Wisdom tooth gum go ow.
September 13, 2013 2:56 AM   Subscribe

Dental pain in Montreal/Outremont- There's something seriously inflamed about my wisdom tooth. How much will this cost and how can I get rapid care to make the pain stop?

I have no dental insurance. From time to time (one every year or so) the flesh around my wisdom tooth gets a bit irritated. This time it has gotten really bad, so much that it woke me up and I'm not usually whiny about these things. I obviously can't really work on five hours of sleep.

Two advil is not enough to shut this up and it hasn't gone away after a day. It really, really hurts and I want it fixed I have no idea how adults deal with this sort of thing and what I can expect to pay or what feels like a gum abscess. I don't even know if this counts as an emergency except that it really hurts.

This problem with my tooth only ever happens when I have a head cold, like now. It's always on the bottom right side where the gum partially covers the tooth. For some reason I appear to have more gum on that side than the other side.

(And to top it off I have some sort of eye infection that feels like I have sandpaper in the eye and used my last paid sick day yesterday to be told by a doctor that it wasn't a problem and 'healing' even though my eye is still burning like crazy)
posted by Phalene to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
In the short term, try a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, rinsing as vigorously as you can. That should clear up the inflammation in a day or two. The other thing that worked well for me was a mouth ulcer gel (not sure if they have those in your part of the world).

I have the same issue with my wisdom teeth. My dentist said he'd be able to cut back the bit of gum that covers the tooth if I kept getting infections. I rarely get them, so I haven't pursued that avenue, and so don't have any idea as to the cost.
posted by pipeski at 3:07 AM on September 13, 2013

I am not a doctor, so take this with a grain of salt, but two Advils never ever worked for me. Then I had incredible pain in my wisdom tooth and went to the dentist who prescribed.... 800mg ibuprofen aka four Advils. HUGE difference.
posted by hamsterdam at 3:43 AM on September 13, 2013

Call this guy. He's a great dentist, and quite conservative - e.g. he won't perform work unless absolutely necessary. Located at Parc/Bernard. When you call, tell them you are in pain and have a dental emergency and they should be able to slot you in right away.

I can't tell you how much it will cost because I can't diagnose you, but a visit will probably be around ~$70 if no work is performed. However, this sounds a lot like when I had inflamed sinuses, which pressed on nerves around my wisdom teeth. This required antibiotics to clear up.
posted by googly at 4:25 AM on September 13, 2013

My son recenntly described the same scenario over the phone. I suggested he buy a tube of oral anasthetic. He gets free dental care so he went to the dentist and was diagnosed with an infection and prescribed antibiotics. The tooth is not impacted, the infection is just something that can happen to erupting wisdom teeth.
posted by BenPens at 4:36 AM on September 13, 2013

My gums always hurt when I get a cold. If that's the only time you have the pain, it may have nothing to do with your teeth per se.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:01 AM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

When I had an infected wisdom tooth rinsing with Hydrogen Peroxide seemed to help relieve the symptoms. However, mine had to come out due to the infection.
posted by COD at 5:21 AM on September 13, 2013

I'm just dropping in to suggest you not mess around with this *too* much; I know it's expensive, but infections in your teeth are not something you want spreading around. That's not to incite panic, just to say that when it gets to the point where it's clearly different from your previous experiences, I'd feel a lot better if you'd get somebody to look at it pretty soon. I know it's easy to say when it's not me paying for it, but tooth abscesses are something you want to treat with caution, just because it's my understanding that they can become systemic infections. Particularly since you already have another infection going on (in the eye), I'd really have somebody take a peek at it for you. Maybe they'll work something out payment-wise.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 5:29 AM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I had a similar thing years ago, however, it was unrelated to a head cold. I had a gum flap covering a wisdom tooth. Rinsing with dilute hydrogen peroxide was recommended by a dentist. (PS I am not your dentist!) And it worked.

I did go to one dentist who recommended having the tooth removed. He pulled and pulled and the tooth did not budge. So he took an X-ray to see if he had damaged anything (he was changing his treatment) and there was the wisdom tooth, smiling and saying "f*ck you, you're not getting me today". The dentist decided to cut the gum flap that extended over the tooth and that solved the problem. (Sorry about the profanity, but that IS what the tooth said.)

tl;dr: I had a gum flap that extended over a wisdom tooth, would occasionally get bitten, inflamed, and bitten some more. Best treatment was rinsing with hydrogen peroxide. More extreme: removing the wisdom tooth or having the gum flap cut away.
posted by mbarryf at 5:43 AM on September 13, 2013

Just a note on the Advil; were they regular or extra strength? In Canada, extra strength Advil is 400mg ibprophen, regular is 200mg. Please don't take 4 extra strength without a doctors direction! Also personally, Tylenol has worked better for dental pain, so maybe try that instead.

Also, my dentist(s) have always told me that pain constitutes an emergency, so you should expect to get in right away -- this is the kind of thing where they should be trying to get you in today or tomorrow vs making you wait in pain until next week.
posted by cgg at 6:17 AM on September 13, 2013

Similarly to mbarryf, I had a gum flap that extended over a wisdom tooth, but mine got infected. It was honestly some of the worst pain I've ever been in, but thankfully, it was cured by some antibiotics. I don't know if my medical insurance at the time covered them or not, or if had to be submitted through dental.

I don't even think the dentist cut the gum flap (I was a teenager, and my wisdom teeth were still coming in) or really did anything other than look in my mouth and hand me a script for antibiotics.

Pain is an emergency.
posted by inertia at 6:26 AM on September 13, 2013

If you have a cold, you could have a lot of congestion in your sinuses that is creating pressure on the very intricate nerve structure in your face. You can get dental pain from colds and allergies when this happens. It feels a lot like a "hot tooth" (abcessed tooth).

Having had this issue before--I suffered through an entire allergy season with pain and tenderness around my teeth before I made the connection--I would suggest speaking with a pharmacist to see what is available OTC to bring swelling down. I took Benadryl, and it made a world of difference. It won't hurt to try.

On the other hand--dental pain from an infection can also produce swelling, and of course, pain. It is really hard to tell the difference some times. What is the pain like? Constant and maybe even worse when you chew? Does it hurt when you tap on that tooth? Is it sensitive to hot and cold? Does it get worse at night or maybe wake you up out of your sleep? Does it get worse if you lay down or bend your head down? That's what my experience has been like. I also get pressure in the ear on the same side as the tooth infection. Tylenol does well for this pain, and you may want to alternate between Tylenol and Motrin/Advil.

Again, talk with a pharmacist about what is safe for you to take. I really hope you feel better soon.
posted by FergieBelle at 6:37 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Clove oil is a good temporary fix. Dab it around your tooth with a Q-Tip.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:11 AM on September 13, 2013

Dr. Harandian at the Denticare clinic in Alrxus Nihon is an absolute wizard, and I know at one point several years ago they were willing to work out a series of payments when I also had no insurance.
Another option is to try to get into the dental clinic at the Montreal General Hispital; it's dental students working on you, but they're generally pretty good and are overseen by experienced dentists, and it's BY FAR the cheapest you'll ever pay for decent dental treatment. It can be hard to get into, but they like to make sure their students encounter different issues so your problem wisdom tooth might get you in the door.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:31 AM on September 13, 2013

I went to the General once when I didn't have insurance. They'll do the job cheaply, but you won't be getting the best hands in the biz in your mouth, that's for sure.

If you want to spend a little extra for a more experienced dentist I'd go to the QEHC, the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex on Marlowe. It's a hop skip and a jump from Vendome metro. They're pretty friendly there, and I paid something like 600$ to have a mouth chock full of cavities dealt with so I think it's pretty affordable.

When I had my wisdom teeth removed they referred me to Oramax which is on Sherbrooke near Greene. If you end up needing a wisdom tooth removed do it there. They were amazing I had pretty much no pain at all. A little discomfort for a day or two afterwards.

Good luck! Dental pain is the absolute worst.
posted by signsofrain at 1:17 PM on September 13, 2013

Google the term "Pericoronitis" and its remedies. In the short term, go to pharmacy and buy an "irrigating syringe" this does not have a needle, it merely squirts out fluid through the flattened, dulled tip. Fill this syringe with either: diluted peroxide, salt water, chlorohexidine, diluted mouthwash... you gently, gently place the "needle" tip under the flap and splash the liquid through the pocket that is holding onto food debris, pus, blood, whatever will come out of there. Do several times a day. Take Ibuprofen at the upper safe dosages. Antibiotics and stronger pain meds may be needed, but you would have to see a health care provider, dental or medical.
posted by Jazz Hands at 2:33 PM on September 13, 2013

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