This is a bit of an essay, sorry - I thought the background might help, hope you can be bothered to read through it as I'm getting really desperate and scared.
My teeth were never particularly good, I had plenty of fillings as a child (not sure they were all needed, bad dentist who also refused to give injections), about 5 years ago I had a molar extracted after about a year's treatment on it, and in the last couple of years I've had root canal surgery and crowns fitted on 2 other molars. Up until a couple of months ago though, the only thing I thought was wrong was a bit of a pain in an upper incisor (the one next to the front tooth), which had just come on and I wondered if I'd chipped it or maybe there was a small cavity.
Then one morning in February I woke up with a swollen jaw, went straight to the dentist and he said I'd got an abscess - he prescribed antibiotics and made an appointment for a month later (earliest he could do) for root canal surgery. In between times I got sinus problems - I've had problems with my sinuses every once in a while for many years, at one point they were going to drain them or something but for various reasons it didn't happen - taking Sinutab didn't make it go away, the doctor gave me a steroid spray and then more antibiotics, nothing's shifted it. The root canal surgery seemed to go OK, I panicked a bit when the next morning my jaw was swollen again, the dentist prescribed metranidazol but I didn't take them as the next day the swelling had gone down again, so I didn't think it was necessary.
So that was March, and I thought my worst problem was my sinuses, plus I'd been advised that I might still lose the tooth as there was evidence of bone loss on the x-ray. I'd recently been thinking of getting braces to straighten my wonky teeth and hopefully help me eat, I've never been able to bite things properly because of my overbite and having 2 children with braces and listening to their orthodontist it seemed like a possibility - he saw me in February and didn't seem to think I had any problems with my teeth, even said something about good hygiene. But my sinuses were still rubbish, and my teeth had started hurting (which I've had before with sinus problems, as well as the headaches from hell) - then every now and then it felt like some of the front ones were sort of in the wrong place, or uncomfortable, or loose. It's hard to describe. I also noticed some of my gums were puffy, some of my teeth looked shorter than before because of it, and it felt like there was some inflammation beneath my nose, whether the gums or not I couldn't tell but above my top lip felt a bit numb. And different teeth would hurt or throb on different days. I got a cold as well, so the sinus thing got sooooo much worse.
Anyway, I've had so many doctor and dentist visits, and at one of the dentist ones he started talking about gum disease, gum pockets and bone loss, which scared me so much - my mother had most of her teeth removed in her 20s, I think a lot of my family wore dentures but I had no idea it could be hereditary. I have 2 sisters who also have problems with their teeth. I'm being referred to a periodontist, but it could take ages to get an appointment, I haven't heard yet and it's already been a month. The dentist stopped doing a scale and polish a few years ago, which from my research isn't going to have helped; I was never advised to see the hygienist to get it done, I thought maybe it wasn't necessary. He's never mentioned any possible problems before, I get regular checkups, he's never given any advice on looking after my teeth either. I asked him to do a scale and polish last week, but that just seems to have made them more sensitive. Most days I'm in such pain and discomfort, all my front teeth hurt, they feel loose (but I daren't check how loose), now the one that had the abscess is hurting again, and the incisor that hurt a little in the first place hurts a heck of a lot (he said it didn't look like there was anything wrong there). I keep waking up clenching my jaw, he says that and grinding my teeth in my sleep shouldn't be the problem, but I'm hoping that (and just the tension) is why my jaw feels a bit stiff and clicks more than usual.
I'm surviving on Sinutab and ibuprofen, but it doesn't get rid of the pain and I'm worried that the longer it goes on the more likely I am to lose my teeth. I can hardly bear to look at them at the moment - some of the gums have definitely receded, and I'm certain they hadn't before this. There's one that I had to floss all the time as food would get stuck there - now there's a big gap at the bottom where I would swear in court there wasn't before, you can't floss without paying attention. There are more spaces, bits where the gum used to be pointy but is now blunt - I did start brushing my teeth more, I wonder if I made it worse - I'm using a very soft, manual brush now instead of a powered brush. There are puffy gums, but they're not red and they don't bleed, but then I smoke - I know that's bad for the gums and the sinuses, I'm attempting to stop tomorrow morning. I suffer with anxiety, and this really isn't helping - I found it difficult enough losing the one tooth (got an infection of course) and I can't stand how that feels, I try not to let my tongue go anywhere near it - I don't know how I'll cope if I lose loads of teeth. I keep telling myself that I just will cope, and that worse things happen so I shouldn't complain - and reading other posts on here helps, people go through some awful stuff and cope. Of course I keep worrying that it might be something awful, and the sudden gum disease and stuff is just a symptom of that - I'm trying to convince myself that that's the anxiety talking.
Can periodontitis come on that quickly, if the orthodontist didn't spot it less than 2 months ago? I know it can if you're younger than me, but I'm 42. Or could it be because of the sinuses? My dentist keeps saying there's not much connection between teeth and sinuses, but the more I read the more I think he's wrong; the doctor says the same as him (I'm being referred to someone who knows more about sinuses than my GP, but that could also take weeks); I don't know where to turn, what to do. I've started using Corsodyl toothpaste and I've also got a Water Pik, and I'm having some pro-biotic lozenges in case it's an imbalance of bacteria in my mouth. Did I read somewhere that there can be a fungal connection as well? Whenever I have antibiotics I get thrush (as well as seeming more prone to panic attacks, another thing my doctor doesn't believe) - I just don't know what might be connected with what, what might have started it all off.
Any advice would be much appreciated - the evenings and nights are the worst, and it's been so bad yesterday and today that I just don't know how I'm going to get through until morning when I can call the doctor and dentist again...
Periodontitis came on very quickly for me, though I'm in my twenties and have the aggressive form of it. There's mobility on all my front teeth, particularly on the one where the infection started, and I find that root planing and scaling combined with locally injected antibiotics is helping a lot. Also, stay away from the Corsydyl. That's strong stuff that really should be prescription only, and I did myself a lot more harm than good with it. If you've got gum pockets you won't be able to reach the bacteria with it anyway.
Modern medicine is only just starting to accept the connection between overall health and oral health (which is odd because in my history studies I've learned that one of the first things the old slavers looked at in a victim was the health of the gums, so they must've had an idea!).
I'd recommend getting a new doctor because there is strong evidence to suggest that the health of the gums is directly linked to the health of the sinuses, heart, lungs, and even brain.
I'm not a professional and obviously can't offer diagnosis, but I'd rsuggest seeing a therapist or emotional counsellor. The state of the mind has a huge impact on the state of the body, trials with placebos indicate that, and your constant stress over your condition is going to make it a lot worse, to the point where you can actually give yourself illnesses that you would've avoided simply by refusing to be bothered by the prospect of them. It may sound like pretty empty philosophising, but the mind has an incredible power over the body.
Thanks Sebular, I agree that there must be a link between oral health and general health - I've been tired and stressed and generally run down lately. Generally it's been a far better year or so than a heck of a lot of the years before it though, getting used to looking after finances and children on my own, fewer illnesses than I used to get, a new relationship - lots of work stress though and I'm most of the way through a divorce, which is never really easy. I've even wondered if on some level I couldn't believe that things were going well, and I've brought problems on myself; and I was even thinking about getting my teeth straightened, when now I doubt I'll even manage to keep them. Stupid, I know!
Is the Corsodyl tooth and gum paste really not a good idea? I thought as it's essential oils and natural stuff it would be better - I've avoided mouthwashes because of them killing the good bacteria as well as the bad, although last night I started on Gengigel. I'm also going to hunt for some supplements today that my sister (in much the same predicament) has looked out. And today I go for an initial meeting with a hypnotherapist - I got in touch mostly for giving up smoking (I'm having no success and then feeling even more stressed about it) but said about the anxiety, so while I can't afford it I may see if he can help. I totally agree about the power of the mind - my experience with panic attacks, and before that for years with depression, has made me doubt pretty much anything my mind comes up with as well as knowing you can guide your thoughts and feelings in positive ways and make a big difference.
Yesterday I managed to see the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (I was very lucky, they took pity on me) and the big news is that none of this is down to my sinuses - it's all totally clear. I sit here with pressure behind my nose, popping noises and what feels like congestion, still trying to come to terms with it not being the sinuses. The local anaesthetic she used to do the endoscopy was wonderful, by the way - I had relief from the pain in my teeth for about 20 minutes afterwards, I recommend it!
Now I'm going to make another round of phone calls - the dentist, to chase the periodontist appointment and tell him it's not my sinuses, maybe the periodontist direct if I get no joy from the dentist (it needs looking at NOW, not at some point in the distant future), the doctor, and maybe the orthodontist to ask if there was any sign of gum disease at the end of February, because I don't think there was and I'm sure he would have noticed and said. I don't know how easy it is to change my doctor, and I've seen lots of different ones in the last couple of months - I'm seriously considering changing dentist, even though I would have to pay (I don't at the moment on the NHS), I'm starting to think you get what you pay for. Now if I could track down ones who do endodontics and periodontics...
Yeah the lack of perio support on the nhs is pretty shameful.
As for the Corsydyl, I think it depends on who you talk to. In America they don't allow the 1% Chlorhexidine content, only 0.15%, and even then it's prescription only. My periodontist recommends I only use it once a day for a week after treatment but not in between sessions (which take place every 4-5 months).
You should of course rely on what your dentist tells you. But if you're using that stuff through self-direction as I was for a while, it'd probably be best to leave off until you get professional advice about it. Have you had any X-rays done? If not, try and get some at some point in the near future. So long as you haven't lost any bone, some recession in your forties isn't something to be too alarmed about, at least not immediately.
Simple techniques I've been told about-
Dry brush (no water or toothpaste) with a manual, soft bristled toothbrush for a good 4 mins or so, but gently.
Follow this with a wet brush (try and get high-fluoride, prescription toothpaste), using a sonicare electric toothbrush if you can get one, another 4-5 mins.
Flossing, or interdental brushes if your teeth are quite spaced apart from each other.
Tongue brushing+scraping. Surprisingly important bit of the routine apparently. Try and make sure there are no greenish patches left on your tongue by the end of it.
A swish of listerine for 30 seconds (not the advertised 60 seconds) once a day as well.
Fill your waterpik with lukewarm water and add a teaspoon of salt, and use it once a day before bed.
Other tips include- swishing your mouth out with water after meals, if you don't have a chance to brush your teeth.
Hold some warm, slightly salted water in your mouth and massage the front of your face where your teeth and gums are. Apparently this can stimulate blood flow, something you definitely need if you're a smoker.
This is basically the routine my periodontist suggested to me. I don't stick to it as well as I should, but even every other day this makes my mouth feel a lot better.
Hi, I am in the Uk and have lots of gum problems. I would recommend the following - get yourself referred to a specialist periodontalist which you will have to pay alot for but will give you the best treatment if you have gum disease. Take out an insurance policy to get some of the money back. I have been going to one for a year or two and my gums have improved alot although still not great but definately better than they were. Also, easy to say but really try not to stress so much. You sound really panicked about it, and from experience I know that stress makes gum problems much worse. I have been going through a bad month and I can tell that my gums are suffering for it. I too had been thinking of straightening my teeth but feel the cost isn't worth it because I feel sure my teeth aren't going to last that long - I too am divorced (nearly) and have children, finances to manage etc. (alone) and know that things will constantly be up and down . Good oral hygeine is important and frequent visits to a hygenist. I think gum disease can come on quickley , especially if it runs in the family like it does in yours and you are under alot of stress. Good luck!!
i too am in my twenties, i have been told i have gum disease, according to my dentist it started when i was pregnant that was over 10 years ago now. my teeth where fine up until 2 months ago now. i have 2 very mobile teeth on the lower bottom. i was at my dentist 8 weeks ago when she decided to refer me to the dental hospital thats me just got an appointment through now which is too late as one tooth looks like its just away to come out im so scared to bite anything just incase. i have started to use corsodyl tooth paste and mouthwash. i also clean between my teeth everyday but my breathe still tastes horrible. i have done a lot of research on the internet and supposedly i should of had xrays but none of ths has ever been offered to me. also i was told to give up smoking which i did 6 weeks ago and im seeing no difference can anyone help as i just want to cry as i dont want false teeth before im 30. thanks