I am new to this site and was hoping to get some answers for a dental problem that is currently causing me a lot of stress!!
Please bear with me, it is a long story!!!
8 years ago (April 2008) I had a root canal and a crown put on my bottom left, second-to-last molar (apologies for the non-technical description!). Three years ago (2009), I experienced quite a bit of pain and swelling of the gum around that tooth. My NHS dentist said that I had a gum infection, gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. The same problem occured again about two years after (2011). I saw the same dentist and he gave me the exact same treatment.
About two months ago, I went to a BBQ, ate some meat and a piece got stuck between the crowned tooth and the one at the front. It felt rather painful at the time but I could not do anything as I was not at home. I flossed as soon as I got back, but I felt like I was pushing the meat further in rather than taking it out. My gum went puffy and red and by the middle of the night I was in so much pain that I had to take four painkillers! I did some rinses with baking soda water and that also seemed to help. I got an emergency appointment and as my regular dentist was on leave, I had to see another NHS dentist at the same practice. He also prescribed antibiotics and told me that the problem was caused by food getting trapped in a 'pocket' formed in the gum close to the crown. He suggested that I saw a hygienist to treat it.
Unfortunately, the amount of antibiotics he prescribed me was too big and caused me so much stomach pain that I had to go back yet again to have the dose adjusted! By that point, my regular dentist was back and he said there was no pocket in the gum, the problem was an imperfect root canal that would cause me gum infections from time to time and there was nothing I could do about it apart from take antibiotics!
I went away disheartened as I don't really think that taking antibiotics for gum infections once a year is very good. I decided to see the hygienist anyway to check if the problem was indeed a gum pocket. She said that my gums were in perfect health (all between 0 and 1 for those in the trade) and there was no pocket next to the crown so apart from flossing and using interdental brushes, she could only recommend treating the area with Corsodyl gel on a daily basis. At this point let me add that I brush twice a day with a medium, flat toothbrush and Sensodyne, use blue, pink and red interdental brushes, dental tape and alcohol-free mouthwash.
About two weeks I went for my 6-month check-up. My regular dentist had left the practice and as is the NHS policy I saw a locom dentist who was filling in at the time. He said that on the small, local xray that my old dentist had taken a year ago (2011), he could see that the root canal was infected and that he would recommend that I had the crown removed and the root canal re-performed. He said that there was a risk that the infection would spread along the jawbone to the other teeth if I left it and that I could only get treatment privately for about £700 ($1130).
By this point, I was very confused and panicked so I told my mum who lives in Greece to show the panoramic xray that I had taken in April 2011 in Greece to an endodontist. He said that he could not see an infection and that he thought my problems might be caused by the crown having moved and food getting trapped under it. However, this was his opinion based on a fairly old xray and given over the phone...
Can someone please please tell me if they think the problem is my root canal or a gum pocket or a moving crown? I am at my wits' end! At the moment my gum seems ok (healthy pink, same colour as the rest of my gums, no pain, no bleeding when I floss and use the interdental brush) but there seems to be a line on the lower part of the gum underneath both the crowned tooth and the one at the front. It is a bit hard to describe, kind of like I pushed my teeth down into the gum and the gum was so soft that it ever so slightly folded. I also need to add that I have recently developed the unfortunate habit of grinding my teeth at night due to stress
Please please please help me! Any advice is welcome
Thank you in advance