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Gum pain and difficulty in chewing - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Dental Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1764 Questions
User :   Hi doc, ive been having gum pain on the lower left side of my teeth.
The pain is there when i use my tongue to press it firmly in an up and down motion, when i drink anything whether hot or cold from the left side and sometimes when eating.
what cld it be? im scared its gum cancer. im a 23 year old male smoker for 3 years now. pls explain more abt gum cancer pain. does it start like my case? is it there ALWAYS?
Doctor :   Hi
User :   Hi doc, ive been having gum pain on the lower left side of my teeth. The pain is there when i use my tongue to press it firmly in an up and down motion, when i drink anything whether hot or cold from the left side and sometimes when eating.what cld it be? im scared its gum cancer. im a 23 year old male smoker for 3 years now. pls explain more abt gum cancer pain. does it start like my case? is it there ALWAYS?
Doctor :   please give me a couple of mins to read your query
Doctor :   could i ask you a few relevant questions?
User :   sure
Doctor :   may i know if you witnessed any gum bleed ?
User :   not as of now
Doctor :   ok , since 3 years you said you smoked , may i know how many per day
Doctor :   are you with me?
Doctor :   are you there?
Doctor :   are you with me??
User :   sry
User :   yes i am
User :   erm maybe 10 a day?
Doctor :   any alcohol consumption and illicit drugs too?
User :   alcohol yes
User :   no illicit drugs
User :   i took a picture over at the link
User :   pls see if u can view it
Doctor :   yes i viewed it
Doctor :   it is not very clear for me to give my opinion
Doctor :   but i will surely guide you now
Doctor :   do you notice this to grow in size as days progress?
User :   nope
Doctor :   ok
User :   its just pain that comes when i drink smth ( not everytime only when its very cold )
Doctor :   any weight loss, fever, body aches recently?

User :   however,when i talk or do smth normal there is no pain at all
User :   nope
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   on viewing your picture
Doctor :   and listening to your history i could come to these conclusions
User :   yes
Doctor :   this is due to a common condition known as submucous fibrosis
Doctor :   this is seen in people who smoke and drink as well
Doctor :   and consume spicy food too
User :   uh huh
User :   i see
Doctor :   this causes constant irritation to the oral cavities
Doctor :   i can also see some dental caries from your picture
User :   so that means this causes pain also yes?
Doctor :   yes
Doctor :   it causes pain and irritation
User :   is it pre-cancerous?
Doctor :   when the surface is again and again put to irritants like smoking, alcohol
Doctor :   yes, it is pre cancerous
Doctor :   i would advise you to se a dentist
Doctor :   he would be able to appreciate
Doctor :   it could just be a normal ulcer as well due to smoking and poor oral hygeine
Doctor :   you may need a round of cleaning
User :   i saw a dentist and a physician
Doctor :   and filling of cavities
User :   they were not bothered by it
User :   they told me its nothing
Doctor :   ok that is good
User :   the dentist did tell me that 'ur teeth needs to be filled'
Doctor :   since there is no symptom of any weight loss, fever
Doctor :   i will not think of cancer so soon
User :   but if teeth needs to be filled and they are not - does that cause pain also?
Doctor :   yes, the cavities beneath have chances of going into infection and when food particles accumalate , they will hurt
User :   and once they fill up - will the pain stop?
User :   or will i need anti-biotics?
Doctor :   since you also smoke it will add on to the pain
User :   i see
Doctor :   yes, the pain will subside, but you need to constantly maintain oral hygiene and be gentle with the gums
User :   but doc i must add then when i smoke there is no pain,when i shout scream or talk there is no pain also
User :   ok doc then also, what is the earliest sign present for gum cancer?
Doctor :   pain may not be immediate

Doctor :   it will manifest eventually
User :   is the pain associated with gum cancer there 24/7 tt means there is pain when talking,swallowing saliva etc etc?
Doctor :   so i feel you need a round of cleaning and filling
Doctor :   it could be a possibility , but i wont think of it for now as the doctor's have examined you and did not alert you on it
Doctor :   it could be a simple ulcer which needs treatment
Doctor :   i suggest you quit smoking
User :   yeah
Doctor :   avoid spicy food
Doctor :   and alcohol
User :   ok but back to the part abt gum cancer
User :   so whats e earliest symptoms of gum cancer
Doctor :   it will be a lesion noticeable in the gums, getting harder by the day and increasing in size with bleeding
Doctor :   and associated with fever, weight loss, pain , etc
User :   i see
User :   oh u get fever with gum cancer also?
Doctor :   any cancer can present as fever
User :   ok doc then lets say Patient A has gum cancer but he thinks its nothing,how long can he live untreated?
Doctor :   if you take good care now and get it treated it will heal soon
User :   ok doc then lets say Patient A has gum cancer but he thinks its nothing,how long can he live untreated?
Doctor :   it depends on the everity and stage of the cancer
Doctor :   if at all it is cancer
User :   yeah
User :   but still
User :   roughly how long for gum cancer?
User :   on e average
Doctor :   only by doing a biopsy and other tests and looking at his general health, we can determine survival chances
Doctor :   if it is detected in early stages, it can be cured by surgery
User :   we looking at 6 months maybe?
User :   if that patient doesnt do anything abt it
Doctor :   if it is later stages, depending whether it has spread to other body parts beyond gums we decide
User :   and how long does it take for stage 1 gum cancer to go to stage 4? like months or years?
Doctor :   he can be cured if it was with in 6 months time
Doctor :   we cannot exactly comment on this without examination and tests as every cancer has stage
Doctor :   it can go from months to years
User :   just a rough figure pls doc
User :   hmmm i see
Doctor :   it spreads faster if person continues smoking
User :   i see
Doctor :   roughly an year or so
User :   cos im confused abt that too
User :   as some ppl say gum cancer spreads real fast like 3-4 months to e other parts
User :   some say it takes years even if u continue to smoke etc etc
Doctor :   yes, as i mentioned it could be with an years time
User :   hmm i see
Doctor :   gum cancer has great risk and faster spread upto 40 times faster than other cancers
Doctor :   if the person continues to smoke and drink as well
User :   ok doc then lets say i just continue having this pain and no other symptoms appear such as lesions bleeding fever but the pain is there for 5 months - can i rule gum cancer out for myself?
Doctor :   no , you cannot rule out yourself
Doctor :   you need to go for a regular examination
Doctor :   if the pain subsides nothing to worry
User :   hmm i see
User :   i understand
User :   any remedies u reccomend other than decreasing smoke and alcohol?
Doctor :   since the doctors have examined you , i feel you need not worry as long as you do not smoke
Doctor :   yes, as i mentioned oral hygiene is compulsory
Doctor :   a well as brush daily twice
Doctor :   use a good mild mouth wash
Doctor :   do not irritate the gums much
User :   i see
Doctor :   you could use soft brisstled tooth brush
Doctor :   and the bottom line is to avoid repeated injury to the area
Doctor :   avoid spicy food
Doctor :   avoid stress
Doctor :   and give up smoking
User :   ive been prescribed erythromycin antiobitocs
Doctor :   get the fillings done
User :   will that help at all cos bacteria seems to be in gums?
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   yes, it is a good antibiotic, but was this given for the same reason?
Doctor :   you could also apply some antibiotic applications like oral metrogyl gel
User :   yea
Doctor :   this will heal in a couple of months i feel
User :   i have tried some oral gels but did not work
Doctor :   if you follow these measures
User :   oh in a couple of months?
Doctor :   and take a pain killer if it hurts more
Doctor :   and multivitamins too
User :   i heard some say if it doesnt heal in 2 weeks its cancer? is that any true?
Doctor :   i hope i answered all your questions
Doctor :   we need time
Doctor :   no , it does not mean like that , that it has to be cancer , ulcers also take lot of time
User :   i see
Doctor :   did you follow my suggestions?
User :   so the 2 weeks thing is not true eh?
User :   yes
Doctor :   no , it does not mean any specific thing
Doctor :   ok , thanks for consulting me
User :   i see
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