Re: Live molar 'root' poking through gum

axmonti@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

Good day,

I've searched and searched on this subject to no avail - I'll try to
keep this short.

A few weeks ago, I woke up with a sore gum and tongue - right beside my
last molar (I've never had wisdom teeth).  The next day, my molar
started to hurt when I bit down on something, and the gum was quite
sensitive.  The following day, I couldn't bite down on anything without
pain, and my lymph nodes were swelling a bit (no gum swelling though).
That night I went to a medical clinic, and the physician gave me
Erythromycin and asked me to see a dentist.  Two days later, the pain
was gone, but I noticed that my second last molar was 'higher' than the
other teeth.  That molar has a filing, but I've never had a root canal
or anything like that.  I also noticed some 'crowding' on my front
lower teeth.

A week later, I saw the dentist.  He took x-rays and poked around and
said that everything appeared to be normal.  He indicated that the
physician probably mis-diagnosed the problem, as the flu was going
around (which explains the swollen nodes), and I probably just bit down
on something hard and 'strained' the ligaments of my molar.  He noted
that there was no gum swelling, no gum boils, no bad taste, and no sign
of root infection, etc.  He placed some cold material on my molars and
indicated that the nerves were indeed alive and well.

A week later, I noticed a 'dent' on my gum (about 3-4 mm below the
gumline) right beside a small bony 'bump' that I've had for years.  A
day later, I was poking around my gums with a cleaning pick, and I was
able to put the pick right inside a small hole in my gum.  I could feel
something hard with the pick, so I picked some more, and out popped
what I can only describe as a small piece of 'sea coral'!  If I pick
inside the hole now, I can still feel something hard, but it seems more
firmly attached (I think it's the bony bump).  I don't know if it's far
enough down the gumline to be a tooth root, but it certainly is bone or
tooth-like.  Throughout all of this, I've felt no additional pain, but
my nodes are still a bit sore (though less than before).  My front
teeth are still 'crowded', though it seems no worse than before.

So, my question to the dental community is: What is happening to my
tooth and gum?  I'm not sure if I trust the dentist I saw, but I figure
I'll probably have to see someone at some point.  Could an original
infection have caused the tooth to raise slightly, breaking off a piece
of rough tooth material from the side of my tooth?  Could I really have
an infection that is rotting the roots and breaking off chunks that
migrate to the surface?  Why would my x-ray look so normal, and why
wouldn't my gums be swollen or sore at all.  Could I have bitten
something hard that caused a piece of broken root to migrate through
the gumline?  The dentist who I saw indicated that I should come back
if I start experiencing pain again, and that if it was an infection,
he'd expect me back in about a month.  Should I just wait to see if the
broken piece of tooth was causing all of this?

Any and all comments are greatly appreciated.


Could be foreign body, or tartar, or...almost anything.
This sounds like something that should be immediately obvious to a competent dentist, but only speculation if I or another guess.
BTW, don't go picking around your gums with a "pick".


Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
Brooklyn, NY

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