The dentist said something must've gotten packed in the gum, got stuck, then got infected. When the pain hit it was my body trying to get rid of whatever was stuck. The antibiotics got rid of the infection so the pain went away.
I tell you, it was pain akin to childbirth and kidney stones. I can say that because I've experienced both. Mouths must have a lot of nerve endings to have that kind of pain over some less-than-dramatic problem.
Still, dental issues freak me out. I worked for an architectural firm when I got out of college and one of the partners died because of dental complications. It's really nothing to mess around with.
So I get to keep the tooth. That's always something to smile about.