Salivary Glands

Inside our mouths, we have salivary glands. I knew they were there but didn’t realize the impact of having a malfunctioning one. Actually, it was blocked.

I went to the dentist in March 2011 and had a new crown put in along with a root canal and a composite filling. Ever since then, my life has not been the same.

I returned to the dentist 3 times. The first time, I had a lot of discomfort in my mouth and I told the dentist that my crown felt like someone had crammed a wad of gum in there. He made some adjustments but they didn’t help. Then he put me on a short interval of prednisone.

This still didn’t help. My mouth felt dry, gritty and my tongue was burning on the left side. I also had pain in the area of the root canal work that was done which is weird as the nerves were taken out. Each time I went back, the dentist would make an adjustment until finally he said “I don’t know what’s wrong.” I’m going to refer you to a specialist. And he did.

The specialist was an oral and maxillofacial dentist. This specialist told me that my salivary gland was blocked on the left side. He gave me some “tips,” ie suck on lemon drops and drink lots of water with lemon juice. This was supposed to encourage my gland to open up so that surgery was not needed. It didn’t work.

I called and made my second appointment with him. He was very nice. He was prepared to do a small surgery on my gland when I arrived. As soon as he stuck a small instrument in my mouth, a small piece of white matter popped out of the gland hole. He said it was very tiny.

I had one more follow-up appointment with him and the gland was flowing with saliva just like it was supposed to.

Looking back, I believe the gland was blocked by the dental work that was done in my mouth. The dentist did not use a dam which is a thin piece of latex that is placed over the tooth/teeth that is being worked on. My previous dentist always used a dam but I never thought to ask them to put one on as I am always nervous when I go to the dentist office. The dam prevents “stuff” from going all over the inside of your mouth while the dentist is drilling.

I wish I could say that this is the end of the story, but it’s not. I continued to have the burning sensation on my tongue along with the feeling of something gritty leaking from the root canal area.

Stay tuned as the rest of the story gets even more interesting.



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