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Mouth or tooth issue-jaw swollen

hopeful girl 1
Posts: 454
Joined: May 2010

I posted the other day about mouth issues.
I saw my dentist and he thinks is my sensitive tooth which is worn down from grinding
and nerve is close to surface. Said I could use Ambosol-tried it and didn't really help.

I saw my cancer doc today as I had blood labs and asked him to squeeze me in today.
He gave me penicillin incase of infection (my lab counts/numbers were ok) and said is advisable to wait until I am doing radiation before doing dental work.

If you absolutely have to, then a day or so before or after chemo is best.

I am worried. Have taken a few of the penicillins since yesterday and jaw still swollen and hurting.

Pain is alot and worried about infection.

Lisa 00
Posts: 134
Joined: Jul 2009

In dentistry, if you have a tooth that is hurting, generally you need a root canal. There are other tests that your dentist can do like cold testing or percussion testing, but the pain is a general rule of thumb.
Now, part of the root canal and resolution of the infection is just opening it up and cleaning out the dead and dying pulp of the tooth. It is thought that the pain is due to pressure building up in the tooth and bone. When the tooth is opened, pressure is relieved and pain is gone. And when the canal is cleaned, the infection can resolve.
I had just killed a tooth right before my chemo was to start. In fact, the tooth delayed my chemo by a week. I went to an endodontist who opened up the tooth, cleaned it out and temporized it. He said I could now have my chemo and wait until chemo was all done to have the root canal finished. I was fine the whole time I was doing chemo.
So, in light of the fact that you have pain that won't go away, and you're doing CHEMO, I recommend that you have a root canal. Preferrably by a specialist....an endodontist. Just call one up, tell them your problem and they should help you. You might have to call a few just to find one that can see you according to your schedule but it's doable. I called 3 until I found one that could see me the next day. Endodontists may cost more than your general dentist, but they know MUCH more about root canals than general dentists, also they probably aren't as AFRAID to start a root canal on someone doing chemo.

hopeful girl 1
Posts: 454
Joined: May 2010

What does that mean--open it up and temporize it?

Lisa 00
Posts: 134
Joined: Jul 2009

I just meant the start of the root canal. The endodontist can start the root canal by drilling a hole in the top of the tooth then clean the canal(s) out and put a temporary filling in the top of the tooth so that you can chew, etc. without any trouble.

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

I agree with Lisa....it sounds like your pain is getting worse....I would have your dentist refer you to an endodondist.. And like Lisa said...they can open it up, clean it out and put in a temporary. Generally they do this any how...then later they will do a permanent filling. A bad tooth needs attention! Some regular dentists can handle this too (mine happens to also teach at the dental school and is very qualified...and has done several root canals for me with NO problems!

I would have it looked at!!

karen

hopeful girl 1
Posts: 454
Joined: May 2010

Karen,
I did have my dentist look. On xray he saw no evidence of infection but tooth is ground down close to nerve (from teeth grinding). There is more swelling tho' since I saw him on Thursday. I made an appt with an oral surgeon for tomorrow afternoon to have him look at it. I saw my oncologist Friday and he said my saliva glands on both sides are swollen as well. I am really nervous about it all because it sounds like two separate issues and being on chemo I don't want any infection problems. My oncologist gave me penicillin to take. He prefers I don't have any dental work done for 4 weeks, which is when I start radiation (I am on sandwich therapy 3 chemos/25 radiations/3 chemos).

Did you have any dental work while on chemo?

Thank you.

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

I hope the penicillin clears things up but I am very glad that you are seeing an oral surgeon to get another opinion. If it is a painful situation, I would think it is better to take care of it than to get a worse infection, if that is what is going on.

No, I didn't have any need for dental care while I was on chemo. Prior to starting chemo I did have my teeth cleaned and checked.

Am hoping things go well for you! Keep us posted.

Kaen

Lisa 00
Posts: 134
Joined: Jul 2009

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Lisa 00
Posts: 134
Joined: Jul 2009

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