Can you advise me about my gum infection?
Q. I had a root canal done in a back lower molar tooth about 10 years ago, but one of the roots wasnâ€™t completely filled as the dentist at that time said the root was crooked, but it has been fine until now. I had a normal white filling put on it at the time. (Not a crown) For the last year I started with pain when eating, which came and went until December 2009 I was unable to eat on that side of my mouth, as it became more painful. I saw an NHS dentist (Jan 2010), who said I probably had an infection, he didnâ€™t take any x-rays, just gave me Amoxicillin and said donâ€™t come back unless still having problems as they couldnâ€™t do a root canal, said I needed to see a private dentist and they would refer me. So took Amoxicillin (500mg) 3 times a day for 10 days â€“ the infection went within 3 days, but returned 5 days after finishing the course. Then saw a GP who prescribed Erythromycin, saying that I probably still had an infection. So then took Erythromycin (100mg) 4 times a day for 7 days â€“ the infection went within 3 days â€“ but returned 5 days after finishing the course. After taking Erthromycin, I then saw another dentist who started the root canal; they drilled out and did a temporary filling. A few days later, I phoned the dentist that I could still taste the infection. I was told I either went back and have the root canal finished or have the tooth extracted. I saw another GP for advice, he checked my throat said I didnâ€™t have a throat infection and gave me Doxycycline for the tooth infection. I have been taking Doxycycline, told to take 2 on the first day then (100mg) then 1 a day for 13 days. I am still taking the pills, have 7 days left to take, still have the infection. I spoke to a pharmacist just before Easter who said the infection should have gone within 48 hours of taking the Doxycycline. I donâ€™t have any pain now, just infection that I can taste in the back of my throat. I donâ€™t mind having the root canal finished if this will get rid of the infection, but donâ€™t want to have it done only to then have to pay out more money for an extraction. The dentist, who started the root canal, said the x-ray taken after the temporary filling showed a shadow possibly infection under the tooth. Would finishing the root canal get rid of the infection or should I have the tooth extracted. I donâ€™t have any swelling or redness in the gum. The pharmacist mentioned having my gum drained. Please advise.,
A. the infection does seem resitant to treatment and as such can be considered as having a lower chance of successful treatment. Root canal treatment may not provide the predictable response that you want.
Dr Rob Tennet
St Johns Dental Practice
18 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham, B2 5QJ