Gum swelling behind tooth: Hi all, hoping... - Bone Health

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Gum swelling behind tooth

Blueman42 profile image

Hi all, hoping somebody could advise me on this.

I had my last dental check up just over 12 months ago, I missed my last appointment and have another scheduled a few months down the line. On my last check up everything was fine, just had a scale and polish etc.

I brush twice daily but I don’t floss, and in fact never have. My dentist has never suggested this either.

Occasionally, when brushing my gums bleed a little. I use a standard toothbrush, non electric. In the last few days, I’ve noticed that gum behind one of my upper front teeth was slightly swollen first thing in the morning. Shortly after that, it went down and back to normal. I then woke with the same issue again yesterday but it wasn’t quite as swollen as badly. Then last night, shortly after my evening meal, I noticed it starting to swell up again, and then this morning it was bigger than it had been previously.

It seems to keep swelling and then going back down again, or at least it has up until now. Can anybody advise what the problem may be?

25 Replies

Apologies, forgot to say that the swelling has so far been painless.

Hi there, I am a dental assistant. You need to floss daily even if you didn't have any swelling. If your gums are bleeding when you brush you have gingivitis or perio disease. In other words a form of gum disease. I hope you can see your dentist as soon as possible to check the swelling behind your front tooth. Make sure you are only using a soft toothbrush (not a hard one) and please remember to floss. I hope you get it sorted out soon. Take care.

Not sure what could be causing it, sometimes my gums feel a bit like that. I rinse my mouth out with good quality salt flakes.

I always either floss or use those little interdental brushes. I’ve also got a WaterPik which sprays water through between your teeth. To be honest if your gums bleed at all I’d start flossing or using the little interdental brushes if I were you. Doing that makes a huge difference to your mouth health.

I’ve got horrid old amalgam fillings (I’m 71). I’ve changed dentists in the last year and he and the hygienists have all commented about what good condition my mouth / gums are in and it’s only because I do all that. Just a pity I’m doing it a bit late in the day 🙁

Might be worth asking your dentist when you can.

I use interdental brushes and have done for many years, my dentist always congratulates me on the excellent condition of my gums, mouth and teeth. However, I was put on MTX injections last August and I don't think my gums are doing so well now so I am not looking forward to my next dentist visit.

Oh dear - even more oh dear as I haven’t been back since I started A.A. just after lockdown and I normally see the hygienist every three months and the dentist once a year. Hopefully we’ll both be ok.

What's AA?

Alendronic acid - bisphosphonate treatment for osteoporosis - it is (well I think it is) very nasty stuff and if you are really unlucky you can get osteonecrosis of the jaw. So I’m a bit concerned really.

Sorry, I should have known as I had intravenous Pamidronate for seven years and one infusion of Zolendronic Acid then came off completely (my decision). I live in fear of it as I have a problem in my upper jaw with three back teeth which my dentist has been trying to keep good for me for ten years but it is getting near the time. I was warned about the dental thing before the infusions began in 2004.

It’s a bit of a nightmare isn’t it. The dentist I used to have left the practice - we were watching and waiting to see what happened with one tooth in particular.

The new bright young girl who replaced him immediately wanted to do something with it - think it was some weird modern glass crown that would be really easy to do - glue it in instead of doing it the normal way of doing a crown she was more interested I how much I was going to pay for it .

I didn’t love the idea or the hard sell and it scared me a bit because if an experienced dentist didn’t want to do it at that point I wasn’t sure about this lovely bright young dentist new to the practice etc who went straight for it so I changed dentist.

The guy I’ve got now is well established and very charming - he wanted to wait and watch too - but first of all when a filling came out (with the help of a Cadbury’s chocolate eclair!) he filled it and it feels like a really messy job - rough edges everywhere whereas the original was beautifully done.

Then he did a scale and polish and I sure he cut my lower gum whatever he did was seriously painful - he said plaque had grown onto my gum and he had to get it off. Considering that has never happened before and I go every three months for a scale and polish, floss and use the little brushes I to so sure.

Besides I went to see him for advice before I started the alendronic acid and after I came away I realised that he really hadn’t said anything about it at all. I also said I was getting pain that filling. He did a quick X-ray and said there was no problem, it was just exposed root or whatever and to use one of those toothpastes for sensitive teeth. Well I’ve been doing that since February and I still get a shooting pain when I drink - hot or cold, rinse my mouth out after I’ve used y inhaler, eaten grapefruit at breakfast. I’d say there is actually a problem that he ought to have dealt with before I started on the alendronic acid.

However, I discovered my former dentist quite accidentally through chatting to someone on a bus of all things. He has set up in a town about 15 miles away which will mean getting there by bus or train (at present I just walk a few minutes up the road) but i feel as if I’ve lost confidence I the one I’ve got at present so I’m very tempted to see if my former guy can take me.

As lots of us are finding life gets vey complicated when you take meds for osteoporosis.

Apologies for the rant 😉

No apologies needed. I understand what you mean and I would feel the same as you. In fact, your problem sounds a bit like mine as the three upper back teeth I mentioned earlier are all extremely sensitive and the gum around them has receded and are a little bit loose. This has only started happening after I started on the MTX. The dentist always used to say that they are quite stable and I didn't have anywhere near the sensitivity that I have now. I use warm water to rinse after brushing so that helps a lot but drinking hot and cold liquids and eating ice cream etc 😖.

I would think very seriously about your former dentist, maybe give a ring sooner rather than later as in September I think dentists may be back to usual (more or less, if everything is OK - IF) and he will more than likely be more busy then. I hope it goes well for you, all the best. x

Thank you for the support. Your problem with sensitivity sounds very like mine. I hope you can get an appointment soon and your dentist can resolve it all.

Had a call last Thursday cancelling this week's appointment and rebooking for mid September. Can I ask you if you feel a Water Pik is worth getting? Does it clean under the gum line?

I’ve had two both of them the small hand held ones. The first one I absolutely loved but eventually it got old and stopped charging. I’m not so keen on new more stylish version - it seems bulkier and the tank must be smaller because I can’t get round my mouth on one filling like I used to be able to do.

Somehow or another I recently managed to jet water into the sensitive tooth I’ve been talking about and the pain went straight through my brain which really put me off for the time being.

I must figure out a way to avoid doing that because it is very good and apart from that shock I like using it. . I find I can use my ultrasonic toothbrush, then go between all my teeth with a TePe brush then after all that I can use the Waterpik and still manage to rinse ‘bits’ out.

I’m it sure if it cleans under the gum line but I suppose that must be where the little odds and ends it flushes out must be lurking.

Forgot to say - mid September seems far away doesn’t it. I suppose if you have a problem you would be seen a bit sooner.

Thanks for that, it's something I have been thinking about for a long time but my dentist put me off of buying one, she said the TePe brushes do all that and are far cheaper but I am not convinced of that so I will look into again. I'm not overly upset about having to wait until September to be honest but if my teeth get too sensitive, I may have to ring - something I am not looking forward to as I was on intravenous bisphonphonates for eight years. 😱

No, I’m always amazed when I use it after what I think is a really thorough cleaning and something pops out, think bits must be stuck out of sight between teeth or below the gum line. I was amazed first time it happened.

Yes, from what I've seen on product videos, it looks good so I will definitely have another think about it. xx

Last year I had a similar experience. The gum in front of a lower back tooth would swell then subside then swell again and like you I had no pain. I consulted 2 dentists (I was generally not happy with the first dentist and wanted a second opinion) both said that it was due to an infection of the root canal so I had root canal treatment. As your swelling is behind the tooth maybe your situation is entirely different, I don't much about dental issues.

An old fashioned remedy is to wash your mouth out frequently with warm salty water, or you could buy a good mouthwash from the pharmacy. You should take care of bleeding gums. That might be all you need.

I would definitely speak to your Dentist as he/she is the only one who can give you a definitive answer. One of my fillings came out 2 weeks ago and I have been trying to get treatment since 8th June but with no luck. The receptionist said that no-one is being given an appointment yet because they haven't got the correct PPE and to ring back in a week. Still trying. Going to ring again today. I was told by the receptionist to just keep the area clean and rinse with salt water. Hope you have more luck than me.

Just to update on my previous reply. I rang the dentist several times this morning but phone just ringing out. Obviously no-one there or just not answering the phone. I'm fuming.😵

If you have been treated with bone strengthener such as xgeva, prolia, or zumeta, please advise your dentist. Trama to the bone in your mouth can cause problems. I’m applying oral antibiotics nonstop because of an old root canal with cavity in tooth. I had a toradol shot for pain from infection that sounds much like you describe. I had to take antibiotics as well.

These bone strengtheners change your bones forever.

Sorry to hear about your gum problem. If you have been taking prolia, xgeva, or zumeta. That is your problem.

One of the side effects of a cancer drug I take is mouth sores. I discovered that dropping 1-2 drops of organic oil of oregano on the toothpaste squeezed onto my toothbrush helps prevent them. Oregano has antimicrobial properties, and it is food, so there is no harm in doing this -- only a mouth free of sores. Not sure if this would work on your swollen gums, yet might be worth a try.

Thanks for all of your replies everyone, it’s much appreciated.

I did see my dentist, who said that she could feel a cavity. I had to take an X-ray and she told me that she could see decay.

She told me that I’d have to have it extracted and have a denture, but she also said that as it wasn’t causing me any pain to try salt water rinses and use interdental brushes to get under the gum, as when she looked at it there was some pus coming out of it.

Shortly after my visit, it almost completely subsided and I almost forgot all about it, until I noticed one night that it was starting to swell again. I’m really anxious about having it extracted as it’s one of my front teeth which is the only reason I’ve put it off. But I’m really worried now because it’s clearly not going to go away. What are the risks if I don’t have it taken out?

Another thing that’s worrying me is that in the last few days it feels like the gum is coming away from my tooth as I seem to be able to get my tongue under it now, but I can’t remember whether it was like this before.

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