Sjogrens World Forums

Sjogrens Topics => Living With Sjogren's => Topic started by: Tinker on January 31, 2014, 11:32:11 PM

Title: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Tinker on January 31, 2014, 11:32:11 PM
Hi all,
I went to the dentist and he lectured me like a child.  I had 7 new cavities.

He asked what I changed with my dental hygiene.  WHAT?? That was difficult to take because I kinda obsess about my teeth.  Flossing, brushing, rinsing, etc.  I know if I don't , I'll get cavities.

He knows about the Sjs, and the hygienist noticed and mentioned I was very dry.  Yeah, I've been dry and using the biotene.

He scoffed at this explanation and said I wasn't doing my part.  I don't even want to go back.

I wanna know how I got 7 cavities in 6 mos. (I just saw him 6 mos ago for my regular check up and all was well,)

I didn't like his attitude, didn't like him blowing off the Sjs, and don't believe I developed 7 cavities in 6 mos.  Perhaps he is making a little money off me.

Has this happened to any of you?

Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Ripvanann on February 01, 2014, 12:52:44 AM
Tinker, this really stinks! Sorry! How long have you been seeing this dentist? I would definitely get a second opinion. You need a new dentist anyway, regardless of whether he's lying to make some money or not. He's a jerk who doesn't understand SjS, nor does he care about you.

I will say that this is what happened to me. My dentist was the first one to flat out say "You have Sjogren's" but left the Dx to my rheumy. My parotid glands were clogged when I met him and he couldn't get any saliva at all. I had a couple of cavities and that was the beginning of the end.

Went back for a six month check-up and needed 2 teeth pulled and 2 crowns. When I went back 3 month later to have the crowns, those two teeth needed to come out, along with 2 others. At that point he wasn't accusing me of bad oral hygiene, but said that I couldn't have any sugar period. No juice, nothing at all. Said there was so much decay that he would expect to see it in someone who slept with candy in their mouth for 15 years. I was also on Rx toothpaste, and OTC things, etc.

Went back 9 months later and 14 more needed pulled, with the remaining 8 needing extensive work. We decided then to pull them all. My decay was rapid because not only do I have SjS but I also have Cushing's which definitely contributed to the decay a great deal. Still, most sjoggies who have dental problems, have big dental problems.

Go to a new dentist. Hopefully the cavities are the result of a shark who wants your money. Worst case scenario, you need to have 6 teeth filled, but you'll have someone who will be more concerned about treating you and your SjS. Hope it's the former.

Take care now. Keep us posted.
~Andrea
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: litliwlowa on February 01, 2014, 02:19:14 AM
Hi Tinker

It's happened to me to get a LOT of cavities in a short period of time. One year (after my near fatal car accident), I had 22 cavities out of nowhere. Prior to MVA, I had great teeth. Then they were fine for a few years, then wham ten cavities at once. Couple of years ago 4 extractions plus two more cavities. Dry mouth sux.

Regarding your dentist's attitude? That alone would prompt me to find another dentist. Actually I did find another dentist when I was dx'd initially with sicca. My mouth was dry as a desert and I felt my former dentist SHOULD have picked up on that and did not. He was more interested in "puppy mill" dentistry than the patient.

If you do decide to find another dentist, do get your xrays (particularly if you got a panoramic xray), as some insurances won't cover xrays if you had them recently done.

Oh, and my new dentist (like Andrea's) said no more fruit juices - NOT EVEN DILUTED.

I found my new dentist via my dental insurance. Then called the one they suggested and laid it out up front and on the table with receptionist what my dental needs were. Plus in my situation (post TBI) communication style of the provider is a biggee for me, so I needed one that wouldn't talk tooooo fast.

I've been very happy with my new dentist - had her a year now.

Hugs and do keep us posted.

Amanda

Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: warmwaters on February 01, 2014, 10:21:10 AM
Ditto - get a new dentist. If he knew what Sjogren's was, he wouldn't say what he said.

Only way to find out about the assessment is to go to another dentist. You legally have every right to your x-rays, so simply request a copy.

And when you call a possible new dentist, as if s/he has any experience working with Sjogrens.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Pisces24 on February 01, 2014, 12:46:29 PM
Prior to SJS I had great teeth too. My dentist for awhile didn't think I was taking care of my teeth at all. BUT he finally came to the realization that it WAS the Sjogrens, I think he actually read about it.

Odd thing the oral surgeon I have to see now because of my teeth knew about Sjogrens. He said I was one of the few patients he had where the teeth deterioration WAS because of a disease, not laziness.

Sorry you have to go thru that "stuff" with your dentist. You might check around and try to find one that understands about how disease affects the teeth no matter what a person does.
Good Luck!
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: ellieas on February 01, 2014, 12:47:58 PM
Hi Tinker, I had the same thing happen to me twice and the dentisit was very sympathetic about the SS. He said i wasn't my fault. I always had regular checkups. One time I had 9 cavities and needed them filled plus 2 crowns. Things were good for 6 years. No cavities. Now I have moved to a new State and my new dentist gave me the best exam ever.Very sweet. But, she said that I had so much decay, infection and bone loss  that she cannot save my upper teeth.  I only have 6 on the bottom with a bridge. She favored implants with dentures-which she would send me to have done at a specialist.
I found,through a referral by friend, a dentist who is a specialist and knows alot about SS.He quietly inferrred the same thing. Now he wants to speak to rheumy and onc because with low immunity,implants may not be an option. Oh and the meds I took for osteoporosis didn't help my jaw either!
Have to see him in 2 weeks for decision time.
Through all this garbage, though, I could not have asked for nicer and concerned people.  You deserve someone better than the last dentist for yourself.

Hugs,
Lesley
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: ohiolady on February 01, 2014, 01:17:20 PM
Tinker,

I would consider Evoxac 3 timers daily.  No oral product replaces our own saliva which is stimulated by Evoxac.

Anna
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: slccom on February 01, 2014, 01:51:28 PM
Hi Tinker, I had the same thing happen to me twice and the dentisit was very sympathetic about the SS. He said i wasn't my fault. I always had regular checkups. One time I had 9 cavities and needed them filled plus 2 crowns. Things were good for 6 years. No cavities. Now I have moved to a new State and my new dentist gave me the best exam ever.Very sweet. But, she said that I had so much decay, infection and bone loss  that she cannot save my upper teeth.  I only have 6 on the bottom with a bridge. She favored implants with dentures-which she would send me to have done at a specialist.
I found,through a referral by friend, a dentist who is a specialist and knows alot about SS.He quietly inferrred the same thing. Now he wants to speak to rheumy and onc because with low immunity,implants may not be an option. Oh and the meds I took for osteoporosis didn't help my jaw either!
Have to see him in 2 weeks for decision time.
Through all this garbage, though, I could not have asked for nicer and concerned people.  You deserve someone better than the last dentist for yourself.

Hugs,
Lesley

You need to be extremely careful if you are on bisphosponates for osteoporosis. People have lost entire jaws from dental work. You need to find a dentist who is an expert on the topic BEFORE you have anything done.

I AM meaning to frighten you.

Sharon
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: ellieas on February 01, 2014, 02:20:38 PM
Hi Sharon-Thank you. I was not on Fosamax which is the worst.But, that is why I went to this dentist. He is a periodontist and a prothodontist. He has done many research papers and lectures all over the world. He took a CAT scan of my jaw and is consulting with my other doctors first. I am very lucky to have him here at University of Rochester. I stopped taking the meds in June.

Thanks for your help.
Lesley
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: litliwlowa on February 01, 2014, 02:27:53 PM
Hi Tinker, I had the same thing happen to me twice and the dentisit was very sympathetic about the SS. He said i wasn't my fault. I always had regular checkups. One time I had 9 cavities and needed them filled plus 2 crowns. Things were good for 6 years. No cavities. Now I have moved to a new State and my new dentist gave me the best exam ever.Very sweet. But, she said that I had so much decay, infection and bone loss  that she cannot save my upper teeth.  I only have 6 on the bottom with a bridge. She favored implants with dentures-which she would send me to have done at a specialist.
I found,through a referral by friend, a dentist who is a specialist and knows alot about SS.He quietly inferrred the same thing. Now he wants to speak to rheumy and onc because with low immunity,implants may not be an option. Oh and the meds I took for osteoporosis didn't help my jaw either!
Have to see him in 2 weeks for decision time.
Through all this garbage, though, I could not have asked for nicer and concerned people.  You deserve someone better than the last dentist for yourself.

Hugs,
Lesley

You need to be extremely careful if you are on bisphosponates for osteoporosis. People have lost entire jaws from dental work. You need to find a dentist who is an expert on the topic BEFORE you have anything done.

I AM meaning to frighten you.

Sharon

Adding to what Sharon said, my dentist flat out told me if I EVER had treatments for osetoporosis again, I can count on no more extractions. It came up in discussion as I was wondering if I could try the pill form, as I can't take any of the alternatives (Forteo, Reclast, Prolia, etc).

Her explanation was the risk was too great of the extraction site not healing, resulting in a permanent open wound and gateway to future infections. Not good for me in my view as I am allergic to all but ONE antibiotic.

I've had osetoporosis dx'd since 2009.

Every dentist I have ever had expressed concern about the affect on the jaw of these osteoporosis treatments (dx'd 2006 with osetopenia and was on those biphosphonates then).

Oddly enough, not one of my MD's either knew about it or thought it important enough a consideration when rx'ing.

Amanda
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: ellieas on February 01, 2014, 02:56:34 PM
Hi Amanda-I did use Forteo with no problem.What would be the alternative if you took the pills and needed a tooth pulled?

Lesley
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: slccom on February 01, 2014, 03:03:04 PM
Leslie, I'm so glad you have an expert dentist. That makes me feel better.

Sharon
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: ellieas on February 01, 2014, 03:16:13 PM
Thank you Sharon-I am lucky to have him(doesn't hurt that he has a continental accent and is very cute).Although Ionce took Actonel, I was switched to Forteo. Forteo actually reverses the damage done by the other meds(biphos--)

Looking forward to seeing him on the 12th after he consults with other specialists. Well, not Exactly looking forward to the options. LOL

Hugs,
Lesley
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: litliwlowa on February 01, 2014, 04:36:17 PM
Hi Amanda-I did use Forteo with no problem.What would be the alternative if you took the pills and needed a tooth pulled?

Lesley

There is no alternative for me except go to a less mindful dentist willing to extract in that circumstance and no way will I do that.

Mind you, my dentist is considering my ENTIRE medical picture in addition to dental picture. The risks for me of taking biphosphonates far outweigh the benefits. I have a greater risk of another extraction than another broken bone. Just two years ago, I still had three antibiotic options left. 2012 developed allergy to levaquin and arithromycin. Only one left now is clindamycin.

Dental infections are high risk anyway and I have a history of them turning ugly very fast. I have what's left of a permanent bridge that dentist is watching very closely. Half of it already went south (thank you Sjogrens) which resulted in 2 extractions plus a bridge resection. The remaining permanent bridge is showing signs of being problematic recent months.

My osteoporosis at this point is being managed by my endo via regularly checking D, calcium and PTH levels and adjusting supplementation dose accordingly.

I did discuss with my endo going back on the biphosphonates and he agrees with dentist. Keep in mind that my medical situation is extraordinarily complex, so my sense is my dentist's advice was specific to me.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Tinker on February 01, 2014, 09:23:12 PM
Thanks everyone for your insightful replies!

I always thought this would never happen to me.  I've been so vigilant about going to the dentist every 6 mos.  And I have never had 7 cavities in 6 mos. 

This dentist is a new one cause I had to have 4 front teeth crowns (this was because of discoloration of a silver filling I had between the front two teeth in my 20"s.  Then as the years passed I got some small cavities on each tooth next to the front teeth.  The crowns didn't turn out right and I asked my dentist to fix them, which he did.  But I wasn't comfortable anymore going to him.  I wrote about this here so some of you might remember this sob story.   lol

My new front teeth or ok now but don't look like the originals.

What was so helpful here is hearing that::
1) some of you are on NO sugar
2) Fossamax is not for me.  I was on it but stopped about a yr ago.
3) Cavities can happen rapidly. 

And that's where I am.  I have lots of crowns and I don't see what good they are if that ridge on the inside just collects debris and is inherently a bad situation.  That's where all the new cavities are.

I'll be looking for a new dentist.  I already knew I wasn't going back so now I want a dentist who isn't asking me to pay for the tv at my chair, the ultrasound tooth cleaning device, and a fancy office.  Some dentists are just too expensive for me, and I have insurance.

This dentist did put a flouride varnish on my teeth 6 mos ago (insur. won't pay for it) and again this time.  Wonder how many cavities I would have had if no varnish??

I bought flouride rinse and have been brushing and flossing like crazy.  No sticky stuff.  Bought sugarless hard candy to help get the saliva flowing but it has no taste and I'd rather do without.

I'm going to harden up my sensitive teeth and get a new dentist in the next month. 

Thanks everyone.  I am sad that so many of you have suffered with these serious dental issues.  I hope it will not be my fate as well.  I'll be getting the saliva meds too.                              Tinker

Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: irish on February 01, 2014, 09:44:26 PM
For about 20 years I lives in the dentists office. Around year 2001 I got 8 cavities in less than 6 months. I went through some stuff with my dentist and walked out never to darken his door again. I know that I helped to fund some of his gambling trips to Las Vegas.!!!!!

Then it took me some months to find a new dentist and from Feb to November I had developed 17 cavities. I could not believe it. I had been begging for a couple of years to get my teeth pul led. My new dentist eventually did see that my 19 teeth that were left were pulled. I did not get any fillings in those 17 cavities either. Finally got diagnosed with sjogrens in Sept 2003 and in Dec I started getting the rest of those rotten teeth pulled. It is just the pits but getting those teeth pulled is the biggest relief ever.

I don't even mind dentures as my life was not my own for many years with cavities, abscesses, root canals and abscesses from the root canals. Endless energy drain and money pit. I had some insurance but paid very little and I could not get my BCBS to pay to have my teeth pulled even under anesthesia. Good luck. Irish
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: litliwlowa on February 02, 2014, 03:05:45 AM
Tinker

Try sugarless lemon drops. Something in the sourness helps stimulate saliva. I also find helpful Xylimelts.

Amanda
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Tinker on February 02, 2014, 10:24:27 AM
Irish, I'm sorry you had to pull your teeth.  I have spent so much $$ on these teeth to keep them and I sure don't want to lose them. 

I have no pain on brushing, no pain on flossing.  These cavities have to be small.  Each cavity will cost 184$ to fill.  The insurance will pay about half on some of them and $30 on some of the others.  I can't imagine why the disparity.??

I can't see these cavities....that is why I am wondering if he just saw a tiny discoloration and said it was a cavity.  My old dentist told me he didn't fill every little thing...he waited to see if things progressed.  Each time they fill, they have to lose some healthy enamel, so that is why he would keep an eye on that suspicious spot.

Under the circumstances you described, I agree that you probably were better off with extractions.  I have had no abscesses and only about 4 root canals in the last 20yrs. 

My question is:  How have you adjusted to your dentures?  Have you got bone left?  My mom and sister had a terrible time with their dentures.  I'm not anxious to entertain the thought of dentures so I'll try to be vigilant and do everything I can to maintain what I have.

Thanks for your reply.  Hope you are doing well.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Tinker on February 02, 2014, 10:27:48 AM
Amanda,
Where do I get the xlimelts?  I've never seen them.  I will try the sugarless lemon drops.  Maybe they taste better than the sugarless hard candy. 

Thanks, Tinker
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: litliwlowa on February 02, 2014, 10:47:07 AM
Tinker

I found the Xylimelts either at CVS or Walgreens.

As for sugarless hard candy, I started with cinnamon and peppermint which did nothing for me. Rheumy is the one I think that told me lemon drops - and those work for me much better. It's the sourness of them that gets the saliva flowing better than the unsour candies.

Amanda
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: P.Trish on February 02, 2014, 10:52:11 AM
Tinkebell, I order xylimelts  from amazon.com. - the most convenient for me.

 Sometimes they can be found at Rite Aid, Cvs or Walgreens in the mouthwash section. Lemon drops

and Werthers sugarless hard candy all help with dryness, but the xylimelts are the best!

I hope you are having a good weekend.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: drylady on February 02, 2014, 06:28:12 PM
Tinker did the dentist prescribe prescription fluoride?
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Petal on February 02, 2014, 07:07:26 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am another one that has bad teeth having 10 fillings done at each visit and then refilling the fillings again as the years go by.

Although I still have most of my teeth I was given the ultimatum, either go to the next level, crowns and implants, or have all them out. I went with 5 crowns, 5 veneers, and 2 implants!

It all took about 2 years to complete but I am very happy with the outcome and hope they last, so far I haven't had a cavity for 12 months (touch wood), I am on 6 monthly hygienist visits

My hygienist suggested I use a Waterpik water flosser, is shoots pulsated water through the gaps of my teeth and under the gum line, its really refreshing.

I havent been back to her since getting it so I cant report on how good of a job its doing.

Leanne
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: irish on February 02, 2014, 09:45:28 PM
Tinker, I have adjusted really well to my dentures. Sometimes I even brush them like you would teeth when they are in my mouth. I can eat everything--even corn on the cob. The only thing I can't eat is soft caramel which sticks like crazy. I do try sucking it at times though cause it is so good. I have also found that eating hamburgers can be a challenge---or any sandwich bun or bread. I cut them into quarters and the problem is solved. Much easier to get that big bite without problems.

I would advise anyone with Sjogrens who is having problems with their teeth to find a dentist who "gets it" and is agreeable to pull your teeth when the time comes. I can pretty much predict that you will not be able to save your teeth in the long term. The dryness and lack of the correct bacterial balance in the mouth predisposes us to cavities and there is not much we can do to change it.

The saliva normally contains about 700 different bacteria that help with digestion and preventing cavities--who would have thought that spit was so important.

I find that my life is much more relaxed when I got over the constant stress of my teeth. I didn't have pain at first but later on started to have really strange pain that was probably some nerve pain from my weird roots. MY dentist said he had never seen roots like mine when he pulled my teeth. They looked dead but did not show up dead on x-ray. Good luck. irish
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: cccourt1942 on February 03, 2014, 10:10:51 AM
Tinker:  go ...to a new dentist.  I was lucky.  I have a friend whose daughter is a dentist.  She referred me to a Sjogren's friendly dentist who is well versed in the syndrome.  They are wonderful.  The difference is daylight and dark.  My teeth have turned from   a yellowish white to brown in just a few years.  I didn't know I had SS..nor did I know the absence of saliva gives one's mouth a breeding ground for bacteria--which attacks our teeth.  I went from asking for info on veneers to a "save my teeth" stance within two weeks.  Lo and behold, my brown teeth have become beautiful to me.  The new dentist is only interested in saving my teeth at this point in time.  I have fluoride toothpaste (purchased at the dentist) will have teeth cleaned 4 times a year, and they suggested the Sonicare AirFLoss in lieu of floss to encourage more regular flossing.  It's amazing to have a dentist emphasize what can be done for one's teeth as opposed to what has already happened to them.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: slccom on February 03, 2014, 11:08:37 AM
I have dental floss scattered all over the house, every place that I sit down. That helps, too.

Sharon
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Tinker on February 03, 2014, 01:38:13 PM
Thanks everyone.  I can't bear the thought of losing my teeth.

I am buying the ultrsonic cleaner, I already have floss everywhere, and I'm very conscious of not leaving sweet stuff on my teeth.

The dentist gave me another rx toothpaste, I bought the rinse, and the dentist told me I could ask the pharmacist for the rx toothpaste under the counter.

                                                     Thanks for all the tips, Tinker
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: ChasingAmy on February 03, 2014, 02:46:52 PM
I've had very good dental health for most of my life (even though I was terrible at flossing) but with losing my insurance, I hadn't been to a dentist in about two years.  When I became pregnant towards the end of 2012, I was able to visit one and oh boy!  I made a terrible decision in my haste to fix my mouth before it was too late in the pregnancy.  I had a ridiculous number of cavities (all developing with the past year.)  The dentist was terrible and ground down many of my teeth and we only got to 3/4 of my mouth.  I had a terrible abscess in my gums from where they numbed me on my last visit.  It took several months to resolve and I am terrified of going back to ANY dentist.

 I have become fanatical about flossing and brushing but have residual medical issues with fluoride so I get chastised and basically told that its not my Sjogren's/SLE's fault but my own.  I tried biotene but many of their products have ingredients I'm not ok with and it hasn't helped, so I chew Peelu gum (xylitol only makes me ill and the texture is gross) but can't yet seem to slow down my teeth issues. 

Right now my gums are super sore and I'm afraid I need a root canal.  Near Philly there are naturopathic type dentists but they do not/cannot take insurance and I can't afford $300 for a consult! 

I feel everyone's pain and wish there were more specialized dentists available or that regular dentists were more educated on these problems.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: LucyD on February 03, 2014, 06:41:06 PM
Gosh, I feel like a little whiny baby being upset because I have one molar (bottom back right #31) that has an abscess below the root tip in the jaw. A root canal was done on this tooth about 11 years ago, and I "know" it is what has been causing my gums in that area to get sore, the gland under my jaw to swell and be sore, and when I pack Glyoxide around that area, the only part of my gums that turns white, hurts and bubbles is around that tooth and a few adjoining ones.

Upon looking at x-rays last fall and because of my complaints about my gums, the dentist suspected an abscess under that same tooth and sent me to an endodontist. There was infection in and under that tooth in the jaw bone. In September he cleaned out the tooth and did another root canal. He said that now that the root canal had been done, my body would take care of the infection in the jaw bone. For about a month I have had pain around that tooth, under my jaw (swollen, hard gland) and the gland behind the curve of my jaw under my ear is sore and swollen. Have had chills, nausea and diarrhea and a DISGUSTING taste in my mouth for a month. (Sorry for the details.) This weekend it got so bad I couldn't bite on it or stand for my toothbrush or Waterpik to touch that gum. Thought it was strange that there was pain even though the tooth was "dead" with the root removed, so realized the infection must be in the bone underneath and in the gum around the tooth. Sure enough - x-ray at dentist today revealed abscess (quite large) under same tooth.

So tomorrow morning I see the endodontist. Told dentist I was ready to just have the tooth pulled. Dentist told me she would hate to have me lose that tooth because it would probably cause me to later lose the one above it.

I am thinking it is a losing battle to keep trying to salvage it. I have a feeling my health will be better with it OUT.
From reading most of your posts, I am thinking it would be best to have it pulled. You have to fight with these dentists, endodontists to get them to pull our rotten teeth!

Any suggestions?

Good luck to all of us with our teeth!!

I am very sorry for all of the trouble so many of you have had with your teeth. I have a lot of filling, four crowns and three root canals now. My mom and dad both had dentures and did great with them.

Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: litliwlowa on February 04, 2014, 06:03:25 AM
@LucyD

I had one of those "problem" teeth for over 20 years, number 11 (or maybe it was number 12). I finally ended up HAVING to get it extracted, which was no easy task as it was under a permanent bridge. But it had become a constant source of infection (root extended into my sinuses, as do most of my teeth roots), and come to find out the idiot endodontist that initially did the root canal left half the nerve in it!! I find that out 15 years AFTER the fact.

I can't advise which is the wise choice for you on #31, other than to say there does come a time when trying to save a tooth becomes an expensive and risky proposition - especially if it's becoming a problematic source of infection after infection.

And no, it's not at all whining. Dental issues that seem small in comparison to someone else's can often be more serious under the radar. A seemingly single and simple dental infection if untreated can travel north to brain or south to heart.

That's why when my #11 or #12 (actually both teeth) were becoming regular sources of infection I had them yanked and the bridge resectioned.

These days, I don't mess with root canals and crowns. Costly in the long haul and in the end turns out the tooth ends up being extracted anyway a short few years after that!!
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: LucyD on February 04, 2014, 06:26:19 AM
Thanks Litliwlowa,
Oh, I caved despite all of the good advice on here that has basically said - the tooth ends up having to be pulled eventually anyway!!! Endodontist took xray this morning, said he really thinks he can save tooth, clean out abscess underneath and fix everything - wants to give it one more try. Yep - to the tune of $1,000 because I am probably over my max insurance for this year (fiscal year basis). I felt like an idiot saying, no pull it, so I said okay, one more try.
I guess in a way, it is worth it because then if it re-infects, I will be on it immediately and will have complete confidence at that point to tell them to pull it with no doubts. Also, it will give him a chance to get in there and if he sees it is cracked or infection too bad below it, he will close up and tell me we have to pull it.

Another side to this - I have noticed that when I have any sort of bacterial infection going on (sinuses, teeth), my joint pain flares up badly. Has anyone else noticed this?

Thanks again.
LucyD
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: litliwlowa on February 04, 2014, 07:46:06 AM
Quote
I have noticed that when I have any sort of bacterial infection going on (sinuses, teeth), my joint pain flares up badly. Has anyone else noticed this?

Oh gosh YES!! Remember that an infection is also a stressor on the body. When I get sinus or tooth infections, my EVERYTHING is flaring at the same time.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: LucyD on February 04, 2014, 08:08:05 AM
Thank you litliwlowa, do you think I am stupid to let him try one more time? Arrghh!
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: litliwlowa on February 04, 2014, 09:13:35 AM
Thank you litliwlowa, do you think I am stupid to let him try one more time? Arrghh!

Good grief no!!

Geesh, I'd been having root canals since my late 20s early 30s. You know why? I didn't want to lose my teeth!! Well, I was young, you know? I suppose at 58 I am still "young" - at heart anyway even tho my body doesn't quite cooperate.

But after spending way too much money on a 10 tooth split permanent bridge (across the top teeth), my portion not covered by insurance was nearly 10k, then a couple of years after that fractured another molar (NOT part of the bridge), then another molar went and another molar went and so on...then the crowned teeth started going south and extractions were a mess as they had been root canaled (many many years ago) so were very fragile and shattered on extraction...

...I weighed the costs and aggravation and infections plus a factor for me is I am allergic to ALL but ONE antibiotic...

...decided it was in my best interests to stop trying to hold on to teeth as for me, the risks outweighed the benefits. Especially when I ended up with 4 extractions plus a bridge resection in 2012. Ah yes sjogrens the gift that keeps on giving...AARG

Your decision is not stupid at all. You know best your individual situation.

Sounds like you're still on the fence about which way to proceed on that tooth. It's a tough call to make. Do you have infection in that tooth currently? If so, do they have you on antibiotic? I've had endodontists in the past who refused to do root canals until the infection was cleared up. ALthough that was back when I still had a few antibiotic choices.

Tough call LucyD...make the decision you determine is best for you!!
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Carolina on February 04, 2014, 09:20:36 AM
Hi Tinker,

Get a second opinion, please.

I have always had excellent dentists:  with one exception.

We had a weird dental plan (for a very short time) we were new in the area, and I picked a dentist who was close.

A very horrible experience.  I wound up having to have the entire thing (crown) redone later, because he left a huge back margin at the base and it was near enough the front that it showed!

And that wasn't the worst.  The worst was that he was a butcher and hurt me badly.  I have gazillion crowns (well 13, plus one implant) I have had just about everything done that can be done, including root canals with posts implanted etc.  And this guy just did a simple crown and left me in horrible pain.

So, get a second opinion.

The guy may just be needing some alimony payments.

Anyway, no dentist who knows what she or he is doing would ever be rude to a patient.

Are you taking something to produce more saliva like Evoxac or Salagen?

I don't remember.

Hugs, Elaine
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: LucyD on February 04, 2014, 12:15:45 PM
Thank you again litliwlowa. I am sort of on the fence, but I have decided to let him try one more time. It's just hard to say "Pull it, period," when I have a good endodontist sitting there telling me he thinks there is a 90 percent chance he can successfully save this tooth. (How do they define "successfully" and what do they consider "save"?)  ;) If it starts getting infected after that, then I will be completely confident and make them pull it. Yes, has abscess under root in jaw. They put me on penicillin yesterday. It must be helping already - inflammation less and pain not as bad. Have appointment at 9 am tomorrow with endodontist to have it redone. Ugh! Because it is only one tooth right now - decided to give it one more try. But in my heart of hearts, I have this gut feeling that it is not good to leave a dead tooth in our jaw bone - can harbor so many bacteria in microscopic chambers.

Good luck to you Tinker.

LucyD
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Tinker on February 05, 2014, 02:25:46 PM
Carolina, I see my rheummy on the 10th and will ask for this script. 

Thanks everyone, for your comments.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: LucyD on February 05, 2014, 02:36:20 PM
Hi Tinker,
I have developed more cavities recently since being diagnosed with Sjogren's and I dread my next check-up.
Wanted to let you know that my dentist has been very kind to me knowing what Sjogren's can do to our teeth.
And I agree with others here who have suggested you deserve to be understood and treated with respect and kindness.
Please find a dentist who is understanding, knowledgeable about Sjogren's, and kind to you. You deserve it.
I am sorry - I did not mean to hijack your post thread, but I just realized I sort of did with my own little root canal abscess crisis. Very sorry. Will be more aware of that in the future.
Good luck.
LucyD
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: lmstewa62 on February 05, 2014, 05:53:38 PM
I've had problems, but it's really improved since I have been on evoxac and always drinking with a straw!! Just thought I'd mention what helped me..
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Tinker on February 06, 2014, 08:28:27 PM
Lucy:  no way did you hijack my thread.  I value your comments so have no fear!

Imstewa:  how did the straw make a difference?  I'm guessing it keeps sweet drinks off your teeth?  Thx for your reply.
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: irish on February 06, 2014, 09:20:49 PM
I didn't read every single post on this thread, but I did want to point out that root canals very frequently result in abscesses and abscesses can result in bone infection which is known as osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis can be a very dangerous infection to have. Any infection of the bone is very hard to clear up as there is not the good blood supply to deliver the antibiotics like in soft tissues. Also, these days so many of the bacteria are resistant to bacteria.

Also, infection in the areas of the teeth can also spread to the sinuses and to the brain so teeth and infection are not to be taken lightly. People with Sjogrens and other autoimmune disease are also higher risk for infections plus people with AID are also at higher risk for immune disorders. Immune disorders mean that ones body can't fight off infections due to lower white counts. I was found to have low t-cells and that is why I was a walking petrie dish in my mouth and no dentist ever caught on to the fact. Most of them were too interested in my money.

Dono't mean to scare you folks but the others are right. When the teeth start to show wear and tear it just gets worse. I was really good about taking care of my teeth and my first tooth was pulled when I was about24 years old. AFter going through the whole shooting match I do not consider it worth the battle, suffering and expense to save my teeth. The last 10 years were really a nightmare when I think back. When I looked at my calendar the last year prior to getting the last of my teeth pulled,I was astounded at the number of trips to the dentist each month. I had gotten so used to those trips that I just considered them normal. Sheeesh. Don't let your vanity cause you to suffer and spend all your money. There is a life with dentures.

Just to let you know, I just had my 3rd set of dentures made. My first ones, or temporary ones were great but worse out after having them lined and 5 years. The second set never did fit all that well, but were comfortable enough and I could eat anything. I am an ice chewer and I am hard on dentures. I knew that I had better get another set to have around for good and for when I wasn't chewing ice. I went to the same dentist and he knew I wasn't happy with the last pair. He had me come in 3 times to be measured for the new set. Got the new set and he sanded here and there and sent me home with them. I was to come back in a week and have any other spots sanded. Got that done, put them in and went home and never had to go back.

I do have to add a little denture cream to a couple of areas on both the upper and lower dentures but otherwise they are just awesome. Do not be afraid to ask friends about dentists and their experience in getting dentures. You deserve to have a good fit and to get your moneys worth. Good luck. irrish
Title: Re: Cavities, cavities, all in 6 mos.
Post by: Tinker on February 07, 2014, 08:25:36 PM
Thanks, Irish, for adding your perspective from the denture side of things. 

I'm going to get second opinion soon and if I like the new dentist, I'll have him fill.  I have good dental insurance.  But since I have many crowns, there isn't much they can do to save them if they start failing.

It's good to keep all this in perspective.  Infections, bone loss, LIFE after dentures.

I don't want 'em, but if this continues, I'll  be forced to face pulling the molars.  The front teeth, upper and lower, have no cavities.  Yet.

Thanks again to everyone for adding your info.

I'm a flossin' fool, brushin' fool, rinsing fool.  I am doing everything possible to save these teeth.  If this does no good, I must consider the alternatives.