I’ve been sick with an infection for over a month. I had surgery this morning to clean out my gums where my lower left wisdom tooth was extracted last August. This is the second infection since my surgery ten months ago. I had a chronic problem with infection in the area off and on for more than a year prior to having it extracted. I waited because I read that pericoronitis is often a problem with erupting wisdom teeth, which can be resolved with antibiotics. Due to recurrent infections, the oral surgeon recommended that I have my upper and lower left wisdom teeth removed, so that I could heal and move on with my life. I waited a while to have it removed due to the fact that my mom was hospitalized with leukemia.
My oral surgeon can’t figure out why I have another infection in the area, since my gums looked like they healed well. Two panoramic X-rays revealed that there were no bone fragments or pieces of tooth left behind. I’m not sure why my neck under the site is swollen, as well as the lymph nodes on the entire left side of my neck, after being on antibiotics for a month. My regular physician sent me to the ER for a CT scan two days ago, which revealed that I didn’t have a visible abscess. It doesn’t explain why the infection became so uncomfortable in my jaw, throat, neck and chest or why it just won’t seem to go away.
I take the antibiotic every eight hours as directed. I’ve been eating well and exercising. I also take daily multivitamins and get plenty of sleep. I have very good oral hygiene. I brush thoroughly 3xs per day and use mouthwash. I have even been rinsing my mouth out with warm salt water, but the infection has persisted.
Despite not having an abscess, my oral surgeon decided to make an incision in my gums down to the bone and clean and drain them. I was terrified and the procedure was stressful to put it mildly. Fortunately, I’m still numb. Thankfully, he found no sign of infection in the area and said that the jawbone healed beautifully.
He gave me one loose stitch, so that it can continue to drain while it heals and told me to rinse with warm water and continue the antibiotics that my doc prescribed. He said to come back next Tuesday for a check up.
He is questioning whether I have a problem with the infection getting trapped in my parotid or mandibular arteries or if there is an infection in the bone. However, we are hoping that this procedure will clear the infection and that it won’t recur or I’ll have to have further testing to figure out what is going on with my body.
It has been very frustrating and scary and painful. The antibiotics have some nasty side effects when taken for long periods of time, but for now the benefits outweigh the risks. I want to be completely healthy again more than anything. I’m really tired of functioning despite being ill. It takes the joy and relaxation out of life. I want to be able to do things without feeling the aching, stinging and itching pressure in my jaw--and without having a sore throat, sinuses, neck, head and chest.
Prior to dealing with wisdom tooth issues, I never had any major health problems. I had seen my physician about three times in the past decade. I had never been admitted to the hospital other than to give birth to my two gorgeous and healthy babies and was discharged the next day. I never appreciated being healthy, but now I am desperate for restoration. I want to be a healthy and happy mommy, so that I can do fun things with my family.