Sprained Tooth Syndrome (STS) – now I think I’ve heard it all!
But this, indeed, seems to be what I’ve got now! Lucky ol’ me!
All kicked off 2 and a half weeks ago when I went to the dentist (the delicious Jose!) because my temporary crown (rapidly becoming not-so-temporary, something like 6 months in!) was coming loose (again) and asked him to refix it. This should have been a 5-minute job but instead it took over an hour of pushing and shoving and trying again. It would seem that some of the original cement was proving ‘elusive’ and difficult to remove, so the replaced crown just wouldn’t sit right. It was painful once or twice, and tiring, but we got there in the end.
However, over the next few days the gum under and over the crown became red, inflamed, swollen and very tender. At first, given that I’m on steroids, I thought it was probably ‘just’ bruising, that would take longer than normal to settle down. But then it didn’t. So I started to suspect an infection – again because steroids could have made me super-susceptible to the tiniest speck of bacterium and unable to fight it off. So I rummaged around in the in-house pharmacy cupboard and found some 250mg amoxicillin. Tried that for 5 days. Nada. (Though at least, mercifully, no migraine this time. Probably because now on both a lower dose of steroids (10mg cf. 15mg) and amoxicillin (3x250mg cf 6x250mg).) Tried the higher dose of amoxicillin – still no response from the gum, but did get the first hints of a migraine.
So I went to the GP. To cut a long, very gory story (aren’t they all?) short – then the next day to my chest consultant, two days after that to my rheumy at Tommy’s, then the next day, back to Jose. Four medics and – you guessed it – 4 opinions! Normal, bruising/swelling, go away (very rudely – but that’s another story); abscess, try Difflam, then back to dentist, probably for more antibiotics; go back to dentist, but not for antibiotics; finally, dentist takes an Xray and concludes it might be damage to the periodontal ligament (PDL). This holds the tooth in place in the bone. Or it could be a tiny speck of cement travelling along one of the many minute canals laterally from the tooth to the bone. Go away, see how it goes, call him if it gets worse.
So I googled periodontal ligament – who knew teeth had ligaments???? – and stumbled across Sprained Tooth Syndrome. Never mind teeth having ligaments, who knew you could sprain a tooth?! But apparently you can.
Hmmm, well that may be the diagnosis sorted. Not sure about the treatment, if any! My past experience of ligaments is that they’re buggers to heal. Some never do.
I’ve sent a link to Jose, though odds are he knows all this anyhow. But I wonder what he’ll say the approach should be. And how it affects my need to have an implant done there as soon as possible. Isn’t that process just likely to make the sprain even worse???? My best guess would be that the longer we can leave it alone to calm down, the better.
Hope all this is of interest/use to someone else out there sometime!
Vodka called for now, methinks. I’m sure that’s the best cure