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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3569
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 37 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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Swollen and painful gum behind my back left molar.

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The gum behind my back left molar is swollen and slightly painful. This just happened a few days ago. I started a 5-day juice cleanse this past week and had a lot of plaque on my teeth each day as a result of it (release of toxins). I brush, floss and use Crest Pro-Health mouth rinse every day. Any idea why the gum is swollen?
Update: I just used a Waterpik on that area and small amounts of blood came out between the gum and tooth.  Not a lot of blood but it did hurt quite a bit.

Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? When was the last time that your teeth were cleaned in a dental office? Would you have any xrays of this area?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 17. I have not had a cleaning in a little over a year and therefore do not have xrays either. Coincidentally, I have my first appointment with my new dentist in the next week.

The Waterpik helped a little last night, although it is still swollen, as it does not hurt anymore. Although I can "feel" the slight swelling and you can see that it's still swollen compared to the area behind the right molar.

The area behind the second molar in the back is prone to get food trapped due to the defect that is sometimes present from the wisdom teeth that were extracted. Crab shells, popcorn, chicken bones and other coarse foods have a tendency to get trapped here. Rinse with straight peroxide and continue to use the water pik and it should resolve your problem. If you are having swelling under your jaw, you need to be started on Penicillin, but from what you are describing, it sounds like you have a localized gum problem. Does any of this make sense?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, that makes sense. There is no jaw swelling (that I am aware of) so I believe it is just localized to the gum. Would there also be an effect from the increased plaque last week due to my five day juice cleanse? I did not eat any solid foods and the issue just arose during that cleanse. I've also attached a picture of the area behind the back left molar that may or may not help. Let me know what you think. Lastly, when you say "straight peroxide", is there any particular kind I should look for at the drugstore is just a generic hydrogen peroxide good enough.

Thank you

That is a typical area that becomes inflamed from food impaction. Hydrogen peroxide comes in one strength at the store,3%. It can be used as it is without any dilution. Just swish with it three times a day and let it bubble up in that back area. I doubt that your liquid diet has anything to do with the swelling. Generic peroxide is all that you need.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for your informative and prompt responses!

You are welcome, let me know if that does not clear up within a couple of days.

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