How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Alex Your Own Question

Dr. Alex
Dr. Alex, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1609
Experience:  I am a General Dentist and founder of the American School of Dental Assisting
Type Your Dental Question Here...
Dr. Alex is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Yesterday dentist noticed tiny abrasion/ulcer in gum above

Resolved Question:

Yesterday dentist noticed tiny abrasion/ulcer in gum above small premolar upper tooth (had rootcanal 5 yrs ago).She tapped it from below + side but I had no pain.No pain when I bite/chew.The "ulcer" has no pain+can just feel w/ tongue,I hadn't even noticed.No pus/discernable swelling.

Enquired about x-ray but dentist didn't think necessary.Have read since could be futile as shows only bone damage.

Advised to watch it.Could be ulcer in coincidental location.

Will wait 1 wk and see if heals up.If not,I'll return to dentist.If I get fever,I'll immediately see dentist+find amoxicillin if unable to be seen asap.

(1)is waiting 1 wk sensible?(2)Do you think its infection?(3)should r.canal reinfection show other symptoms?e.g.pain to surrounding tissues?

By the way,have just finished 2 wks ago, a 2 wk course 375mg co-amoxiclav(had probable immune reaction to testicular prosthesis and antibiotics taken just in case).I'm especially.amazed if r.canal reinfection just 2 wks after antibiotics.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Alex replied 5 years ago.
Great question.

Yes, there is chance it may just be a transient ulceration of your gingiva that will heal in a week and be gone. This is the logic behind waiting 1 week, which makes it a sensible recommendation at first. However, I would recommend that an x ray be taken b/c this can show if an abcess/infection has recurred in this tooth. This is standard practice to take an x ray when an ulceration appears below a tooth. It can show bone loss, yes, but it can also show abcesses and infections. After one week, if the ulcer is still present, I would recommend you see your dentist for an x ray of the tooth.

Keep in mind that sometimes the ulcer will disappear for a week or two, and then come back. This is a common occurance with infected teeth as the infection ebbs and flows. So if you see the ulcer clear up after a week, and then resume in 2 weeks, be sure to revisit your dentist for an x ray.

Reinfections do not always have symptoms associated with them. In fact, many times they don't. If the tooth is dead from the initial root canal, then there is no nerve tissue present to fire an impulse. So do not weigh your decision based on your symptoms b/c they may/may not be present.

Finally, the fact that you just came off co-amoxiclav does not necessarily mean that you cannot have a reinfection in the tooth. Antibiotics do not cure tooth infections, they only keep them at bay. So 2 weeks after antibiotics the tooth very well may still show signs of infection.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Alex,
Thank you for your quick answer. I think your advice about going back after a week or in case of recurrence is very sound. I would just like to ask for a quick clarification before accepting.

If this is an infection, do you think there is there a significant risk of severe complications (e.g. septicemia, brain abscess). Or would you estimate that this is only a very small risk?

Judging by the agreement to wait a week/for recurrence, I would guess that the risk of this is extremely low?
Expert:  Dr. Alex replied 5 years ago.
The risk of any septicemia or brain abcess from a tooth infection is extremely low. Especially if we are not sure if your tooth is even infected in the first place, this is a very extremely low risk.
Dr. Alex, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1609
Experience: I am a General Dentist and founder of the American School of Dental Assisting
Dr. Alex and other Dental Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dear Dr. Alex, I appreciate your considered response. Thank you very much.

Chris

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mark Bornfeld, DDS

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5437
    Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GE/gemini132/2012-6-7_14143_MarkPic.64x64.jpg Mark Bornfeld, DDS's Avatar

    Mark Bornfeld, DDS

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5437
    Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drbehere/2010-04-11_192833_IMG_055575.jpg Dr. Behere's Avatar

    Dr. Behere

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1850
    Masters degree, years of experience with all kinds of dental problems.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/knecht522/2008-12-17_154020_alex22.jpg Dr. Alex's Avatar

    Dr. Alex

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1607
    I am a General Dentist and founder of the American School of Dental Assisting
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doclagoa/2008-10-01_163313_geosmall.jpg Dr. George McKee's Avatar

    Dr. George McKee

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1392
    Licensed dentist with 30 years clinical experience in general practice and cosmetic reconstruction.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/slodentistry/2009-05-25_004702_h.jpg Dr. Girish's Avatar

    Dr. Girish

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    788
    19 years of clinical experience in all phases of Dentistry.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jwcdds/2009-05-09_190942_portrait.gif Julian Chen's Avatar

    Julian Chen

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    558
    Practicing General Dentist since 2002
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drwilldds/2009-10-29_201512_justanswer.jpg Dr. Winterholler's Avatar

    Dr. Winterholler

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    266
    4 years Private Practice, Heavy emphasis on Cosmetic Dentistry and Implants, Top 10% of Dental Class