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Dental abscess but no sign of tooth infection on x-ray shows up

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Old 06-01-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
toothachee HB User
Dental abscess but no sign of tooth infection on x-ray shows up


I recently came down with a terrible toothache. It started out in one of my front teeth in a dull but throbbing pain. The next day the pain spread to the entire right side of my mouth in both my top and bottom sets of teeth. The pain was so bad that I ended up going to the emergency room for painkillers and antibiotics because OTC medication wasn't helping.

After I started taking the antibiotics, a large abscess formed, and I started coming down with a low fever. The parts of my face where my sinuses are are sore, and the glands in my neck are swollen. This leads me to believe that the infection has spread to other areas of my body. I'm under the impression though that the antibiotics should take care of this.

Today, I'm not really feeling any more pain in my tooth unless I put a lot of pressure on it. The abscess is still there and swelled up to an even larger size. However, my tooth is slightly loose and you can definitely see it visibly move if you wiggle it.

I went to the dentist today and took several x-rays. However, no signs of an infection showed up on any of these x-rays. The dentist went ahead and still wanted me to have a root canal done. However, my mother, a little uneased by the definite proof of an infection on the x-ray declined to have a root canal done on me.

My question is, can a tooth infection simply not show up on multiple x-rays? Also, does a root canal have to be done in the case of a tooth infection (other than extracting the tooth of course)?

Thank you very much for your help and responses.

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Old 06-23-2010, 07:28 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 6
sfiske HB User
Re: Dental abscess but no sign of tooth infection on x-ray shows up

I am so sorry for your pain!! I know that you can have an infection that doesn't show up in an x-ray. I was in dental assisting school and came down with tooth pain myself after having a crown replaced. Nothing shows on the x-rays. I have done a lot of research and found there are people with cracked roots that have gone 13 years with mouth pain and nothing shows in an x-ray. Yet, when the tooth is extracted the cracks are very visable. Your clinical symptoms are proof enough that there is an infection. The antibiotics should take care of this. Sometimes you may need more than one dose or even another type of anitbiotic. I would hold off on the root canal but that is just my opinion. I have had nothing but problems with my only tooth that has a root canal....Praying God will heal you up!!

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