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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Large painful gum blister

12/15/2008

Question:

Nine days ago I woke up with a slightly sore place on the gum surrounding my back teeth. By the next day my entire jaw and face was swollen to the point that I couldn`t shut my mouth. I visited the local ER ( I have no insurance) and was given an injection of antibiotics, and injection of steroids and 10 days of antibiotics to take at home. The pain and swelling in my jaw has gone away but now I have what appears to be a large blister that runs the length of my back three teeth that is very sore and painful. In the past year or so I have had several smaller blisters on my gum line that would bust and then heal but nothing like this. I have even attempted to bust the blister, thinking it would then heal, but the skin over the blister is much thicker and would be very difficult to bust. I still have 3 days of antibiotics left but aren`t sure what to do. I am a 49 year old female and have some arthritis and Fibromyalgia. I am otherwise in good health. I have had some symptoms of gum disease in the past few years, some swelling and soreness so I have paid extra attention to my teeth. I suspect the present problem started when I re-used a plastic flosser.

Answer:

Based on what you are describing and your response to medication and complex medical history, I cannot make a diagnosis without seeing you. There are multiple possible causes of what you are describing, and without a thorough oral examination, appropriate radiographs, and extensive medical and dental history, it would be inappropriate to try. You need to have this evaluated immediately before it occurs again and you have a more complicated clinical course.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University