Hi, I have had a bump on my gum below a previously root canaled tooth for over two months now with no pain. It has drained a couple of times, but not in the last few weeks. In the last few weeks, I had to have my crown recemented because it fell off. The initial dentist took an x-ray, placed the crown back on, and proceeded to inform me that the bump was a sign of infection under the molar in between the two root areas you typically see on a molar x-ray, though the infection did not show up in an x-ray.
Since he wasn't my primary dentist, and was rushing very fast that day, I decided to consult with my primary dentist for a second opinion. Again, I received an x-ray, and then he examined me. I even got comments that the x-ray looks great and no problems, that is, until they physically look and find a "fistula" below the root canaled tooth on the gum. He did some measurements and came to the conclusion that I have a healing fistula but an infection under the tooth, but it doesn't show up on the x-ray. If the fistula heals completely, the infection could grow and I will face a bout with swelling and pain and then I will have to get the tooth removed... So, apparently it is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. I am referred to see an endo whenever I get the chance (aka insurance & money).
Well, curiosity kills the cat. The x-rays are fine. I haven't experienced any pain. Since I got the crown recemented, the fistula immediately began decreasing in size and is now barely noticeable, but there. It has been over ten years with this root canal, and now all of the sudden I'm being told will have to eventually be pulled? Ten years with no infection and all of the sudden I'm being told something is there that I can't even see on an x-ray?? I researched the different types of abscesses and saw one called gingivital abscess. It is more common in children who bite fingernails and college students who eat popcorn. Basically, a piece of fingernail or the hull gets stuck between the gum and the tooth and causes an infection, which in rare cases leads to a fistula forming. I bite my nails and I eat popcorn.
Since the fistula began decreasing around the time I got my tooth recemented, I wonder if there was actually something caught in between my gum and my tooth and it somehow came out and is no longer present. My other thought is if it took ten years to show its face, it must not be that big of a deal. I didn't have any pain or swelling for that matter, only a fistula. I can't afford to see the specialist about this, so I am going to sit it out and wait until I am insured in the Fall. It will be a good experience to see whether or not this blows up or if by coincidence, there was a misdiagnosis and it is really something as simple as a gingival abscess. I guess I'll see.....