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Gum Diseases

Gum disease

04/09/2008

Question:

Last September, I bit down on a piece of popcorn and felt as if I broke a piece of a tooth. It caused enough discomfort that I saw my dentist who just ground down the surface of the tooth and thought that would be it. And it was - it did bother me off and on for a couple more weeks but it was definitely getting better.

Then at the end of October, I had a routine cleaning scheduled and he has a very aggressive dental hygientist who tested my gum for any periodontal disease. Right at the same tooth, she poked around and actually broke the skin of the gum and called in the dentist to show him how she felt I was in danger of periodontal disease (this was after seeing the dentist for over a year and he said I had excellent teeth). He looked a little embarrassed (either because he hadn`t picked up on it or she was being overzealous and he was embarrassed by that because remember he said I had such great teeth - I`m 55 and never had problems before). My question is now (end of January, I am still gargling with salt water, the little bump is still pushing pus out of it some days) could she have caused my problem because she opened up the gum and do I need to get back to the dentist ASAP or can I wait until March 3 when I have my next cleaning? Thanks so much.

Answer:

She cannot cause this much of a problem lasting this long (unless she is has no training!!!). Pus draining itself is not a good sign. It may be a periodontal abscess. I recommend you seeing your dentist as soon as possible. It needs to be evaluated. Remember a chronic abscess draining time to time would cause bone loss underneath.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University