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FAQ:  Xerostomia - Dry Mouth


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Question:
Xerostomia and Sjogrens: I was diagnosed with Sjogrens approximately 2 years ago and so have a dry mouth to contend with which is helped greatly with olive oil!

A couple weeks ago I had an outbreak of oral shingles and in the last couple days noticed that I have a boil on the gum above the left incisor.It was lanced today by my dentist, and he says that I have an abcess and need a root canal. Last year I had very severe pain on the side of my face and sinuses, went to the dentist and was advised that I needed a root canal.

I went to the specialist, and he advised me that I did not need a root canal, but rather my sinuses were infected. I am not concerned that my sinuses might be infected again---have been doing some very serious house work involving lots of dust,etc cleaning the attic.

I don't want to have an unneccesary root canal, yet my dentist today took Xrays and told me that the tooth in question has been dead since I was a child (now am 55). Because I also am allergic to oral antibiotics, I am in a precarious situation. The bottom line is, I have NO PAIN on the gum or in the tooth and no sensitivity to a "cold" tests that the dentist gave me today.

I have had a root canal in the past and it really played havoc with my immune system. Don't abcesses of a tooth ususally involve pain and sensitivity to hot and cold?

Couldn't I just have a boil on my gum from the outbreak of shingles in my mouth a couple weeks ago and not necessarily have an abcessed tooth? ...Visitor from VA

Answer:
A lot of teeth get infected without giving pain, swelling, or sensitivity.

If your dentist saw an infection he/she is probably very smart and has made the right recommendation. I would recommend that you start taking an antibiotic before you start the root canal. You will recover easier.

Your dentist can also prescribe some steroids to speed up your healing process. Don't ignore this problem, because the infection from your tooth is most likely infecting your sinus. Let your dentist handle it, or get a second opinion. I doubt the shingles are related.

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