By Shelly Fesler, RDH, BSDH
Gum pockets that she noticed after getting new fillings are not the only problem for Jo from Australia.
It's too bad her fillings were not right. Unfortunately mistakes happen and can be corrected. Most dentists would be willing to fix the problem.
But the worst part is how she was misdiagnosed by the first dentist. Thankfully she followed her instincts and got another opinion.
After being at the dentist less than a year before with a clean bill of health, I went back to the dentist to be told I had some gum disease and needed 13 fillings (Having not changed my dental habits at all).
At that appointment, the dentist did a filling/fillings, saying that the decay was between two teeth.
I scheduled appointments for the rest of the work. Meanwhile I was unable to chew on the filled teeth for two weeks after and the gum between the teeth remained sore and troublesome.
I was unsure about my first diagnosis and went to another dentist who took fresh x-rays and told me I only needed TWO fillings. I told him about the problem with my gum and he dismissed it, saying "yeah there's a little gap there"
Its more than a month after the first filling and my symptoms are:
Sometimes the gum feels fine. Always when I floss, that part of gum bleeds instantly - the rest of my gums do not bleed. After I eat it stings badly as if its been rubbed raw and I need to go and floss.
After some flossing bits of food come out and the gum feels a lot better. Not all foods do this to me but especially meat.
Sometimes if I have eaten and not been bothered I will floss at the end of the day and there will be a slight bad breath odor coming from this part of my mouth.
I really don’t know what to do - I have an appointment for a clean this month some time and I want to know what to say to her to make her listen to me and understand!
I’m doing all I can - flossing, using a new 'floss action' electric tooth brush, mouth wash....I’m just feeling really let down - by the first dentist that obviously lied to me and by the second who dismissed me.
Thank you for your help.
Hi Jo, Sorry about your dental troubles. I'm glad you followed your instincts and got a second opinion. Unfortunately, it is possible that you will need a third.
It sounds like you have an open contact between your teeth.
The new filling is probably not quite big enough and the gap allows enough room for food to constantly pack between your teeth.
It is unhealthy for your teeth and gums and very annoying, as you know:)
You shouldn't have to talk your dentist into fixing it.
Tell your dentist and hygienist about the odor and how bothersome it is.
Open contacts can be corrected by replacing the filling or adding on to the existing filling depending on what kind of filling you have. Learn what can go wrong with fillings here.
Open contacts are easy to fix most of the time. If your dentist is not willing to help you or at least give you a good explanation of why they think it is not fixable...find a new dentist.
Here is my advice on how to find a good dentist.
In the meantime, keep the area as clean as possible. Floss, massage the gum line with your toothbrush and use Listerine mouthwash. Avoid chewing things like meat on that side.
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