You would think that destructive conditions, like cancer, hight cholesterol or diabetes, would be associated with pain, but they aren't.
You would also think that having extremely infected teeth and bone loss would hurt, too, but it normally doesn't.
Upper molars are usually three rooted; one large root that runs up the bone to the roof of the mouth and two smaller ones that run up the bone on the cheek side. Think of a three-legged stool with the sinus lying between the three roots.
This particular molar looks almost normal when you view it from the roof of the mouth. When you look at the same tooth from the cheek side, you see that the two roots are completely exposed in the mouth.
This patient is not in pain, yet they have a very serious infection; one so severe that the infection ate away all the bone and gum around the two roots.
It looks like someone surgically removed all of the tissue. No scalpel touched this tooth; it was all done by the power of this patient's immune system.
The body saw the infected roots as if they were infected foreign matter in the body, like thorns, and is simply pushing the thorn out via swelling.
What can you do to prevent this from ever happening to you? First of all, you need to have a dentist who offers special gum and bone disease exams. This exam includes taking X-rays of all of your existing teeth, using what is called a periodontal probe to check for bone loss, checking for teeth mobility, along with gum recession and bleeding.
Secondly, it is very important that the dentist give you a customized plan if you do have gum disease.
Thirdly, your dentist or hygienist should provide you home regime that is specifically designed for your mouth and your needs.
Remember, it is your mouth, your health and your money, so if you feel you are not getting all of the attention or information you need, ask for it. Once a tooth reaches this stage of infection, there is no option for it except extraction.
Dont wait until it hurts before you visit a dentist.