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antibiotics didn't clear up my wisdom tooth infection

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I developed what I believed to be an infection in the gum surrounding one partially erupted wisdom tooth (lower jaw) last week and went to the dentist. She prescribed a week's course of antibiotics. I'm now at the end of that course and have little improvement - the pain is a little less, but its still very swollen and I can't clench my teeth together because of the pain (the upper tooth presses on the swollen area when I chew), which is making eating difficult. I think there might be pus collecting.

I called my dentist today and she made me an appointment to go back. However, I am reluctant to spend more money (even at NHS prices) for her just to say wait and see, or take more antibiotics - I'm fed up of antibiotics! I told her on the phone that I was worried it was an abscess, but she dismissed this.

At my appointment last week the dentist said she was reluctant to remove the infected tooth and/or the one above it, because of the surgery involved, although I have previously experienced surgery under sedation having the partially erupted tooth on the other side of my mouth removed last year (at the order of a different dentist) and know what to expect. For that problem, removal was the best solution and I'm glad I did it. In the long run I think removal would be much better, as I anticipate many future infections in the problem tooth in future.

How can I persuade the dentist I want the tooth/teeth removed?

Alternatively, is it worth me sitting tight and waiting for the swelling and pain to go away by themselves, despite the ineffectiveness of the antibiotics?
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First Helper User Profile brunettie101
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replied March 30th, 2009
i kinda went thru the same thing...i had an infection in my bottom left wisdom tooth and coz of it my face was swollen and i couldnt clench my jaw either..i went to my dentist and he put me on antibiotics too...but at the same time he also told me that it was the top left wisdom tooth that had caused the infection in the first place..since it was sitting funny (the top tooth) every time i would bite down the tooth would shred the gum on the bottom tooth (my bottom wisdoms werent thru yet.)so i had to get the top tooth taken out then and there...instant relief..so i had to take the antibiotics for the week and go back the 2 wks later and have my other 3 tken out...that was last friday...the actully had to detach my bottom wisdoms from the jaw bone...didnt feel a thing..im glad i had them taken out...so maybe u should just tell ur dentist ur meds arnt working and she can put u on diffrent ones or ask her to take the top one ourt so it doesnt hurt so much...let me no how u go Smile

jessie
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replied June 30th, 2009
I've had something very similar a couple of times in the last couple of years too, since my wisdom tooth came out... the ones on the left side of my mouth are both fine, no problems at all, in fact I didn't even notice they'd come out... but my bottom right one hasn't come out and the one above it sticks out at a funny angle.

What's happened to me a couple of times is that the area where the bottom tooth should be has either swelled up for some reason or the tooth suddenly decided to try to push through, I'm not sure which, but either way I couldn't close my mouth properly because of the upper tooth pressing on it. I didn't go to a dentist either time though, it just went away again by itself within a day or two, so maybe it was something different and not as severe that caused it for me.

Right now I am having a different problem though, which is how I've ended up here (looking for any information on the symptoms I've currently got, or anyone with the same symptoms, but not found anything at all that sounds similar)... I've had a cold for the last week or so, and since a couple of days ago the area around the upper right wisdom tooth that's at a funny angle feels odd... it kinda throbs and hurts if I step too heavily when walking, or shake something in my hand too vigorously etc... but even just going from lying down to sitting up, and sitting to standing up etc seems to cause it too, even if done very slowly and smoothly... and the teeth themselves don't hurt when touching them etc, it's kinda right up in the gums and in the side of my face (although there's no visible swelling or anything)... so I'm wondering if I've got some kind of secondary infection from the cold that's got in there somehow, and maybe I need some antibiotics to get rid of it... although I guess that tooth probably needs to be removed anyway because of the way it's sticking out oddly and pressing into where the one underneath should be :-\

I'm surprised the dentist doesn't want to remove yours though... I asked my dentist a few years ago if they could do anything about the one that had come out at an odd angle, and they said they couldn't do anything to correct it but they could remove it if I wanted them to, but that there wasn't really any need to if it wasn't causing any problems... so I'm kinda surprised that yours doesn't want to remove one that clearly is causing problems for you and that you actually want removed.

To Jessie, the person who replied before me... it sounds like your teeth were in a very similar situation to mine (or two of mine anyway), and you said you didn't feel a thing when you had them taken out... so what kind of anesthetic did they use?
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replied July 5th, 2009
First, why in the world would a dentist NOT remove a wisdom tooth, especially one that is not coming in all the way!!! Find a different dentist or just call an Oral Surgeon who does extractions all day. Some general dentists don't like to do them I guess.

It sounds like you have an infection in the gum where the tooth is partially erupted. Food and debris can get under the gum that is partially covering the tooth and get trapped where it is VERY hard to get to. This happened to my own brother and he came right in to the office I worked out and we took it out that day.

Antibiotics aren't really going to work for that if the source of the problem is not removed (the debris). Cleaning it out will only work temporarily especially if this tooth never comes in all the way, which happens quite often. This is a very common problem and I am really starting to worry about all these people calling themselves dentists but refusing to do the proper treatment!!
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replied May 10th, 2011
agony
im currently going through it now, im in the army with military dentist, every couple of months my wisdom teeth try and come through and hurt as usual, but this time the bottom right one is infected and my face has swelled up and my gums are about 2 inches away from my teeth now, i cant sleep or eat because of the pain but im on anti biotics now for 5 days and im double dosing co-codamol pain killers, im going home to the UK on friday to see my girlfriend for 4 weeks and if the swelling isnt gone by friday morning im afraid im going to have to pop my gums my self and drain the !**@!
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replied December 27th, 2012
My abscess
I have a couple of rotten teeth and my fear of the dentist has resulted in me being in and out of pain for the last 4 years and I have now got an abscess so was forced to see a dentist and he explained the reason he would not pull the infected tooth is because if the abscess bursts I could get blood poisoning which would put you intensive care. It's very dangerous. So to the guy in the army please do not burst it. And to those who are complaining about dentist not pulling the teeth yet be very happy you have a causes dentist who does not wish to end your life when some pills can save it. My partner was also a dental nurse for a long time and says the same thing. Also the old fashion way to dentist would be just pull everything out. Now a days that is frowned on as a dentists job is to save your teeth not get rid of them so a good dentist will do what ever they can to keep your teeth intact since once they are gone there are only fake ones to replace them.
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replied December 27th, 2012
If the problem continues for a long time then taking advice from a dentist is becoming essential otherwise infection may lead to increase the pain or many causes of infection to the other teeth. Natural therapy is another good option if pain is not high. One need to wash rugs with warm salt water and massage around that area which is infected to keep it clean, this will help to stop the swell and infection.
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