A persistent soreness in my gums between my first and second molars is getting worse. The spot hurts daily and throbs after I eat. The pain decreases in about an hour. It doesn’t hurt again until I eat something. I’ve felt discomfort for about eight months. I asked my dentist to check it during my last dental cleaning, but she didn’t see anything, even after an X-ray. The second molar had a root canal seven years ago. My dentist said we could consider removing the tooth if the pain didn’t go away. I reminded her that my gums, not the tooth, hurt. May I ignore the pain if it didn’t hurt so bad after eating? What could be causing it? Thanks. Klark from GA
We are concerned that your dentist recommended an extraction if the pain doesn’t resolve. If you are experiencing ongoing pain and an X-ray didn’t reveal its source, your dentist should have referred you to a periodontist (gum specialist). If the problem is with your gums, it is unrelated to the root canal tooth.
A periodontist may check the pockets between your teeth to see if a periodontal abscess is causing the gum pain. Sometimes, food particles get between the teeth and gums and cause inflammation and pain. If the particles disintegrate, the pain will resolve.
Do you floss thoroughly between your teeth? If not, a lack of flossing can contribute to gum pain. Trapped food and bacteria can lead to gum disease and increase the depth of gum pockets. Unresolved gum disease can result in gum and bone deterioration and, eventually, tooth loss. Getting treatment can prevent the need for tooth replacement options, such as a dental bridge or a dental implant.
We recommend asking your dentist for a referral to a periodontist or self-referring to a specialist. If your discomfort is related to your gum health, a periodontist will find the issue.
Metairie cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune sponsors this post. Read details about how Dr. Delaune strives to provide some of the best dental care in Metairie.