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Abscess and about to move to Hong Kong?

I have an upper left molar which required an emergency root canal during a hiking trip in France due to an abscess in 2011. They redid the root canal (or finished it anyhow) when I returned home, but were not entirely happy with how it was done.

Since then, I've had fleeting pain around the tooth, but repeated xrays showed nothing at all unusual.

In October 2013 I was in Hong Kong for a job interview and the gum above the tooth became sore and bruised. I went to a dentist there who said he wasn't sure if it was a sinus problem triggered by the long flight or something caused by the tooth. There was no sign of problem on the xray and the pain was quite high in the jaw with no swelling and no fever. He gave me antibiotics and asked me to get it checked out when I was back home. The pain disappeared quickly.

Went to the dentist when back home who again saw nothing on the xray. I travel a great deal for work, and I started to notice similar fleeting pain after long flights, which supported the sinus theory.

A week ago, I noticed a similar bruised feeling right after a bad cold, and put it off to my sinuses. Over the weekend, it started to get more sore, and the gum above the bad tooth became quite sore and hard to the touch. I went to the dentist Monday morning and he saw nothing on the xray, but since the pain was increasing he gave me antibiotics and referred me to a specialist who does more microscopic examination and mentioned the possibility of a granuloma (?) on the referral form?

The antibiotics are clearly helping, although today (day 2) I noticed my cheek was a little bit swollen and painful as well, meaning the infection is spreading. I will see the specialist Thursday. There is no pain when I bite and the pain is not at all severe.

My problem is that next week Friday I fly to Hong Kong for the next 2-3 years. I know already that an appointment for any treatment will take significant time to get here (shortage of dentists).

How much risk is there of the infection spreading in a dangerous way if this is some kind of chronic low level abscess? Should I push for emergency treatment or can it wait until I get to Hong Kong? Will the antibiotics help address any risk of the infection spreading?

How is it possible that I have gone back so many times for exams and had them find nothing wrong?

Frustratedly yours and thanks for answering
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,
I just got all 4 impacted wisdom teeth extracted nearly 10 hours ago, and while at first my entire mouth/chin felt numb, now it's just my left lower lip/chin. I wish you all a Refu'ah Shaleimah (Hebrew for "complete recovery"), and I have to thank you all for the forum, which I've been reading slightly obsessively between switching guazes. I sincerely hope that my numbness goes away, although my surgeon did mention before the surgery that my tooth was on the verge of touching my nerve, although he also assured me that "they were growing in such a way that removing them should have minimal risk." I guess I'll keep y'all updated. Thanks again!
Avatar universal
To give an update:

I went to the endontologist yesterday, and she saw immediately what the problem was-- the previous dentists had missed an extra root on the tooth. Since she had time, she opened it up to take care of it.

She had not suspected the infection was bad, since no infection was visible on the xray, but my jaw was *very* infected. The smell was awful. Apparently it had all been inside, and not visible. So if someone gets to this question wondering if it's possible to have a serious abscess which is not visible on the xray, the answer is yes.

After 2 hours of work, she closed off the tooth. If I had waited several weeks, I most likely would have lost the tooth.
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taipei, Taiwan
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