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Root Canal Infection 20 years after procedure
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Root Canal Infection 20 years after procedure

I have a possible infection in an upper left molar. I have tenderness to touch pressure at the very top of the gum line near the cheek. The opening at the gum line between this molar and the adjacent molar is contantly sore and imflamed. I have a tired and washed out feeling very similar to the feeling I had in the 1970's and early 1980s when I used to get 3-6 low grade strep throat infections per year  ( all but a few on the left side ! ). My oral temperature drops several tenths of a degree from a normal 98.0 (yes that is my normal temp) to 97.6 or so. The same temp pattern  and similar physical symptoms are occuring with the tooth problem  The tooth had a root canal about 20 years ago which had no complications. The tooth has a gold crown. I also have a partial plate replacing my 4 upper front teeth. The clasps attach to  the problem molar and the adjacent outer molar. In the past 8-10 years I have had problems with food lodging under the bottom edge of the crown in the pocket between the problem tooth and the end molar. This area of the gum is almost contantly inflamed and tends to be sore. I have had two oral surgical procedure to remove the excess tissue flap in this area (about 2 and 5 years ago). While the tissue has receded and is much tighter now, the deeper tissue in that pocket is soft and inflamed.  X rays do not show any obvious infected area.
I clean it using peridontal floss (the fuzzy type) and a Water Pic with 1 to 6 ratio of Hydrogen Peroxide to warm water. I also rinse daily with a warm salt water solution and use Literine rinse daily.
I just finished a weeks prescription of Clindamycin HCl 300mg prescribed by my dentist. The "infection" is worse than when I started (the off and on soreness in the gum pocket  is constant and the tired feeling is worse and the tenderness near the top of the gum lin eis unchanged) .
My dentist recommended surgical extraction of the tooth and getting a new partial with an extra tooth to replace the extracted molar. A tooth implant is a second option.

At this stage I need to do something as the physical tiredness and constant irritation need to go.

My options are
1)  more antibiotics (probably a waste of time ?)
2) Tooth extraction
3) Tooth Implant

My questions (fianally !) are;
Which method is the best choice? I am leaning toward extraction (as much as I had to replace my partial which fits wonderfully). It seems the infection is most likely to been cleaned out for good if a thorough job is done of removing the tooth and any infection at the base of the roots. A tooyh implant is expensive and might leave some residual infection and my food impaction problem mifght remain?
Are more (stronger ) antibiotics worth a try ? A deep seeded infection near the top of a tooth root is apparently difficult for antibiotics to reach. Does this mean extraction is about the only way to clear it out. ?
Could the infection have worked its way from the constantly inflamed pocket to the outer tooth roots?
Any better ideas than  extraction.?

Thanks for anyone's advice
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
I JUST HAD  A ROOT CANAL  EXTRACTED DUE TO CONSTANT INFECTION.MY ADVICE TO YOU IS GET THAT TOOTH OUT OF THERE AND READ UP ON ROOT CANAL COVERUP. I HAVE BEEN SUFFERING WITH NUMEROUS MEDICAL PROBLEMS AND AFTER MUCH TESTING WAS LEFT WITH NOTHING ELSE BUT A TOOTH THAT HAS BEEN A PAIN FOR MANY YEARS. IM HOPING TO GET GOOD RESULTS AND THANK GOD FOR SENDING  ME TO A BIOCHEMIST DENTIST .BEST LUCK TO YOU AND GOD BLESS
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Avatar_f_tn
I really hope everything worked out for you.  If I had to guess, you got an extraction.  I have a similar story, my root canal was done 8 years ago, on my bottom left at the very back, molar.  This tooth caused me headache (literally) and infections through out the year and a half prior to the root canal.  Finally when the filling fell out (a year and a half after the initial symptoms of abcess (abscess) of the gum around the tooth, which came and then disappeared), I got a root canal (extremely painful) that was left open, ie not crowned, for fear of infection not being cleared.  After 6 months, my tooth cracked in half, after eating popcorn, I bit into a kernal. I then found a dentist, who is now my current dentist and asked his opinion, after getting an opinion from previous dental professional at the clinic where I got my root canal, who said that I should get an implant because the tooth was cracked in half.  I asked my current dentist if it could be saved and he tried by building up the side that was missing (also a painful procedure to go through, especially when freezing the same nerve over and over again ie. from root canal, to saving this tooth) and then after six months putting a crown on it.
I can say that from 2 years after that point I had difficulty with that tooth ie. the gumline around the tooth creating pockets of skin, infections that I got and my colds lasting for longer periods then usual, I consider myself a very healthy person with no medical problems in all my life up until that point.  I believe root canals may work in some instances, but not in mine, that tooth should have been extracted years ago, I only want to save it for fear of not having a molar, since I only have 2 big molars on each side of my bottom and top (reason when I was a teenager the dentist at the time said I have too many teeth for the size of my mouth and that when my wisdom teeth were to come in I would probably suffer from severe headaches and needed to remove 4 healthy molar/bicuspid molar teeth, so left me with less molars).  I also believe that root canals can make you very sick if not done properly, or if they start leaking ie. branching off as my dentist put it.  Hence low-grade fevers due to low-grade infections can persist and signs not necessarily seen around the tooth, but detected elsewhere ie. general fatigue, not enough energy, infections that last longer then normal when contracted ie colds are more severe then usual and take longer to resolve.  I can honestly say that in the future, and I really hope it never is a question, that if I need to get a root canal, but decsion regardless will be NO.  What I went through with this tooth and the fact that underlying infection can manifest itself from these root canals, in my case infection was in the bone under the extracted tooth, I will NEVER decide on getting a root canal, I would rather pull the tooth then go through that procedure.  

Susan
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Avatar_m_tn
What did you finally do? I am there now and wondering what to do? I also seem to have a respitory  thing that follows the  infection . Did you have thing like that  mine went on for 9 weeks  and was gne for 3 or 4 days Now it seems like it is coming back. The respitory  thing  and my tooth is once again loose.
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