I've learned a lot about teeth this week.
On Thursday I had a second molar root removed due to what originally presented as a periodontal pocket that was prone to getting food stuck in it. I thought it was going to be a quick, one-time trip to the dentist with the problem quickly solved. First mistake. My dentist said that there was severe decay, that had developed quite quickly over the past year underneath the crown, and he had to remove the crown. He didn't think he could save the tooth; his reason was because the decay took too much of the tooth for a crown to attach. Since the tooth was root-canaled, I could get the root taken out whenever I wanted to in the next couple of months.
However, over the few days after the crown was removed, the tooth got considerably more painful, the dentist called in an antibiotic, and I moved the appointment for the root removal up with the oral surgeon to ASAP. Which was Thursday morning.
Curiously, the oral surgeon who removed the tooth said there was no active infection. There were some signs of chronic infection, but not anything currently going on. He did say, however, that the tooth had a cracked root, and cracked roots cannot be saved. The pain was from the tangled nerve complex in the gums and bone adjacent to the root canaled tooth and cracked root. He told me all this on the phone yesterday when I was under the influence of Lortab, and that was all I comprehended.
I got on the internet today and googled "cracked root." Everything was spot-on. No pain actually inside a tooth that has a root canal, but pain and periodontal pockets can develop around it, and swollen, painful bumps can also form above and around the tooth. My symptoms exactly.
Now I need to make sure I know how to keep from cracking any more tooth roots.
And I am very thankful for modern dentistry. And Lortab.