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Or is this dentist an absolute sadist?!

(28 Posts)
CaptainCabinets Sat 16-Mar-19 12:15:58

Took a trip to the emergency dentist for a wisdom tooth infection, my gum looks like it’s blown open and there’s pus leaking in my mouth envy

The dentist gave me antibiotics and suggested I scrub the gaping hole with a toothbrush several times a day for five minutes at a time. Is that standard advice because I simply can’t see how irritating the tissues when they’re already inflamed and sore would help?Plus how is that not a massive risk of further infection as toothbrushes are generally not exactly sterile?! Any dentists on here to advise? blush

CustardySergeant Sat 16-Mar-19 12:19:03

Why did you not discuss this with the dentist when he or she said this to you? Your own dentist is the best person to explain your treatment, advise you and answer your questions.

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Sat 16-Mar-19 12:23:16

No way would I do about a warm water salt rinse??

CaptainCabinets Sat 16-Mar-19 12:35:22

@Custardy she seemed pretty keen to get me out of there as quickly as possible, I did ask for the rationale behind doing that but she said it’s the ‘current recommendation’ for wisdom tooth infection.

CaptainCabinets Sat 16-Mar-19 12:36:10

I tried it just to see if I could tolerate it and the pain is indescribable.

LondonUK Sat 16-Mar-19 12:39:58

I am in the same situation: I went to this dentist in Ealing to simply replace some filling, what I got instead was an infection just like yours because he used the wrong material to cover the tooth: then he did not want to see me anymore and sent his older mate who I could not even understand what he was talking about. It is so difficult to find the right dentist and I am tired of 'thinking I got the right one' only for them to disappear back in their countries or realise all the positive reviews are fake: they want to charge £450-500 for a root canal treatment, because this is what you need now.

What I recommend is to take the antibiotics, brush you teeth only with toothpaste for sensitive teeth from now on at least 1-2 times per day and do salty water gargle (which I use even for the throat infection I have at the moment). This should help but do not scrub the hole with a brush: that dentist is an utter idiot!!! Remember what suits a man might not suit a woman with weak immune system. Ideally would be pretty soon to treat that root canal: if you find somebody cheaper than what I mentioned above around London area, do let me know, as I want to find a new dentist too.

PepsiLola Sat 16-Mar-19 12:42:07

Can you handle the taste of TCP? Could you gargle that?

I don't think I could handle the pain of touching it, never mind scrubbing it

CaptainCabinets Sat 16-Mar-19 12:45:20

This was an NHS-trained dentist working for the NHS out-of-hours service at the local hospital. My own dentist is an NHS dentist; are there no NHS practices taking on patients near you @LondonUK? Root canal is £57 ish on the NHS treatment scale.

Popc0rn Sat 16-Mar-19 12:46:06

What is the "gaping hole"? Does that mean you've had the wisdom tooth removed, or is it still coming through?

I've had an infected wisdom tooth before, as in it was still coming through the gum and got infected. My dentist advised me to keep throughly brushing that area to keep it clean, even if it was painful, as food can get stuck in the 'flap' of the gum where the tooth is coming through and cause/worsen infection. Also advised me to rinse my mouth out with salty water regularly.

Five minutes scrubbing that one area several times a day seems a bit excessive.

MiniMum97 Sat 16-Mar-19 12:48:53

I love the way on MN that when anyone asks a medical question some idiot comes on to ask why you didn't ask the med prof at the time. Some people seem to have blind faith in all doctors and dentists etc. There are duff ones out there and good ones just like in any profession.

I have a chronic health condition and find that I have to be my own advocate, pick my medical professionals wisely and do my own research.

If I had blindly followed whatever the doctors said I would be extremely unwell by now and possibly deceased!

m0jit0 Sat 16-Mar-19 12:53:13

Dentist here. If it is an infection around a partly erupted wisdom tooth we definitely advise keeping the area clean with a brush. 5mins cleaning several times a day is probably excessive but brushing the area is very important to prevent the infection worsening and it can also help prevent it from happening in the first place. Hot salty mouthwashes several times a day and taking your full course of antibiotics. PP @popc0rn's advice is pretty spot on.

CaptainCabinets Sat 16-Mar-19 12:54:34

The gaping hole is where my gum has become so swollen that it has split open. There is now a hole between my gum and the impacted tooth which is leaking pus. I have swelling under my chin and along my lower jaw and the inflammation in the gum has reached my 4th tooth on that side.

I’m on day 3/3 of metronidazole with little improvement in symptoms. I’m waiting to have my wisdom teeth extracted but have to put up with frequent infections in the meantime. I’m rinsing with salt water and chlorhexadine mouthwash throughout the day and brushing/flossing as normal.

LondonUK Sat 16-Mar-19 12:55:08

CaptainCabinets, £57 in central London is un-heard off when these guys charge £500 almost. Receptionists laughed in my face when I asked that.

MiniMum97, picking the medical professional wisely is the best solution. But what if you are naive like me, and want to believe the hundreds of positive reviews and ask for the info/education etc of the dentist when speaking with the receptionist and she says 'you are racist'!!!! I thought that was a joke when I first heard it!!! Some people do have issues and shout racism for the smallest of things. It is so disappointing.

CaptainCabinets Sat 16-Mar-19 12:57:56

I’m a nurse so I’m pretty hot on hygiene and infection prevention but I’m also very familiar with wound care and the thought of vigorously scrubbing a wound with a brush fills me with abject horror!

Nat6999 Sat 16-Mar-19 12:59:41

Have you tried Difflam mouthwash? It has local anaesthetic in it, could you use that before attempting the brushing & maybe use a child's soft toothbrush to just brush the wound?

LondonUK Sat 16-Mar-19 12:59:58

CaptainCabinets, I really feel sorry for you and I completely understand you. But no way go with a brush there if you cannot take it: you would not brush a bodily infection but bandage it, so why rub a tooth infection? What you are doing to far is good and with the help of antibiotics you are going to feel better in several days. Metronidazole really upsets my stomach normally and I feel better with amoxicilin.

RugbyRugby Sat 16-Mar-19 13:13:40

Sounds a bit like crossed wires in communication. I think it maybe what he was getting at was ensuring you avoid food accumulating in the area. I'm not a dentist but I agree with you that sounds like vigorous scrubbing won't help. You just need to make sure that it's clean.

Read this:


Pericoronitis can be tricky to treat because the flap of gum tissue won't go away until the wisdom tooth emerges naturally or until the tissue is removed.

Your dentist will clean the area thoroughly to remove damaged tissue or pus. If the area is infected, you'll be given oral antibiotics.

Your dentist will give you instructions for keeping the area clean, which is the best way to prevent the problem from returning. This usually involves brushing and flossing daily and rinsing your mouth with water several times a day. This will help prevent food particles from accumulating in the area.

Boysey45 Sat 16-Mar-19 13:16:51

Salt water rinses with warm water are very good, try those and oil of cloves on the gap, just a little on a cotton bud. All this helped when I had a dry socket after a molar removal. I wouldn't be scrubbing.

Trust your instincts, the antibiotics will clear the infection anyway.

Oil of cloves does work, I was sceptical at first, you can get it at boots. I think it was £2.99 for a small really eases the pain.

soulrider Sat 16-Mar-19 13:23:08

Try and get one of the little medicine dispensing syringes, they're really good for flushing out any bits of food.

Utini Sat 16-Mar-19 14:00:41

I had a similar infection recently. I was given antibiotics, told to stick to soft foods while it was so swollen, and to rinse with warm salt water and use a chlorhexidine mouthwash.

The dentist and hygienist both said that when it was feeling better I should do my best to clean around and under the gum flap, but there was no mention of scrubbing it when it was in that state! I had a hygienist appointment two days after I started on antibodies, and she left that tooth alone when she cleaned.

Utini Sat 16-Mar-19 14:01:54

I mean started on antibiotics, obviously, not antibodies!

Decormad38 Sat 16-Mar-19 14:04:49

The dentist on here said the first dentists advice was right. So just follow the advice. Does it need any more discussion?

RugbyRugby Sat 16-Mar-19 14:16:35

The dentist on here said the first dentists advice was right. So just follow the advice. Does it need any more discussion?

Of course you are right because just someone says they are a dentist automatically means they are a dentist. No one lies on the internet do they? (sorry m0jito not getting at you just making a general point)

Professionals never get it wrong.

Professionals never vary in their views or advice.

Individual experiences never contribute to a discussion


shatteredandstressed Sat 16-Mar-19 14:29:45

Another dentist here saying this is correct but 5 mins brushing is OTT. Yes keep it clean -an interspace brush not to be confused with an interdental brush, is ideal.
Hot salty rinses frequently and finish the antibiotics.
Pain relief as needed.
The NHS emergency dentist will have been in a rush because usually there's less than 10 minutes per patient. That's how it is-they'll be no emergency NHS dental treatment before long I predict.

Confusedbeetle Sat 16-Mar-19 14:31:54

The gum is infected as they often are in theses cases. Nothing can be done until the antibiotics have worked. Hot salt moutwashes are useful and painkillers. I imagine there was little break in communication here. Did she really say "scrub". May be there is something new about cleaning debris. She didnt actually do anything outrageous

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