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Bridge Discomfort/Feels Different
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Bridge Discomfort/Feels Different

I've had a bridge on my lower front teeth (front 8 teeth) for about 10 years.  I haven't had too many problems with it excpet for the last few days.  I have 4 anchors for the bridge as I am missing the 2 front lowers.  

The past couple of days I've had a dull pain sensation and noticed a small swollen area under one of my left anchors.  It has subsided a bit, but I'm still having to take Tylenol for the achiness.  Now, it feels as if the bridge is actually shifting, can that happen?

The gum is tender around the area and I've been very careful not to brush too hard around the area as well as rinsing twice a day.  However, it feels as if the bridge is being pushed up, but it doesn't feel loose at all.  Then today, I noticed a small black area on the other side (the right side) and saw it was a small area where I can see the metal part under the bridge, like a hole between the bridge teeth.  I haven't paid that much attention to things like that before now, so could it be possible that I'm just over-thinking all this?  

I dread having to get it looked at because a) I remember the excrutiating pain of getting the bridge in place to begin with and b) I have no dental insurance.  Any advice or encouragement, even if it's what I don't want to hear, would be appreciated.  Sorry for the length of this post.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
It sounds like one of the abutment teeth is in need of root canal therapy or there is decay in one of the teeth under the bridge. I do not think you are over reacting and the situation must be investigated asap.
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Avatar_n_tn
Howdy! I'm not a dentist, but I have worked for a prosthodontist in the past and my educated guess would be as follows:  You may not be able to tell it is loose because of the length of the bridge. I guess what I am trying to say is it is sort of "wedged" in there. Do you mean you have 2 teeth to the right and 2 teeth to the left all connected with the 2 in the middle being "fake" teeth? A bridge of this size could take a good bit of wiggling to get it off even if it is loose. Yes, this can happen. Cement sometimes washes out and over time your gums may recceed or you got decay under one of the crowns. (yes, that can happen too) There are all kinds of nooks and crannys that bacteria can get into that you may not be able to clean and it could cause a problem. Is the small red area localized to that one tooth in front of it I mean? Does it look like a small "zit" (pardon)? Maybe one of your "anchors" has gotten an infection and there is an abcess (abscess) forming there. That could cause the tooth to become loose and maybe this is why your bridge feels loose. How long have you had this bridge? A good bridge probably will last you about 7-10 years. Go see your dentist and they can take a x-ray of the tooth with the sore near it and see if there is an abcess (abscess) forming. Maybe you could have a root canal to save the tooth and maybe us the bridge you have as a temporary until you save the money to get a new one made. Don't wait too long because if the tooth gets too far gone it may not be able to be saved and you will loose this tooth also. Then you will almost have to pay out of pocket for a new bridge quicker because I am sure you don't want to go without teeth there in the front! Good-luck!
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