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Old 02-16-2007, 04:00 PM   #1
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Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

I've had pain in the left side of my face/jaw for about 4 weeks. It feels to me like a dental problem, however I had a dental checkup last week and everything was fine.

I developed a cold at the end of the week, and about 5 days ago I noticed my lymph nodes in my neck were swollen, but only on the left side. My whole face feels swollen on that side, and there is some pressure in my face/neck/ear on that side. I'm feeling better (my cold), but the lymph nodes are still swollen. Thing is, I don't know if it's the cold that caused the swollen lymph nodes seeing as how they are on the left side and I've had pain on that side for several weeks. I'd go to the doctor about it, but last year I developed pain on the right side of my face/jaw and kept bugging the doctor about it until I was finally diagnosed with myofacial pain disorder from clenching.
The right side of my face feels better now, and this pain feels similar, except I never had swollen lymph nodes on the other side, and this feels like a dental thing in the gum or bone behind my back tooth on the bottom. When I eat certain things, like acidic things and chocolate, it feels instantly irritated and I can rub my tongue over that area and it feels irritated and bumpy. I'm wondering if I have a salivary gland disorder.

 
Old 02-17-2007, 11:15 AM   #2
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Re: Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

This is really bothering me. Could it be a salivary gland?

 
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:53 AM   #3
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Re: Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

I'm not sure but it could be tmj. Many people with tmj start out with what feels like swollen glands or lymph nodes and many are first diagnosed with a possible salivary gland infection. A round of antibiotics usually helps prove or disprove that theory although I do know a few people in the tmj forum that had their a salivary gland removed based on dr recommendation and the pain and sense of being swollen continued. The swolleness is usually due to the muscles in the area being overworked. Myofacial pain is closely related to tmj - and clenching is usually a major cause of both. Have you noticed any change in your bite or how the teeth meet, soreness of the tongue or underneath it, changes in how you chew or tendancy to favor one side, etc? Have you ever tried a mouth guard or splint?

 
Old 02-19-2007, 12:55 PM   #4
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Re: Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

Thelma-Louise, you have responded to me on the TMJ boards. Thanks so much for all your replies. It's nice to at least have someone reply!
My pain today is on both sides. It feels like I have places in my mouth that are sore, but nothing appears there. The gland on the left side of my neck is still a little swollen, but not as bad as it was. My neck muscles are sore on both sides, so are my shoulder muscles and even under my arms. I'm really getting sick of this. Problem is, I have health anxiety so I don't know how much of this is really a problem. And because of my health anxiety I went to the doctors several times about my face pain last year. So if I go to my doctor now, he'll just brush me off.

I've noticed with my tongue behind my front teeth down low, like below my teeth, way down in the bottom of my mouth, there is more of a lump on one side then the other. This is not the same place where there is irritation. In fact this lump doesn't hurt. I'm not sure if this is normal or not, like maybe just irregularity in facial symmetry. I'm really freaking out about this, but I went to the ENT twice last year about my jaw pain. They never did any kind of tests though, just felt around.

 
Old 02-19-2007, 04:59 PM   #5
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Re: Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

I have to tell you - before my tmj was diagnosed I was having very similar symptoms - I had a lump in front of my ear and swelling on one side one year and went from ENT to ENT and then it went away for a year and returned on the other side. From there it just got worse but it took almost 3 yrs before I developed myfacial spasms and overall body pain and twitching - but now I am working with a very knowledgeable dentist and I am starting to see some improvement. My sister is currently experiencing anxiety problems as well as an undiagnosed health issue - and I sincerely sympathize with you - drs basically just brush her off - but I tell her - and I emphasize the same with you - do not be deterred. Although anxiety can manifest itself through physical symptoms I really believe it is also a symptom of some other health issue - when you know something is wrong with your body but don't get any answers or relief the worry of what could be wrong just compounds things. If I told you how many time I was told my facial spasms were "all in my head" or caused by anxiety...I could go on and on.

The lump you are feeling could be a condyle - they are supposed to move back and forth on each side of the lower jaw but sometimes get stuck in one place. Or it could be a muscle cramped - like a charlie horse - I have had them on both sides of my lower front teeth and on the lower front behind my front teeth, but never at the same time so I know they can come and go. I have been told this is due to the lower jaw being imbalanced and that it is one of the ways it compensates for the imbalance. Asymetry in the face is one of the most common symptoms of tmj - it is caused by facial muscles not working together or some overworking and others underworking.

If you can find a holistic dentist, most are trained in the complexities of the cranial, cervical and central nervous system and through some pressure point testing can determine if this is due to a jaw imbalance. They defintely will believe and understand the symptoms you are describing.

I'm just curious, have you noticed your tongue going from tooth to tooth often or just "checking" each tooth as if it was searching for something or going from one side and then to the other? The irritations you have or feel - are they on the tongue or the the gum tissue?

Last edited by Thelma-Louise; 02-19-2007 at 05:01 PM.

 
Old 02-19-2007, 06:28 PM   #6
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Re: Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

I've also developed a lot of body aches. I think I may have fibromyalgia, or possibly it's just anxiety. I can't deny that I do believe anxiety can cause a lot of my problems. I mentioned on my other post on the TMJ board that my shoulders are tensed a lot. I will think about it and notice that I am very tense in my shoulders. I have also been having shooting pain under my arms, in my armpits, for almost 2 months on and off, and am wondering if it's from having my shoulders so tensed. When I push on areas under my arms, my top ribs are sore to the touch. I also have lumps on my abdomen that are tender or hurt when pushed on. I've had GI problems for over a year, which started this whole horrible spiral of health anxiety. Didn't have this problems before that, but I did start having panic attacks a few months before that. I think I may go get anti anxiety meds and see if that helps, I'm just scared it will cause worse depression, as I know that can be a side effect.

My husband rubs my shoulders very hard for me, and it feels really good as they are always sore. There are definately knots on my shoulder muscles that he rubs. I am thinking of going to the chronic pain massage place for a deep tissue massage, although his are pretty good so it may not be any better.

I don't notice my tongue going from tooth to tooth. My sensitivity is definately on my gum, or soft tissue area behind my lower, back tooth. I do move my tongue to my problem areas sometimes to feel them, which I probably shouldn't do because it makes me worry more. My face is not assymetrical. I blame my mom smoking while she was pg!
I also had braces for 3 years as a teenager ( almost 20 years ago) for underbite and my bite was off side to side so I had rubberbands. I do have lumps on my jaw that I can feel through my cheeks, had those checked out last year by an ENT. But this new lump I'm talking about is in my mouth, on the floor of my mouth below my front teeth to the left side. It doesn't move or hurt. Maybe it's always been there and I never noticed. I just don't know if others have different feeling bone structure in their mouths too, where it doesn't feel symetrical on both sides.

How do you find a homeopathic dentist? I'm worried about the cost too.

 
Old 02-20-2007, 03:06 PM   #7
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Re: Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

I would suggest you see a good dentist to see what is causing your problems.

 
Old 02-20-2007, 05:11 PM   #8
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Re: Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

You can try searching the web for holistic dentist or dentistry.

When my tmj was at its worse I had body pain all over, every bone and every muscle. I could not raise my arms or turn my neck but b/c of some the other symptoms you mention (lumps on abdomen) I was just wondering if you had been to your PCP or regular dr for medical checkup and some standard blood tests to check for other conditions that present similar symptoms. Also, although I don't mean to get personal or imply anything by this, but some of your symptoms (panic attacks and upper GI problems) are common during the onset of peri-menopause although I am not sure if that may apply to you or not - but thought I would mention it as well.

 
Old 02-21-2007, 08:55 AM   #9
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Re: Pain in gum behind back tooth on bottom, swells when eating certain foods.

It's okay. It's not too personal. I went to my GP in January and he ran a bunch of blood tests. Even tested my for lupus and lyme disease. Everything was normal, except for slightly elevated SED rate.

I am only 35, so I don't think I'm in perimenopause. In fact, my mom is just now going through menopause.

I made an apt with a different dentist for next monday. I will see what he says. It really feels to me like I have a cavity or infection in my back tooth and behind, but my checkup at my dentist didn't show it.

 
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