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Post-op infection?

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anxious annie

Junior member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
8
I had 6 lower teeth removed 6 days ago. The last one the dentist removed he said was the worst one. Just a tiny root buried far down in the gum (maybe #20) he even had a hard time finding it and had to tease it out when he did find it. I got such bruising and a golf ball swelling on the left side. The cheek swelling went away after 2 days and I had minimal pain, just needed some Tylenol a couple times. The bruising is still bad.

He said the stitches would dissolve in 4 days. The stitches on the right side came out in 2 days and the whole area feels so much better, just slightly tender. The left side stitches with the harder extractions just came out last night thankfully, 5 days post-op, because they started feeling very tight, but I noticed some swelling coming back. Maybe that's why they felt tight? I woke up this morning (Merry Christmas!!) with significant swelling just like an abscess on the outer and inner sides of the gum to the floor of my mouth on the left, and my lip was jutting out a bit. The swelling makes my gum equal with my cheek when I pull it out to look. I used some ice on and off this morning and the lip went back to normal but all the other swelling remains.

This tiny root did not have an abscess prior, but the one 2 teeth over did. It can't be from another tooth because there aren't any. I'm scared to death to go back to this dentist because I don't know what he'll do or what is wrong. I did stupidly try to eat a chicken sandwich before this all happened, which didn't go so well, chewing tiny bits on the right but that still caused banging down on the left side. I don't know if it's infected or inflamed but I'm terrified now that the swelling will get worse and go down my throat or I'll get sepsis or any awful thing you can think of. I don't have a fever so far. What do they do if it's a post-op infection? Do they have to cut it again? Should I go to this dentist or an oral surgeon? Is there anything I can do to help this? OMG I can't go through this again! I thought I was done with the dentist forever, no more abscesses, no more dental pain, but instead I spent all of Christmas freaking out, monitoring swelling and had a lovely dinner of a cup of tomato soup. :cry:
 
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anxious annie

Junior member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
8
Sorry, I meant to mention that this dentist did not give me any post-op instructions, even said I don't have to bite on gauze (after I asked!) because I had stitches. I bit on gauze anyway because the blood was disgusting. Stitches don't equal no bleeding and he even said to just swallow when I said I had a mouthful of blood in his office. Finally he gave me water and said to tilt my head sideways then let it drop out of my mouth in the sink. This left side problem area bled for almost 9 hours. I'm not a dentist but I almost feel he should have put a drain in instead of closing it all up since there were 4 of 6 teeth with abscesses. How else does the infection get out? The whole thing seems abnormal. I've never had this kind of problem after extractions and I've had them all extracted now, by oral surgeons and not general dentists like this one.
 
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tabatha7

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
906
Location
US
Annie, I'm no dentist but are you doing warm salt water rinses? It's important to keep your mouth as clean as possible. Going back doesn't necessarily mean they will have to do anything else to you. They may just put you on antibiotics. Hope you feel better soon.
 
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anxious annie

Junior member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
8
I have done some salt water rinses, admittedly not as much as I probably should have. The incisions are healed up now with no openings so I didn't know if they would still help anything going on underneath. It didn't get worse overnight so that's good, but today it feels tingly/numbish/cold along the jaw bone underneath, like when local anesthetic is wearing off. It's literally like an abscess, good sized lump, without the head banging pain, so far anyway. Waiting for a call back from the dentist now.
 
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comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,798
Location
Miami, Fl
sounds like infection contact the dentist
 
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anxious annie

Junior member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
8
Thank you, I did go to the dentist this evening and you're right, it is infected. He wanted to send me home with more antibiotics only, but I asked if he could open it somehow to get some of the infection out, so he did an incision and drainage. He didn't put a drain in so I hope it continues to drain some on its own. He again gave no post-op instructions so I looked online and can't believe the differing opinions of professionals. Some say no heat or ice, some say ice only, some say heat only, some rinse right away, others rinse after 24 hrs. Very confusing so I'm not sure what to do. It's still swollen the same size so I hope that's normal. He did mention he may have stitched that side up too tight last week which could have contributed to this since my gums have always healed up very fast so the abscess didn't have enough time to drain.

Here's how this dentist does things...I asked if pus came out, he said yes. I asked if it was a lot and he said "a lot is subjective." I wasn't asking a philosophical question or what he thinks I think is a lot. He could have simply said a little, some, lots, whatever it was in his opinion. I asked if I should rinse it and he said no, it will hurt too much for about 3 days but warm salt water would be OK. What did he think I would rinse with? It's literally like pulling teeth to get info from him. My daughter found him the same way after a routine visit. She had to ask him if she had any cavities since he said nothing after examining her. This lack of instruction or answers really doesn't help someone already afraid. I have to say though, I was more afraid of what could potentially happen to me from this infection and under the tongue swelling than the procedure today, so one fear overrode the other.
 
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scaredkay

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
103
Hi Anne, I have also had a abscessed tooth removed last friday and still i have tooth ache. I will be making an appointment with my dentist again as soon as they open to get it looked at. I was told to rinse with warm salty water on the area. I was before having the tooth removed keeping ice cold water in my mouth which eased the pain for a while but was told that's the wrong thing to do when i was still doing it when the tooth was removed as you wont be able to form a blood clot. You can place a ice pack on your jaw to get the swelling down but must rinse with warm salty water.

I do hope you feel better soon as i know this is the worse pain in the world.
 
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tabatha7

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
906
Location
US
Annie, with an infection like that I don't think I would use any heat. I would stick with cold packs.
 
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anxious annie

Junior member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
8
Tabatha, I tend to agree about the heat. I read it can spread the infection. I also read that cold can keep the infection from resolving. It's confusing though since with something like a stye or boil, heat brings it to a head which you want. Makes some sense that it would have drawn infection from the incision but wasn't taking a chance. Between the I&D and antibiotics, the swelling is going down some tonight.
 
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tabatha7

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
906
Location
US
I'm glad the swelling is going down. I would think it would be ok to use the cold packs if you are taking antibiotics also. What about ibuprofen or something like that for swelling also?
 
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