Discomfort in mouth (swelling, irritation, etc) any advice?

Sep 6, 2020

So I was told that there was an abscess beneath my bottom right wisdom tooth by my dentist in late April. He had also let me know about a cavity between my second bicuspid and first molar (i believe) on my top right side about 6 months before that appointment without doing x-rays for cost reasons. He told me it was too small to do anything about yet, but that we’d keep an eye on it. So the x-rays in April were the first that I had done in about a year, and I'm not too sure how long the abscess was there.

I asked about the cavity and he told me to get the wisdom teeth removed and then get back to him. I had to pay out of pocket for the surgery and I couldn't get it done in my home state so I went a couple states away to have it done. Afterwards I had to come home just one week after the surgery. Before I left I noticed that one of my two lower surgical sites hadn’t healed closed yet, the right side, the one that had the abscess beneath it. I called the office, but they said check back in three weeks, which I couldn’t do. So i came home, and felt okay until early June. I think the pain started because I wear a nightguard for my grinding and clenching.

One of my top front teeth chipped last year. It stayed confined to that one small area until earlier this year the chip turned into a crack that ran up the enamel the whole length of the tooth. My two front teeth are pretty tight together and when I wear my night guard it puts a lot of pressure on them. When my teeth became sensitive in early June, wearing the night guard became way too painful. I stepped up my oral hygiene but my teeth were still causing me quite a bit of pain.

My regular dentist was closed because of covid for all of June, but he reopened in July and I was able to get an appointment on July 5th . On that day we did an x-ray which was limited to the specific area that he knew there was a cavity for price reasons. He told me that it did seem like that cavity was ready, so he scheduled another appointment a week later to fill it. In that time, my sensitivity was pretty bad but more concerning was this pressure that I felt building in the back of my mouth also on the top right side. In the hours before I went to get the filling, the pressure really felt like it was going to explode. I just couldn't tell where or how. The pressure didn't feel like it was near any points of exit. I had a pulsing headache and felt like shit.

That filling was my dentist’s last scheduled appointment of the day and even though i wanted to bring up the pressure building in the back of my mouth, he was in a bit of a rush and I didn’t want to push the subject. Also, this dentist my dad has paid out of pocket for years and years and i knew that my dad owed him some money at that point, and i was grateful he was even seeing me for that filling. I referred vaguely to that area and he noticed a place where I had pricked myself with the end of a floss pick and told me it was a traumatic ulcer. He was right but that wasn't what I meant.

I had just received government healthcare not too long before that and I thought it might include dental care but i hadn’t called or went online to see yet. That’s what motivated me. I found out I did have a free checkup every 6 months and I figured that I could get some full mouth x-rays that might tell me what was going on above my back top right teeth. I went in and had them done but the dentist told me that I was fine. I just had some tartar and needed a little bit of cleaning. He did that and told me it was good to go. I didn't want to push the issue so I said okay and just asked if I could maybe get a copy of my x-rays. They said sure and emailed them to me.

Just looking at the x-rays I think that I can see the area that felt odd. My idea was to post them on a dental forum so that i didn't have to go to another checkup with no clue how to describe whats bothering me, but even thinking about it has caused me such intense dread that I’ve put it off for more than two months now. I've used sensodyne periodically since June and my sensitivity is SO much better but my entire mouth has still been so irritated (gum irritation or small cracks in teeth - i can’t tell) that i take an ibuprofen for it at least once a day. So the swelling is my main concern but i am having some other issues that i could use advice on too.

Thank you!


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Verified Dentist
Jun 14, 2018
A lot of what you mentioned does not make sense. First, you have no wisdom teeth. 2nd, I'm not seeing any disease on Upper Right x-rays. 3rd, the x-ray that you provided with the circle is the Upper Left and depicts normal anatomy (sinus and cheek bone). We cannot see swelling on x-rays because it doesn't pick up soft tissue. It only shows bone, teeth, fillings, or anything radiopaque. Does your pain and swelling come and go? I believe your dentist did not detect any swelling. I'm suspecting you may have sinus pain. You can get it checked by a physician. You can also provide more information to help us determine what's going on. Your bite is not ideal. Ideal bite is a slight over bite where your lower anteriors are tucked underneath you uppers and not edge to edge. If you are having pain and discomfort with your bite guard, have it adjusted. If it is not custom made, try to get one. With your edge to edge bite, you will chip and fracture more.


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