Blogger won't let me upload images, not sure if it will even let me post this. I'll try again tomorrow. After 10 days of feeling extra awful I realised I had an abscess on my molar. The culprit was a piece of popcorn husk!
Once I realised what it was (when it was so hugely swollen that my self help brain kicked into action (finally!) and I made a mouthwash with diluted apple cider vinegar & geranium oil (because I had run out of Tea Tree oil) to kill the bacteria and sooth the pain which I used every 2 hours through the night. I also made pressed on a teaspoonful of sodium bicarbonate to draw out the nastiness.
By the time I saw the dentist the next day I had pretty much cleared it, except for the piece of popcorn. He said he would have given me anitbiotics if I'd come to them earlier, but that what I'd done had been really effective so there was no need for any medication. I was so pleased with myself, I hate taking antibiotics and you know how much I believe in the power of vinegar for all manner of things.
Apparently the infection had been really severe but I had attributed the feverishness and feeling awfulness to my other ailments and didn't really take the gum/tooth pain seriously until I found a pea sized lump in the middle of my jaw which, it turns out, was a swollen lymph gland. I thought lymph glands/nodes were at the back of the jaw and under the jaw, but there are little ones all over the place. You learn something new everyday. I'm rather fond of my little bit of lymph now, the unsung hero of my jawline. I wonder how long it will take to go flat again?
So the moral of the story, if you get popcorn under you gum and you can't reach it with floss, go to the dentist before it turns nasty.