Hello, My permanent Crown was placed in January for my bottom 1st molar. During the procedure, I felt a pinching pain in my jaw and into my ear. Afterwards, I was getting pain in my ear, jaw, neck and temple. I've been to a few doctors and been treated for tendonitis and TMJ. Nothing helps. I have a throbbing in my jaw (mostly at night) and hurts to chew on the tooth (pinching in jaw). I've seen 3 dentists, that state I do not need a root canal, no abcess. But, they have no other ideas about what's causing the pain.
It does not feel like it's the tooth or a toothache causing the pain.
It's been almost 9 months and I'm at my wits end. Could the crown be 'pinching' a nerve or something in my jaw? Any ideas or help, please!!!
It does sound like a root canal waiting to happen. An inflamed tooth nerve can cause pain all over that side of your face (it's called referred pain). I would get an appointment with an endodontist (a specialist) - you may need a root canal even if no abscess is visible yet. They have cold tests and electronic pulp testers. My advice, though: Only get the root canal done if the endodontist is 100% sure to have found the right tooth. After a tooth ache similar to yours (including pinching jaw pain), I got a root canal on the wrong tooth, which, of course, did nothing to relieve the pain. (Just found out that another tooth was all decayed, even though no decay showed on the x-rays.)
Best of luck to you. 9 months is an awfully long time to be in pain!!
Hi, Thanks for the reply! Here's my confusion... I already had a pulp test performed on the tooth. (before and after the crown) I do not have swollen gums or sensitivity. The tooth didn't even bother me before the crown. (it had big filling, then a crack)
I have seen an oral surgeon and a endodontist. Since this pain started months ago and hasn't gotten worse (maybe alittle better) they all thought I didn't need a root canal because other evidence would have shown up by now.
During the day, I feel good, but by night, the aching acts up. Sometimes heat on the back of my neck helps. It only pinches when I chew hard food.
That's my one fear...having one dentist say I need a root canal... then risking more damage and wasting money and end up w/the same pain.
Similar thing happened to me. I got a crown on #30 tooth (bottom right molar) and started getting jaw ache, facial ache, earache. Do you think the crown is loose? Does the shape of the crown resembles the shape of your original tooth (at least somewhat)? Has the dentist checked your bite *carefully* on that crown after he put it in? Do you think your upper and lower jaws mesh in harmony when you close your mouth? Or does it feel odd? Do you hit on that crown first when you close your mouth? or Do you think it is too short?Do you have trouble chewing your food? is there any visible sign of wear on the other teeth, especially on the other side of your mouth? Of course, these are relative questions, relative to before you got that crown.
My problem is that my crown is too short and my mouth is unbalanced. One side is higher than the other side which make chewing a chore, not to mention that my jaw muscles feel tight everyday and I am excessively wearing down my teeth on the opposite side.
Another important thing: Do you grind/clench your teeth at night (or during the day)? If so and if your crown has manufactured high, then you might be putting enormous amountof pressure on that crown. That could simply be the root of your pain.
If your crown fits well...A tooth can take forever to die. 9 months is a long time, but I wouldn't rule it out (one endodontist told me about 6 months is not unusual). Of course, if that tooth has been testing normally, I would wait until it dies or reacts abnormally before doing a root canal.
BTW, it's not unusual for a tooth to act up after preparation for a crown: With deep fillings/decay, the tooth may already have been cronically inflamed (often without pain), and the irritation from the crown prep pushes it over the edge.
Thanks zahnschmerzen and Piperdreams.
Most of the time, the crown feels perfect, then sometimes (when my jaw is acting up) it feels like there's a big 'rock' sitting there! Same with chewing, I'm fine when my jaw is quiet, then it pinches when the jaw acts up.
My 'second opinion' dentist rechecked my bite and it came out normal. I probably do clench my teeth at night because of the daily stress. I should go back to another oral surgeon and start different TMJ treatments.
You see, my first one wanted me to get a second opinion, then he left my health plan!!
Piper - Are you still having problems? Did you just have pain at night? Do you have to replace the crown? How do you deal w/your pain?
zahnschmerzen - When you say - "the tooth may already have been cronically inflamed (often without pain), and the irritation from the crown prep pushes it over the edge" - Does that mean there's no hope? Or just a root canal in the future?
Another crazy symptom - When I'm busy and running around all day, I'm 95% pain free. But when I finally sit and rest after dinner.....it acts up.
IF your problem is due to an inflamed nerve, there's little doubt that you will need a root canal is in the future. But I wouldn't get anything done until diagnosis is confirmed! Of course, with the daily pain, that sounds like torture (and I know: I have been in dental pain since February).
I think it's pretty normal to feel the pain less when you're busy - it's probably still there, just pushed in the background.
When you go to different dentists, do you mention the NAMES of the other dentists you've been to? That is a no-no. These guys are COLLEAGUES. What you need to do is say some dentist in another state placed the crown.
And don't mention ANY dentist's names. These people could possibly be buddies.
I think you have a cracked tooth under the crown that goes into the root. My guess is you need a root canal. Whatever you do , get it done by an endodontist.
zahnschmerzen - Sorry to hear that you have been in pain for months also. What happened to you?
I went from my first dentist, who gave me the Crown. (he said the pinching was only sore tissue)
Then I saw my family doctor who treated me for tendonitis. (all my facial & neck muscles were in spasm, tight, couldn't open my mouth wide)
Then he referred to an Oral Surgeon for TMJ. (who thought my xray looked 'off')
So, he told me to find a 'second opinion' dentist. Who thought Xray was OK and my pain wasn't symptomatic for a root canal. But, then he referred me to the Endodontist and a pain mangement clinic (haven't gone there yet.)
Only my second dentist asked who my oral surgeon was and the endo asked who referred me to him. Whew!
What's strange in my mind is, I always thought any dentist would JUMP at the chance of giving a root canal and all these guys are truly avoiding it. Which makes me want to believe them, mostly because I don't want a root canal!! But, I'm still in pain and running around in circles!!