A fistula is the result of a long standing infection. In your case, the tooth is infected and most likely a cyst has formed at the end of the root. The area is overwhelmed with bacteria so in an attempt to release the pressure, the bacteria burrows a hole through the bone and gum resulting in a visible fistula. This is not a shallow infection. The infection is not the fistula itself. The infection is deep in the bone.
Once a tooth is infected there is no procedure to "cure" the infection. The tooth has thousands of tiny canals that are not accessible. These canals are not cleaned out during a root canal or apicoectomy which means they will continue to harbor infected nerve material.... leaving the tooth chronically infected. Sooner or later, the infection spreads from the tooth into the bone... resulting in a fistula and/or large swelling. Antibiotics cannot cure the infection either. The most the meds will do is temporarily subside some of the symptoms. But eventually the bacteria becomes resistant to the antibiotics which can make it difficult to eradicate the infection once the tooth is removed..
The infection in the bone causes the bone to deteriorate and there is no rebuilding of bone that is lost to this type of infection. So the sooner the tooth is removed, the more favorable the outcome. The cyst would be removed when the tooth is removed.
I wish I could give you better news but the only way to rid yourself of the infection is to remove the tooth and clean out the infection. It is BEST to have an oral surgeon remove this tooth and not a general dentist because the surgery needs to be thorough and unfortunately many GD's are not thorough enough with their oral surgery.
Please talk with your dentist about this and replacement options asap and get in to see the oral surgeon. I know this is scary, but you will be okay
Let us know how you are doing...
Originally Posted by bubble0304
I developed a fistula in early December. I went to the dentist and it was my #7 tooth, the filling had fallen out and the root was infected. I was put on a zpack and then a week later, another zpack. She opened up my tooth and lanced the fistula in order to drain. I went back to have the root canal finished and the fistula was filling again. She put me on clyndimyacin for ten days and when I went back, the fistula had drained and she was able to finish the root canal. I finished my antibiotics this past Thursday and I woke this am to find that the fistula had filled back up. I touched it and it burst again. It has been filling up and busting all day. Should I be worried? She is a very good dentist yet this is the first time something like this has ever happened to me. I just don't understand why the fistula keeps filling back up. Reading some posts, I'm getting a little worried about something else causing this. I think it's also important to note that when I first went in with the fistula, she did xray the tooth next to #7 as well, that had a crown the month prior, just to be sure it was not that tooth.