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Gum infection (probably)


Menopausal Magpie

Dec 10, 2009
Hey people, long time no see!

So, I first posted here over ten years ago, having just had a bad dental infection with severe pain. That was when I first started REALLY flossing and brushing properly.

The past few years when I've been to my dentist for checkups, she hasn't found anything wrong and she's complimented me on how well I'm looking after my teeth.

Thing is...it's still an ongoing battle. I started feeling that one of my upper canines (which sticks out slightly, I have overcrowding) felt a bit 'clicky ' at the beginning of this week - not actually painful, just uncomfortable and sort of 'weird'. I also noticed that the gum was a bit dark red and swollen.

So I flossed and brushed extra carefully, used Corsodyl mouthwash, did salt water rinses after eating at work during the day, cut out snacks between meals...I also got hold of some Bonjela, which says it's antiseptic, and I have Gengigel, which also seemed to make it less inflamed. (Using them at different times, I should add.)

Last night I noticed that when I move my top lip a certain way (like, when it's pressing against the gum), a tiny bit of pus oozes out from a point on the gum between this canine and the incisor next to it!!!

I called NHS 111 this morning. The guy asked me what was up, and when I'd explained, he said basically to make sure I see my regular dentist within 5 working days, but to carry on doing what I've been doing in the meantime. Just to be sure (OK, call me paranoid), I popped in the chemist's and showed it to a pharmacist today, and she said the same thing.

I can't contact my dentist till Monday as they're not open weekends. The 111 guy said the emergency dental service is really for tooth breakage, loss, or extreme pain, none of which apply to me.

So here I am...worrying. Or trying to distract myself from worrying and not going to the bathroom looking at my gums every five minutes. Just wanted to see if anyone had been in this situation and got any advice, reassurance, kittens, whatever.

(Oh yes...is there a way to change your username on here? It's been so long, I don't actually have red hair any more!...)
Hi RedHairedEm,

Honestly: You mentioned an ongoing battle with this situation but it does not sound like something to worry about.
You are concerned about the gum situation, correct? If there was real severe inflammation in such degree that will make the tooth rock to the sides, surely it would have also been painful and it is not the case. It can be gingivitis (80% of the population has it) and when it comes to cleaning the teeth/gum, it is crucial not to do too much. I am certain you are aware of that but it has to be clear that it is possible to mechanically harm the gum (for example with aggressive brushing).

Hope it helped,
Dr. Daniel
Hi BlondeHairedEm?

I don't have any great advice and can only send you supportive best wishes!

I think that's some excellent advice above from Dr. Daniel.

If no pain and you can see the dentist after the weekend I'd try not to worry too much (I know may be easier said then done), there's not much you can do about it until then.
(Oh yes...is there a way to change your username on here? It's been so long, I don't actually have red hair any more!...)

Sure - just send me a private message (they're now called "conversations") with your preferred username (you can't change it yourself I don't think - it has to be done by an administrator). And:welcome: back!!
Thanks people!

Unfortunately I just had a bit of a sleepless night - woke at 3am, made the mistake of looking at it in the mirror in the dark with a torch and thought it was worse than it actually appears to be, and lay tossing and turning the rest of the night (the weather didn't help, that storm was raging outside here in the UK - very, very grateful we're in East Anglia and not Yorkshire - poor Hebden Bridge!). But must have gotten SOME sleep, because now I'm up I don't feel half as crappy as I thought I would. Just as well, I have to help hubby shift a worn-out freezer to take to the dump later...

Ontzettend bedankt, Dr Daniel! I've been trying to use the electric toothbrush veeery lightly over that area this week, since I didn't want to damage it any more.

Letsconnect, I've sent you a message. Everyone else, I will now be known as Menopausal Magpie. The hair is now greying, but I let the red grow out and got my hairdresser to dye it 'magpie' type colours...dark bluey-greeny-black (I would try white streaks in there, but I don't fancy too much bleach). So that's what.

I will sit tight, carry on with what I've been doing and call my dentist tomorrow. Just hope they can get me in quickly. It's the pus that's alarming - never had that in my gums before. Is it a good thing that it's coming out, at least?
Update: I have an appointment for 12:00 today. (Luckily I was off work today anyway, I work with Americans and it's a holiday today.) And it's with my usual dentist - I am SO glad because I've been SO anxious, and seeing someone I don't normally see would just have compounded that. I'l keep you posted on how it goes...
Well that's awesome news!

So, I just got back. My dentist gave me antibiotics for what she says is an abscess. So far, so unsurprising.

But she also took an X-ray, and she says the bone loss around the canine is severe enough that it's going to come out sooner or later - and that extraction and a denture might be the best option. ? I feel super guilty that I hadn't flossed or bushed well enough to prevent this - but, she says, sometimes it just happens and there's not much you can do about it.

I've taken the first antibiotic and will seen how it goes. I was due a checkup in April, but I said I'd move it forward and come see her again after I've finished the course.

So, I can't say I'm exactly happy, but at least I know what's going on. :(