Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Does anyone know if this is an ORAL infection or something else?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: techman707
  • January 30, 2012
  • 06:32 AM

I'm not very good at relating a story verbally and even worse writing it, so please bare with me.

About 4 years ago, after my regular dentist damaged 4 teeth while trying to remove a permanent bridge without damaging it, I wound up having to have 4 teeth extracted. The regular oral surgeon I use was out of town and I was in pain, so my dentist referred me to another oral surgeon. Because I have COPD/Emphysema, this oral surgeon, who didn't know me, wouldn't put me out, so he did the 4 extractions with only Novocain.

My dentist sent him a note saying the extracted teeth were going to be replaced with implants and the bone needed to be preserved. Unfortunately, it turned out that this "oral surgeon" was a butcher. It took him all of 5 minutes (literally) to extract 4 teeth, but he took a lot of my upper and lower jawbone with them. Two days later I began to feel a "swollen sac" (it felt like a cyst) between my lower jawbone and cheek and it appeared that I could push it around with my tongue. When I called this oral surgeon's office he wasn't in, but had an associate covering for him. He prescribed 300mg. of Clindamycin 3 times a day for 7 days. Shortly after starting the Clindamycin it appeared to be getting better. What I didn't know at the time was that he also "cracked" the ONLY tooth left to hold the bridge on my upper left side, which was supposed to be reinstalled until the new bridge work was completed.

My dentist reinstalled the bridge after cementing together the cracked anchor tooth. Where the teeth had been extracted I began to notice that my upper gums had become swollen and floppy, I could suck excess gum under the space between the bridge and where the teeth were extracted in my upper jawbone. I also began to notice that my lower jawbone where the teeth were extracted was swollen between my cheek and lower jawbone. I was given a new prescription for 300mg. of Clindamycin 3 times a day for 10 days. In 3 or 4 days my swollen gums, upper and lower, appeared to be recovering. This was done on and off for a couple of years. I was given Clindamycin so many times, I got a c-diff infection, which had to be treated with Flygyl three or four different times and in increasing doses over a period of 8 months before it was controlled. While they "claim" that the c-diff infection is gone, I still believe there's an ongoing problem. But the c-diff infection seems to be the least of my problems.

Whatever is going on in my upper and lower jaw, gums or cheek, when the swelling becomes very bad, it starts to drain. Although I (or anyone that has looked) can't identify where it's actually draining from, I can taste it and in the morning I wake up with a sticky feeling on that side of my mouth and cough up a white thick mucus like substance that looks sudsy with little bubbles in it.

Then I was told that the cracked tooth was bad and needed to be extracted and my problems would be gone. This time, I had my regular oral surgeon do the extraction. After that extraction, I started to have severe pain coming from the socket of the extracted tooth. It was suggested by the oral surgeon that it might be my sinus that's leaking and causing the pressure. Note that when the swelling occurs, it feels like both UPPER and LOWER, as though it is synchronized. It could be just traveling in between my inner and outer cheek, but, I really don't know.

Fast forward to about a year ago. I started to have pain in my lower jawbone with a lot of soreness, besides the swelling of my gums that cover the bone where the teeth were extracted. After a few months, a sharp piece of bone began to stick out of my lower gum. I then went to see an oral surgeon at a teaching hospital. This oral surgeon said he believed it was osteomyelitis in my left lower jaw, never even examining my upper jaw, or anything else for that matter. He said I would need some type of jawbone surgery, however, because of my medical condition, I wouldn't find anyone that would attempt it. He said another alternative was a hyperbolic oxygen chamber, but, said that I wouldn't be a candidate for that either. He had me come back a couple of more times, doing nothing and offering no further advice. I also saw two other oral surgeons at that hospital, but once they read what the first dentist said, they don't bother to look any further.

My internist doesn't know what to do and doesn't have the expertise to be able to look in my mouth, which is why I MUST see an oral surgeon. Although every regular doctor I've seen can see and/or feel the swelling in my cheek, even I can't put my finger in my mouth and feel it precisely. The reason I believe this is because it's in a pocket between my cheek and jawbone at the bottom of my mouth, but with my mouth closed, it can be seen and felt in my cheek. In the last couple of weeks the size of the "infected" area has really increased. Although the area has been increasing in size over the last 18 months, it now seems to have spread to my TMJ and is causing a painful, but intermittent, ear ache. The main reason I believe it's an infection is because it would seem to get better from the Clindamycin and a number of my blood tests have shown an elevated white blood count. I have also had spikes of my temperature that jumped to 103 degrees, but, for only 24 hours and then went away. This has happened four or five times over four years. One time it caused my pulmonologist to send me for a new cat scan, which didn't show anything unusual. One oral surgeon suggested it might be a salivary gland problem, however, another one said it wasn't. I recently had a gadolinium scan, which didn't even indicate the swelling, let alone an infection. At this point, I believe that "some" of my jawbone is dead, however, I also believe it wouldn't have gotten to this point had someone tried to drain the "pocket" at the same time I first took the Clindamycin. Now I believe I've developed some resistance to Clindamycin.

Has ANYONE ever heard of anything like this from the extraction of teeth? Does anyone know if something can be done to improve my situation or stop any further advancement of it? The constant swallowing of whatever this bubbly white substance is seems to be causing me to have trouble breathing and swallowing, especially when I get up in the morning. I'm already taking pain medication because of herniated discs. Between this problem and the pain from my lungs, I'm in constant pain all the time. If I could get this problem corrected, it would solve a BIG part of the pain I have. I can't be the only person this has ever happened to. Please Help Me!:(

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