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Old 05-09-2006, 11:22 PM   #1
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Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Hey guys,

It is late so I'll try it keeps it as short as possible.

Some of you may remember me from a while back as I was having some problems with severe tooth pain a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I seen many specialists in England who did nothing to help me as I had diagnosises ranging from a possible infection, to neuralgia, and even psychosomatic symptoms.

I am currently living in Costa Rica and the health service here as so much better (not bad considing it is a third world country). I was treated here by the dentist, who then called the endodonist, and he rooted canaled the teeth but while doing it he then suspected something else wasn't right. He immediately called another specialist to come to the clinic to take a look, this specialist performs apisectomies and problems with the bones in the face. This guy took a quick look and immediately knew that I had a problem with the bones and that the jaw bone itself was infected. He told me that to wait would be a bad idea and decided to operate immediately. So he cut open the gums to get to the bone above my two front upper teeth to perform an apisectomy and to get a clear view on what was happening. When he opened up, the jaw bone was so infected that it had gone black. He told me that all this would need to be removed and took his time removing all of it and cutting off the roots of the teeth (a common practice during apisectomies). Unfortunately he had to remove so much infected bone that he then had to perform a bone graft to replace the old bone and to help regenerate some new healthy bone in its place. I was then given many injections in my rear end for pain and antibiotics, given a bunch of drugs to bring home with me to get me through the next few days and told to come back next week. He explained that the infection in the bone was pretty bad and he thinks he has removed most of it, however with it being chronic and in condition it was, the prognosis is only a 50% chance of success. But you know what, at least they are trying to do something to help me and not just telling me to go home and take some ibruphofen.

So has anybody ever had this experience before? What does it mean when the jawbone is going black? I'm guessing it is the bone dying right? I'd be interested in anybody's thoughts on this...

Thank you.

 
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Dear Dale,
Poor you, I feel for you...
I have had a throbbing lower left jaw for a while and similar to your start, the dentist has root canalled one tooth which seems to be sitting on top of a mess, and he suspects that there is more to it than just a simple infected tooth. The tooth was "too healthy" in his opinion before he started the root canal and stated that the neuralgia, eyepain, ear pain etc... couldn't have come from a tooth that was hardly infected. He has a specialist coming in in two weeks to have a look at a few odd cases. He says the root canal will be successful, the tooth will be fine but whatever is going on underneath will keep stirring things up. He could root canal the entire side but that seems crazy because it would not eradicate the problem anyway, probably worsen it in fact.
Your problem is called Osteomyelitis or sometimes referred to as NICO. It can be caused by many things, facial injury, an inflammed capillary, the dental drill itself, previous extraction,wisdom teeth sites are a real hot spot for this debilitating problem, bad bone density, having streptococcus or another form of bacterial illness at the time of extraction...it gets into the site and starts to eat away and spread like the plague.
Most dentists are afraid of these cases and prefer to say you are nuts and need a shrink because they don't want to have to take care of the mess. Some do not even acknowledge the problem exists.
Eat a hearty diet (soft food of course) to promote healing. Try Bcomplex for any nerve damage you may have suffered...it has definitely helped me.
Take good care...fingers crossed.

 
Old 05-10-2006, 04:03 PM   #3
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

I went through this problem last year but fortunately I got better. Its been almost a year now and no problems with my mandible so Im crossing my fingers that I am totally cured.
They key, like you guys mentioned, is getting doctors who WANT to treat you and who know what they are doing. I went through several doctors/dentists originally who kept telling me I had TMJ and sent me on my way with a prescription for painkillers that didnt help the problem at all. It wasnt until I went to a major Medical University that they took things seriously. My mandible on the right side was barely there...but now it is almost FULLY grown back with no signs of infection. It was a rough road but it can be done.
Now, I just got my other set of wisdom teeth out and Im completely paranoid...but the doctors are keeping a very close watch on me so if something does come up they can treat it immediately.

[Do not use cuss/slang words. Please consider the smilies to show emphasis or to express emotions. Thanks - Well-come Moderator.]

Last edited by Well-come; 05-10-2006 at 05:17 PM.

 
Old 05-10-2006, 06:22 PM   #4
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Have any of you used Fosamax, as there is a scary warning out about this drug causing necrosis of the jaw bone. I have been battling bone pain for 2 years and nothing shows on x-rays or scans.

 
Old 05-10-2006, 07:23 PM   #5
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Sae, never heard of Fosamax but Ill surely remember the name now that youve mentioned it.
Dale, I totally agree with you about the medical care in Costa Rica. I had to be treated in San Jose at a private clinic when I was younger and got some of the best care Ive ever had anywhere!

 
Old 05-10-2006, 09:30 PM   #6
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Holy crow! This is some scary stuff! Did the infection show up in an xray? How does one know they have this? Where you feeling ill from it?

 
Old 05-11-2006, 12:25 AM   #7
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Hey guys,

I can certainly relate to some of these stories, and it's a real shame that we have to go through all this stuff until we can find a doctor who will actually treat it. I know for me at times the pain has been quite simply unbearable and I thought about ending it on a number of occasions. When they found it was osteomyelitis it was actually such a relief just to know that the pain wasn't in my head. Trust me, there is no way you could make a pain like this in your head, it was excruciating.

I had my surgery on Tuesday, and I'm still feeling a lot of post operative pain which I suspect I will continue to feel for some time. The pain does feel more in the bone now rather than in the teeth which you would expect (although it doesn't help for sleeping as I have hardly managed to get a wink of sleep since the surgery).

scguy, I really hope that I manage to take a similar rode to you and recover successful. I was surprised when they rushed me in for surgery yesterday as I believe that with things like this you can actually die from if the infection gets into the bloodstream etc. This thought did freak me out a little bit and I suspect was an over-reaction, but I guess you can't mess around with these kinds of things.

suzyisdizzy, I don't think there is any way of doing a scan for this. I know a normal dental x-ray will rarely show anything like this. They discovered it in me when they were trying to root canal my teeth, they put in seven shots of anaesthetic, and tapped the tooth and I would still feel the pain. So another specialist took one look and knew right away that I had a bone infection which is why the anaesthetic was having little effect amongst other things such as swelling and pain in specific areas. But I know this guy is well qualified at what he does and so recognises it through his own experiences, most doctors and dentists simply don't have a clue. I guess I am one of the lucky ones now. I just have to hope that this will all soon be over.

 
Old 05-11-2006, 03:08 AM   #8
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

scguy,

How did they fix your jawbone? What kind of drugs or surgery did they do?

 
Old 05-11-2006, 06:00 AM   #9
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by scguy
Sae, never heard of Fosamax but Ill surely remember the name now that youve mentioned it.
Dale, I totally agree with you about the medical care in Costa Rica. I had to be treated in San Jose at a private clinic when I was younger and got some of the best care Ive ever had anywhere!
Fosamax is an ostoporosis medication. Yes it is reported that those who have taken this have had necrosis or death of the jaw bone. Especially in those who have had injuries or dental surgeries. There are other ostoporosis medications too that have been associated with this. My Prosthodontist wrote me personally to tell me not to take this drug since I have implants.
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:07 AM   #10
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Is there any way to diagnose this other than opening up the area and looking at the jawbone?

I have had right lower jaw pain for a year now. Teeth according to multiple dentists and endodontists look great. No problem with the gums. The pain is tough to isolate but seems to be coming from below the teeth. I went so far as to have my submandibular gland removed but it didn't change the pain. Now I have been diagnosed with an "atypical neuropathy" for what that's worth. The medications they are giving me do help with the pain but I have to wonder what the source is. I have no fevers or other signs of infection.

What specifically were your symptoms that led them to make the decision to open your jawbone? Is there any alternative way to diagnose this?

 
Old 05-11-2006, 11:56 AM   #11
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Hi again....big hello to CT...good to hear from you again.
Reading about all of this always makes my stomach turn. Why is it that all of us have to go thru the stage of being told we are nutz, that the pain is in our head, that it is just a matter of neurology or sth psychosomatic? The whole issue is in my case is getting annoying and as you said Dale, there are days when one thinks about ending it all because th pain is unbearable....but then again, I do not want to give in to these so-called drs who have no compassion. My new dentist is interested but I am beginning to think that he smells money and that is all.

Ct mom...the whole viral thing in my case has given a number of dentists an excuse why to simply brush me off as a lunatic so I wish nobody had ever mentioned that. I know that viruses can contribute to osteomyelitis but why then keep opening things up in my mouth so the "virus" can find another way in thru the wounds and blood? It just doesn't make sense to me anymore. My lungs have been a mess ever since the last root canaled tooth which started the whole mess, failed and was extracted so I am convinced that my mouth and lungs are connected that something has spread...maybe actinomycosis?

Having my wisdoms removed in the autumn seems to have just stirred things up and transported the problem to the same side of my mouth as the where the wisdoms were. The current root canal is an absolute failure even though the dentist keeps rambling on optimistically about it all and not listening to the fact that half of my face is in utter pain ever since he killed the tooth...more than before when the tooth was alive. He started it 10 days ago and already wants to fill it for good which seems insane to me as I feel like the tooth has become the volcano for spewing out some of the tension that is below it. Prior to the decision to risk having the tooth rc, I was told the "trigeminal neuralgia" is due to Herpes 1 or 2...I am beginning to think it is bogus and I am back at my original hunch...osteomyelitis. The tooth is sitting on a gold mine of pain which can not be solved thru the tooth...I will not buy this theory but I can not find anyone who will really believe me and has the potential to help.

I have had a CT scan and nil, the scintography showed increased osteoblastoma activity in the area and I was brushed off with "that is because of the wisdom tooth extraction." Then why was the scint done in the first place when the quack dentist at the only special clinic who ordered it was the one who had extracted my wisdoms? Whatever is going on in my lower jaw is has reached the nerve and is causing the trig neuralgia. No dentist can begin to imagine what the pain is like, it is not a figment of anyone's imagination.

Sorry for going on like this.....I am EXTREMELY frustrated today because I am in agony from the ear and eye pain and non-stop throbbing jaw that does not respond to pain killers. I get chills and then I feel like I am burning but my temp never goes over 37. It has been like this for 1/2 a year and now with a dead tooth sitting on top of the mess, it feels worse. Insanity. I have a ddt appointment tomorrow which is making me nervous because I know it will lead nowhere, just more money down the drain and more pain.

Anyway, I had better go and take my usual useless dose of pain killers and pray to God that things will be better in the morning. Another sleepless night ahead.....

This is an interesting thread and it is good to read about you scguy that things are going well. I have been following your posts in the past suspecting that I may have to go down the same road one day. Fingers are crossed and sincere wishes for the positive progress to continue.

Take good care all

 
Old 05-11-2006, 05:28 PM   #12
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CASurfer
scguy,

How did they fix your jawbone? What kind of drugs or surgery did they do?
I was on IV antibiotics for 6-7 weeks, then orals for another 3 months. It was clindamyacin and some other "new" antibiotic but for the life of me I cannot remember the name. Very expensive though, (I didnt have a prescription plan at the time.)
I actually had to have 2 bone debridements...the first one was done poorely. I spent a week in the hospital.

I also went for Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments for a 20 day period. HBO therapy helps improve blood circulation...especially to the jaw bone where it is normally poor. Also helps the jaw heal.

It was quite an ordeal and i NEVER wish that pain on anyone...not even my worst enemy. And I thank the people on this board in particular for suggesting to me that it could be Osteomyelitis. If I hadnt mentioned it to the doctors they would probably still be treating me.

 
Old 05-11-2006, 05:29 PM   #13
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

I remember the other drug it was Levaquin.

 
Old 05-11-2006, 06:33 PM   #14
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

Does anyone know if the drug accutane could cause this as well? And what are the symtoms of osteomyletis?

 
Old 05-11-2006, 07:41 PM   #15
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Re: Jaw bone infection... Some info please :)

My symptoms came after about 3-4 weeks after having a wisdom tooth removed. I had severe pains all day long that worsened at night. The pain was so horrible I was taking about 20 extra strength Tylenols a day...its the only thing that helped and then it only took away the pain for an hour or so. I couldnt sleep at night because it hurt so bad to lay my head down.
I also had a slight fever, swollen jaw and finally drainage (puss). I also couldnt open my mouth very wide...just enough to get some liquid food in. I ended up losing about 20 lbs. before it was over.
The pain was the main thing though...I talked to a friend at work who also went through this (very coincidentally) and she said the pain was worse than childbirth.

 
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