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Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Sore swollen gum infection


 nimoy - Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:19 pm

22 years old, female (180 cm, 73 kilos), no relevant prior diagnoses or surgeries, each of my parents have had cancer (mother - skin cancer on the face, successful surgery, father - colon cancer, successful surgery)

My gums sourrounding my lower right wisdom tooth are very swollen and sore. My wisdom teeth are still coming in (upper right has crowned, lower two are only partially poking through my gums, and upper left has not yet begun to errupt). When I went to my dentist about extraction (8 months ago), he said none of them are impacted, and that I could wait a year or so before having them pulled, since it would be easier to do once they have come in further. I have had minor incidences of sore/swollen gums around my wisdom teeth, but they usually faded in about two days, and never got very bad.

However, the pain of the current swelling woke me up in the middle of the night. In the morning when I examined my gums, I noticed that the swelling also encompasses the area around my bottom right molar that is furthest back (32?). I also discovered that I have broken out with about 8 small cold-sores on my lip (clustered together on the right side of my lower lip), something not uncommon for me when my immune system is low (happens about twice a year). Additionally, my lymph node underneath the my jaw on the right side is very tender, and hurts if I so much as arch my neck too far.

I am hoping there is something non-antibiotic related that I can do for this infection. I suspect it's just due to my errupting molar and that my gums are a little sensitive and prone to infection. Swishing with salt water or anti-bacterial mouth wash would help, right? Does my guess about what this is seem reasonable? Any suggestions would be helpful.

thank you.
 singinRN - Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:40 am

Your assessment seems correct, but I would caution you that if the inflammation does not subside, and the swollen lymph nodes continue, over the course of maybe another 5 days of so, and you develop further signs of possible infection (increasing pain, a foul discharge from that spot in your mouth, a temperature, for example) you should contact your doctor or dentist for possible anitbiotics. The canker sores may just be from an upset to your "normal" body chemistry, and should subside on their own. Also, you should make sure that you are diligent about oral hygiene, brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. Staying away from simple sugars (ie, sweetened drinks, candy, even lots of fruit juices) and rinsing your mouth frequently, even with just plain warm water, will help keep things clean. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, too, and warm tea can be soothing (hot may be difficult to tolerate). An anti-inflammatory pain reliever that your doctor recommends as safe for you to take would also help with pain relief. Good luck.

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