclusive. When my front tooth had an infection, on a regular x ray, which is what the dentist used, it looked fairly small and she decided to do a root canal. When that failed, she sent me to an endodontist, who did the cone beam scan, and the 3D imaging showed the infection was behind the tooth and a very large abscess, which didn’t show on the regular X-ray. So it may not be that he is saying no infection, but that he can’t see what your dentist knows is there from examining you. Does that make sense?
 
S

Sparrow

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Location
UK
Thank you so much for the support guys I need it so much : ( thought I'd be starting the new year strong but it feels like the complete opposite! Enarete, yes the dentist knows about this tooth. I've seen her about it 2 or 3 times? This is the farthest I've made it, having an initial telephone consult, full mouth xray and another phone call. I had an initial infection there 2 years ago, went to emergency doctor, had an xray, said yep infection - antibiotics. Sorted it for a while and then it came back with a gumboil which I was piercing myself, now have permanent scars on my gums where I did so! Then my regular dentist scanned the tooth last year? I think, said its your old crown giving up (bang on time, the dentist who put it in said it would last 7-8 years, it lasted 8) and its gotten infected, another round of antibiotics didn't help, she thought the infection might be in the adjacent tooth so just in case root canaled it as well. Well it sorted the referred pain lol! But obv it was coming from the crowned tooth. She said the treatment was extraction but she couldn't do it in office because she couldn't clean out the abscess properly thus sending me to hospital. Anyway few ignored referrals later, I'm recently back at her office for something else and drummed up the courage for a refferal again. She rescanned the tooth again, said looked very similar to last time. On the referral she actually suggested an apicocectomy which I was like woah this sounds even worse than extraction I wasn't told nything about this! But I suppose if I can keep the tooth - great.
The first phone consult doctor said the xray was scanned and they couldn't see clearly, so need a full mouth xray. Was told the apicocectomy may or may not work and might need extraction, but if it works - fab. But as I've now had the full xray and they STILL can't see the infection, even though I have a gumboil - I'm really scared it's actually cancer I've caused myself even though my dentist said it's definitely not that and the specialist told me not to worry as well : (

Mountain mama, he just said specialised small ct scan so I assume it's that? I'm just very worried as to why my dentist saw something but two specialists can't see anything, it just doesn't make sense! And surely a 2 year abscess would've eaten bone away and grown, I just don't see how it can be 'hidden', am I making any sense? It does make me feel a tiny bit better there is a chance that I just indeed need a better scan, but it's so difficult to think that if it's so simple and I have a gumboil, that it's not seen on plain xray.

Im very bad at thinking positive and I just feel like I've slept on cancer for two years and now im either best case going to lose half of my face to surgery or worst case die : ( I'm not having a fun time, I thought going in for an apicocectomy is going to be difficult but this is a million times worse now! So much for being brave : (
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Im very bad at thinking positive and I just feel like I've slept on cancer for two years and now im either best case going to lose half of my face to surgery or worst case die : ( I'm not having a fun time, I thought going in for an apicocectomy is going to be difficult but this is a million times worse now! So much for being brave : (
Sparrow, I know this is extremely difficult, but please listen to me. By feeding your fear about cancer you just put there opinion on an emergency dentist and another dentist you know, and their diagnosis, together with obvious symptoms of an abscess above a probably misunderstanding with an oral surgeon. Nobody said you had cancer and cancer not only is extremely rare, but certainly doesn't form boils in mouth that drain regularly. Neither disappears it for a while with antibiotics. Keep in mind that the dentist you talked to didn't even see the tooth. By the way, you have had this for two years. How do you believe would your face look like now if that thing has been cancer? And do you thing your current dentist who knows you, have seen you and did x-rays looked at it for two years and confused it with an infection? Hightly unlikely if you ask me.
I suspect there must be a reason behind this fear of yours, you may know someone who suffered from cancer etc., but please look at the evidence you have right now and try to stick with the facts. I would hate for you to have a crappy happy new year based on... a thought without any real evidence. Hope you will be able to get in touch with your practice asap, I suspect that holiday doesn't really help. Hang in there and if you can, chose wisely which thoughts to buy into. As a famous quote says: don't believe everything you think.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
M

MountainMama

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Thank you so much for the support guys I need it so much : ( thought I'd be starting the new year strong but it feels like the complete opposite! Enarete, yes the dentist knows about this tooth. I've seen her about it 2 or 3 times? This is the farthest I've made it, having an initial telephone consult, full mouth xray and another phone call. I had an initial infection there 2 years ago, went to emergency doctor, had an xray, said yep infection - antibiotics. Sorted it for a while and then it came back with a gumboil which I was piercing myself, now have permanent scars on my gums where I did so! Then my regular dentist scanned the tooth last year? I think, said its your old crown giving up (bang on time, the dentist who put it in said it would last 7-8 years, it lasted 8) and its gotten infected, another round of antibiotics didn't help, she thought the infection might be in the adjacent tooth so just in case root canaled it as well. Well it sorted the referred pain lol! But obv it was coming from the crowned tooth. She said the treatment was extraction but she couldn't do it in office because she couldn't clean out the abscess properly thus sending me to hospital. Anyway few ignored referrals later, I'm recently back at her office for something else and drummed up the courage for a refferal again. She rescanned the tooth again, said looked very similar to last time. On the referral she actually suggested an apicocectomy which I was like woah this sounds even worse than extraction I wasn't told nything about this! But I suppose if I can keep the tooth - great.
The first phone consult doctor said the xray was scanned and they couldn't see clearly, so need a full mouth xray. Was told the apicocectomy may or may not work and might need extraction, but if it works - fab. But as I've now had the full xray and they STILL can't see the infection, even though I have a gumboil - I'm really scared it's actually cancer I've caused myself even though my dentist said it's definitely not that and the specialist told me not to worry as well : (

Mountain mama, he just said specialised small ct scan so I assume it's that? I'm just very worried as to why my dentist saw something but two specialists can't see anything, it just doesn't make sense! And surely a 2 year abscess would've eaten bone away and grown, I just don't see how it can be 'hidden', am I making any sense? It does make me feel a tiny bit better there is a chance that I just indeed need a better scan, but it's so difficult to think that if it's so simple and I have a gumboil, that it's not seen on plain xray.

Im very bad at thinking positive and I just feel like I've slept on cancer for two years and now im either best case going to lose half of my face to surgery or worst case die : ( I'm not having a fun time, I thought going in for an apicocectomy is going to be difficult but this is a million times worse now! So much for being brave : (
My abscess was growing (hidden) for two years or so. It ate away a LOT of bone. If yours was draining, the infection was not eating at the bone, so it may not show up on an x ray as bone loss. That may be why he needs the 3D scan.
 
S

Sparrow

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I've been battling health anxiety for I think a solid 6 years now. Don't get me wrong, this year I've finally found a medication that helps me decently I think, heck I haven't called my gp in months, and I used to call every few weeks so it's something! But that's mental health for you, sometimes it feels like 2 steps forward 10 back : ( it's just that it feels every single time I try and hope for a positive outcome, nope it just goes worse. I just thought well if I brace myself and just get this dental procedure over I won't have to worry about it and reward myself a little. Now it just feels like well what's the point this is going to be the death of me, a stupid tooth i ignored because I was chicken. Its now very difficult to think its still an abscess because the gum oil isn't really... Well visible, my gums looks quite normal, but I can definitely feel the lump with my finger. I think my dentist barely felt it so I don't even know whether they believe me at this point. I don't know anymore, my eyes hurt from crying all day and I haven't had a breakdown like this in a while!

Mountain mama well I've had this abscess for 2+ years now - but I haven't been lancing it for MONTHS now, maybe even a year, so surely it was eating its way through anyway! So I'm very surprised they haven't seen any bone loss, surely you can't hide that on an xray. Now I'm worried about the white line my dentist saw, do other things apart from infection show up as white? Ugh I'm just so, so exhausted from this and I feel like this is barely a start :cry:
 
M

MountainMama

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I've been battling health anxiety for I think a solid 6 years now. Don't get me wrong, this year I've finally found a medication that helps me decently I think, heck I haven't called my gp in months, and I used to call every few weeks so it's something! But that's mental health for you, sometimes it feels like 2 steps forward 10 back : ( it's just that it feels every single time I try and hope for a positive outcome, nope it just goes worse. I just thought well if I brace myself and just get this dental procedure over I won't have to worry about it and reward myself a little. Now it just feels like well what's the point this is going to be the death of me, a stupid tooth i ignored because I was chicken. Its now very difficult to think its still an abscess because the gum oil isn't really... Well visible, my gums looks quite normal, but I can definitely feel the lump with my finger. I think my dentist barely felt it so I don't even know whether they believe me at this point. I don't know anymore, my eyes hurt from crying all day and I haven't had a breakdown like this in a while!

Mountain mama well I've had this abscess for 2+ years now - but I haven't been lancing it for MONTHS now, maybe even a year, so surely it was eating its way through anyway! So I'm very surprised they haven't seen any bone loss, surely you can't hide that on an xray. Now I'm worried about the white line my dentist saw, do other things apart from infection show up as white? Ugh I'm just so, so exhausted from this and I feel like this is barely a start :cry:
It may have not been active for several months or more...I don’t know how that works. I know mine only showed up as a little dark spot on the regular x ray. The dentist said it was a “little abscess”. When I had the CBCT done, it was huge.
 
S

Sparrow

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My only thinking is that it hasn't grown because my immune system must be keeping it bay just enough, sort of equilibrium. But all I'm thinking of now is that it's not an abscess but something way worse : ( probably the bleeding gum is trying to tell me something as well and can't believe I didn't mention that to the doctor, even when he asked about bleeding! I really just don't know how to cope with this, my health anxiety is bad enough when it flares up, but add dental phobia and its a whole, whole new beast : (
 
S

Sparrow

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Update as I got my referral letters through, apparently I'm having a maxilla CT next Friday, so does that mean their scanning my whole upper jaw?? I thought the cone beam ct or whatever it is called only does one or a couple of teeth, not your whole jaw? : ( then I have a consultation in a month's time to look over the results, but scared of getting a dreaded phone call way sooner. Why is this so difficult : (
 
S

Sparrow

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Well my ct is tomorrow afternoon and I'm riddled with anxiety, I don't know what to do with myself and I know come mo day it'll be even worse as I'll be waiting for a dreaded urgent call all week don't know what to do with myself :cry:
 
L

Lrobyn

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It will be ok. I know the fear and anxiety feels like a death grip, just focus on your breathe in these times. Come back to that instead of bad thoughts. You really are doing a good thing by getting all the information you need to get the proper dental care. I have an appt in 4 days and know your struggle. Try some meditation, if nothing to give your mind a bit of a break from all the rushing anxiety. Gratitude saves me, that I have access to good care and dental insurance of course. I’m wishing you the best of luck all the way from Canada
 
S

Sparrow

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Lrobyn thank you so much for the good thoughts I very much need them as I certainly don't have any!

I've just had my ct scan and those were an agonising 2 minutes, lying in that huge machin whirring about with two protective masks on felt like I was tied down and being suffocated to death :cry: I don't know why but I had a jaw ct so pretty much not your regular cone beam ct, maybe it's because of what equipment my hospital has but sigh :cry: now the even worser part, waiting for the bad news, I'm terrified :cry:
 
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Lrobyn

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Here’s the good news, you made it through even tho you felt like suffocating. You didn’t! As far as the news, you will get through that too. Every step counts and you’ve done well so far. Just give yourself some grace for going through something that is so uncomfortable for you, for the betterment of your health.
You are so much more than what you are scared of!
 
M

MumOfBoys1985

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Well done for going and getting the scan done. You're doing really great and should be proud of yourself.

When are you likely to get your results?
 
S

Sparrow

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So I have a pre-booked appointment with the specialist consultant middle-ish of February, which is a bit away, but from tomorrow I'm going to be on the edge at least all week waiting for an unarranged call because they found something unexpected, I cried so much Friday, sort of kept myself together during weekend but have no idea how I'm going to keep myself together now : ( I know I should've gotten this treated 2 years ago and if it's the worst case scenario I only have myself to blame but it is still so terrifying and I don't know what to do with myself : (
 
S

Sparrow

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Day two of a horrendous week and no calls so far, but now worrying that the news might come in the mail instead, don't know which one is worse! I'm just full of regret getting this done I don't know whether the amount of anxiety is worth it :' (
 
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Lrobyn

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Hi Sparrow, I’m sorry you are feeling so anxious, I know how it is. It’s so hard to release yourself from the worry, so exhausting. I find some relief in meditation, just even to give my mind a break from racing so much. It may help give you some space for your thoughts to simply pass by instead of take hold and keep you there. Sending so much love to you, I know it’s hard now but it will not last forever
 
S

Sparrow

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Ah meditation doesn't do much for me unfortunately, I find more success with trying to distract myself with bits to do, in the moments that my fatigue doesn't absolutely engulf me that is! It is now Friday evening and so far no news - I know that my worry will only be gone once I get this treated and it's done, but now it's just one anxiety after the other, maybe it's news next week, maybe it's a phone call, a letter, maybe I'll get bad news during my scheduled phone call, just doesn't end really! Ah I thought just going through treatment will be tough whether it's an apicocectomy or an extraction, but I'm already so so drained!
 
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