I've had a tooth that the dentist told me needed to come out about 4 years ago. This is due to degeneration of the gum in that area. Believe it Occupational Therapist (OT) not, I've held onto it for this many years because I can't deal with major dental work without being under enough not to have a clue what's going on- and I can't even look at that huge stainless steel needle without runnning out of the office. I'm a whimp abou things like that. The area would get painful perioduically but I'd take antibiotics and tylenol a while, then it became tolerable again. by the way, this is a molar, the rear tooth since my wisdom teeth were cut out many years ago. Now, couple of days ago I noticed the area was more sore than usual. Yesterday I noticed my face was a little swolen on that side, in front, and it hurt if I touched it in the area of my cheekbone. I woke up during the night and the back of my jaw hurt if I tried to open my mouth wide enough to yawn. This morning, the front of my face on that side is swolen more. Does this mean infection throughout the area from the tooth/gum, or is this probably a completely different problem? I looked to see if I could find any signs of a bug bite or other injury but I don't. If it has spread, would patient first be able to do something- like rx an antibiotic- or would it still be considered "dental" under insurance and medication requirements?