Maybe someone here can help. I have 3 wisdom teeth that have emerged and give me no trouble. Lately, the 4th wisdoom tooth has been trying to emerge, and it's partially through the gum, but still impacted. The gum tissue around it has become very painful. In fact the pain has been so bad that 2 days ago (Thursday) I visited an oral surgeon ready and willing to have it extracted.
Upon examining the x-ray, the surgeon told me that this particular tooth is sitting right on top of a very important nerve and that there is a possibility that pulling it could result in permanent numbness of my lip and tounge. He said this risk is increased by the fact that I am older (35 years old).
He said he would still go ahead and pull it if I wanted, or he would be willing to try to bring the swelling and infection down with antibiotics. (Though he told me the problem would likely recurr.) Being rather cautious, I opted for the antibiotics and painkillers. If this doesn't work I can always get the tooth pulled later.
Anyways, he sent me home with amoxicillin, vicodin and ibuprofen. I have been taking the amoxicillin religiously and the vicodin sparingly. At first I was taking the ibuprofen as well, but it upsets my stomach somewhat, so I stopped taking it. But I have read that ibuprofen is anti-inflamatory, so I am wondering if perhaps it is more of an important part of this equation than I thought.
My questions are:
1) Should I start taking the ibuprofen again? Could I just take less of it? (He prescribed 600 mg every 6 hrs, which is a lot of ibuprofen.)
2) How long will it take for the amoxicillin to work on the infection? It's been 48 hours already, and my pain is much less, in fact I have pretty much stopped the pain killers. However, the swelling is still pretty bad.
3) Is it possible that we can eliminate the infection this time and perhaps the gum will recede away from the wisdom tooth making it more comfortable and possibly eliminating the need for extraction?
4) Is there anything else I should be doing?
Thanks for reading this and for any input you can give!
You can take other things other than drugs to treat this, I dealt with this last month and just had all of my wisdom teeth taken out about 48 hours ago. I used ice only when one of my wisdom teeth became infected last month. I also would put a drop or two of tea tree oil in my mouth with some water and gargle. I took echinacea to boost my immune system which also will help fight the infection. I did not fill my antibiotic prescription and I cured my infection without drugs in about a week. Now after having my wisdom teeth removed, I am using ice and I am also using Arnica pills and gel to help help and soothe the soreness and swelling. I am also drinking water with lots of fresh squeezed lemon in it too. Many of ours or essential oils are already naturally antibacterial and antiviral. I take advantage of what is around me and drugs are only a last resort option.
I also do not think the gum will go back, that is exactly what caused me my infection last month. My wisdom teeth her fine for the last few years they were coming in, but one came in further last month causing my gum to flap and creating an infection. It will need to be removed or you will always have to worry about this happening over and over again. The gum will harbor bacteria and food.
You might want to take your xrays and go get a second opinion from another oral surgeon. Your problem sounds complicated. About the anti inflammatory, there are medications you can take to protect your stomach if you need to take it. Ask your doctor. I'd use ice also.
Thanks for the replies. Actually, I have been treating all my wisdom teeth naturally for years. I have used salt water, hydrogen peroxide, garlic, goldenseal and oil of oregano. I haven't wanted to go the drug route or to get them extracted.
This wisdom tooth is a bad one however. I've never had an infection this bad in any of the other three. The gum tissue around the tooth is very swollen and nothing seems to be bringing it down. In fact, while the pain is much less severe than last week, the swelling is actually worse. I really don't know what to do. The doc thought the amoxicillin would cure the infection (at least for now) but it's been more than three days and I'm not sure this is going to work.
I'll try the tea tree oil and see if that helps at all.
Hey, I really hope you get better soon. Give the tea tree oil a try and be patient. It took a good week for my infection to away once I started to treat it myself. I never wanted my wisdom teeth out either, especially because they never bothered me, but once one of them came in too far and caused that gum to flap, I didn't really have a choice. I also have a dental pick, like the one the dentist use and when I did have an infection, I gently lifted that flap and scraped and I found a piece of food under my gum and I suspect that may have been causing my infection and I didn't realize that.
Thanks for the support. It makes me feel better to know that you were able to cure the infection and that it just took time. I already swished with tea tree oil once today and I will do it again now. I also started back on some strong supplements (mega vitamin c and oil of oregano), which should help with the infection.
One thing that has really helped me is a water irrigator (I think it's called a water pik). It's a machine that squirts water into the area, and you can get under the flap that you describe. You can also add salt or hydrogen peroxide to the water and get that under there as well, which is very helpful.
I guess I'll just hang in there and keep doing the tea tree oil rinses, as well as continue on the meds. Hopefully the swelling will come down and I'll beat the infection this time. I think you're right, however, and there's a good chance that this problem will keep coming back, in which case I will eventually have to have the tooth pulled.
I actually just started to swish with the tea tree oil again, it has been 3 days since I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I love using alternatives. It started to become old having to take a dental pick and lift the flap and ensure that my partially exposed wisdom teeth were clean everyday. Keep swishing the tea tree oil several times a day.
I just happened to stumble upon this forum topic after searching online due to having similar issues as Corrie06. I am having the swelling and tenderness that you both have dealt/are dealing with. Thanks for willing to share that information, as it has been helpful to me as well.
My question to you, Alexa (or anyone else who would like to chime in) is: did you have your wisdom teeth extracted by an oral surgeon versed in more holistic or "biological" practices?
I have some chronic health issues that affect my immune system, including Lyme disease, and I have heard the importance of seeing such an oral surgeon, ESPECIALLY with those types of ailments. I'd like to hear what route you went and your thoughts on that.
Thanks in advance to Alexa and anyone else who replies. You are very helpful!
I feel your pain! I've been dealing with this for more than a week now, and I have your same concerns about "cavitations" caused by pulling the tooth out of the jaw bone. I've done a lot of research over the last week on wisdom teeth and also on this issue of creating a disease state in the jaw. Based on what I've found out, I am trying to cure the inflamation/infection without extracting the tooth.
Do a search for "pericoronitis" and you will get a lot of information about this condition and what to do about it. It sounds like it can usually resolve on its own in about 3 or 4 days, with salt water rinses every 2 hours. I'm also using tea tree oil, oil of oregano (very powerful stuff, be careful), garlic and a little bit of goldenseal.
I am not sure how long this will take or if it will continue to recurr, but I am fairly well convinced that extracting the tooth would lead to larger problems. If you are over 30, like I am, then the tooth is very firmly entrenched in the jaw bone, meaning it will not be an easy extraction. Further, our older bodies don't regenerate tissues as easily or quickly as younger folks. You will have a huge hole left in your jaw that won't automatically fill in with new jaw bone material. If you do a search for "cavitations," you will get a lot of info on this issue, though it sounds like you've already done that.
As for biological destists, I called one a few years ago when I was having this problem with another wisdom tooth. He was quite expensive and wanted me to have multiple appointments ($$$$). If you absolutely must have the tooth out, this would probably be the way to go, but it's not gonna be cheap!
It appears we are indeed in a similar situation here. I actually had one wisdom tooth extracted about 5 years ago, before I started going to a bio-dentist, and once I did go to the bio-dentist, they said that I had developed a cavitation in that jaw socket. So, I went down to an amazing holistic oral surgeon in Texas, who is known for his ability to fix these types of issues.
While I was there, I considered having the three other extractions done, but because the weakened state my body and immune system are in due to chronic illness, I opted to wait. It is my understanding that the teeth (in my case) will have to come out eventually because there is insufficient room in my mouth and the one that is causing me some problems now (bottom left) is in fact growing in horizontally. Although, this apparently is not uncommon.
Let me ask you, what are your biggest concerns with doing the extraction? My thought is, and I have done extensive research as well as spoken to dentist and oral surgeons alike, is that if you go to someone who does it right and has a holistic mindset, you are pretty safe. Especially if there are no room for the teeth and/or it is at risk of infection and/or shifting of your other teeth. The risk of complication from leaving them in may outweigh that of having them extracted. That is something you would need to talk to a dentist about (preferably not an oral surgeon that profits financially from you deciding to extract).
I completely understand the cost factor; that is always a problem for me as I have piled up medical bills from my longstanding illness. However, I figure with something like this, it is worth it and if you have health insurance, you can push for some coverage and potentially receive reimbursement. That is without a doubt what I will be doing and I have already started compiling my case.
Let me know if you would like specific information about the oral surgeon I have dealt with in Texas. In a nutshell, he uses conscious sedation (less toxic and does not involve being fully asleep), he emphasizes cleaning out the socket and removing the ligament between the tooth and jawbone (according to my research and discussion with my dentist, not all oral surgeons remove the ligament, yet it greatly reduces the risk for cavitation), and he gives the patient intravenous vitamin-c after the procedure is completed.
I am very picky about health related endeavors, and I feel very confident with this doctor. By the way, I am not quite in my 30s yet, I am actually 23, but the fact remains that these oral surgeons are like any other doctor or professional; they are not all created equal!
I think you are right. Sometimes you really must get an extraction, as in your case with the horizontal wisdom tooth! From what I have read, a biological dentist who removes the periodontal ligament and thouroughly cleans the area, is the way to go. In my situation, I have the feeling that my tooth is really firmly set in the bone (this happens over 30) and that extracting it would leave a big problem in my jaw bone. Since you are still young, this is probably the best time to get it done!
I have another problem which is that my wisdom tooth is sitting right on top of a nerve, and the oral surgeon informed me that if the nerve was damaged during the extraction, there was the risk that my lip and tounge would be temporarily or permanently numb. So, even the oral surgeon felt that my case was a little risky, which is why he sent me home with meds instead of pulling the tooth that day.
It might encourage you to know that I am having some improvement. I am not taking any meds (except lots of vitamin c and oil of oregano), but I am doing salt water rinses every couple of hours. I am also rinsing with tea tree oil and oregano every few hours as well. All of this seems to be working and the swelling and pain are going away! So you might give home remedies a try.