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FAQ:  Cyst

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Many years ago, I had a root canal done on a back left molar. The dentist filled my tooth with some funky blue medicated? substance. I was supposed to return to have a post and crown put in, but never did. Since then, the blue filling has fallen out and there is a shell of a tooth left.

My problem is.... now I have tenderness and slight numbness in my gum/jawline, near that tooth. I also feel a mass/swelling in that area. Could it be an abcess? I'm starting to worry, as it feels like a cyst or tumor (I'm 43 and an ovarian cancer survivor). ...Lauri in NJ

Lauri, your description worries me. You need to go to see your dentist, or an oral surgeon, or an endodontic specialist. You should have a Panorex X-Ray and P.A. X.r. taken right away. Most likely (hopefully) it is just your root canal tooth possibly breaking/fracturing inside the jaw bone. You may not be able to save it, but I guess that would be a small problem compared to a mass. Good luck!

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