Archive for the ‘cleaning’ Category

I have been suffering from what I’m calling the “evil pocket” for awhile. I mentioned this here and here.

Basically, left side of faces gets kinda sore, presumably from the food. Then body starts fighting bacteria. Then inflammation goes down. Rinse wash repeat.

Today, I took one of the picks I’ve had a long-time, sterilized the blunt end of it with isopropyl alcohol and used it too pull back my cheek. And then I saw it, a small hole approximately 1mm or so in my cheek-gum region, behind that last molar.


Why do I have this? Did I have this before? Or is this a relatively recent occurence? Sometimes I had bad breath before … was food getting stuck there? I dunno. I wasn’t aware of it before. But the inflammation feels kinda like the wonky feeling I had before … that led to me bugging my dentist about this.

This must be where all the crud is getting stuck. I’m going to start washing this out with that Monoject 412 they gave me and salt water and/or chlorhexidine mouth wash.

Incidentally, my back molar is black because of the chlorhexidine. It does stain your teeth. Apparently, it comes off when you get a dental cleaning, somebody told me (I don’t remember who).


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The incision where the biopsy was performed appears to have healed. As I mentioned earlier, the stitches came out last week – 14 days later. The only observable thing I see is that now I have a little gum flap or gum bud. Some little piece of gum that kinda sticks out. Probably ~1mm squared in area and 1mm thick.

But in my back cheek, back behind my #18 (backmost molar), or maybe down where the cheek meets the gum in that little pocket, I’m trapping food. And it’s gross. I don’t like re-tasting food a few days later. Yuck.

Between when I eat and when I brush and clean it out, I notice that as time goes by it seems like my left mandible gets more tender. And I was pretty sure that last night the lymph nodes in the side of my neck where swelling a bit. And I’m still taking my amoxocillin (beta-lactamase antibiotics).

I’m willing to bet that the food getting trapped is causing this and that bacteria are sitting in that gap, feasting on this and that my body’s getting annoyed and causing inflammation.

I can feel stuff with the tip of my tongue. And I’ve found that I can take kleenex and get back there and “wipe it out”. Q-tips work a bit too. And it I use the needless syring my dentist originally gave me I can get some chlorhexidine back there. But it cleans out in waves over 30-60 minutes.

Just something I need to bring up at the next visit.

  • I’m worried about the effects of this over a few weeks when my mouth is wired shut
  • I’m also worried about this being a potential source of bacteria preventing any graft from taking due to infection.

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So today I went in to get my 6 month dental cleaning. I get pretty good service there. The hygienist I see is great. She seems to pay attention to what she’s doing and to notice things that are wrong.

So I brought up my jaw discomfort again. The whole “feels like a day old bruise” spiel. And they did X-rays. Local and panoramic.

And they found a subtle lesion-like area back around my molars on the left side.

Normally, X-rays (high energy photons) don’t penetrate bone (at least at the energy levels they use, higher energy ones would). Thus the film is not exposed where bone is. That would normally be “black”, but it gets inverted at some point – probably to increase the contrast since clinicians are usually more interested in the bones rather than that spaces. Anyways, black=no bone/space/thinner bone, white=dense bone/teeth/etc.

And if you compare the right and left sides of my jaw, you can see that on the left side:

1. you cannot see the subtle outline where my inferior alveolar nerve should be
2. you can see a region where it is not as white as the other side, corresponding to roughly where I have discomfort
3. the roots of my lower left back most molar are rounded, unlike the teeth in the rest of my mouth

My dentist thinks it could just be a cyst, but wants me to go to the oral surgeon because he’s more specialized. And that he wants me to get seen Thursday or Friday, ASAP.

He also said that if the underlying bone was diseased, he might have to do a root canal. Oh joy.

They gave me print outs of my panoramic X-ray and the local X-ray around that tooth to carry over, because they were having email problems, but they were just on regular 8.5″ x 11″ paper. And I shall photocopy them. They are mine after all. I hate it when medical professionals keep things from you.

I also brought up my insurance woes. My insurance says, “we won’t cover the gingivectomy unless you provide updated X-rays”. I guess this will cover that requirement 🙂 I mentioned this too them, they said they’d take care of it. I partly suspect they won’t.

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