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Old 04-06-2007, 02:19 PM   #1
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Jean Marie HB User
Question Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

3 1/2 years ago I had my left lower wisdom tooth removed and developed dry socket. Immediately after, I developed sinusitus which I had for 6 months. During that time I began getting tongue inflammation and severe jaw pain that radiated into my breastbone. I went to doctor after doctor. I finally went to an oral pathologist who did a panagram. When nothing showed, he diagnosed me with neuralgia. WRONG! Last August after continual visits to my dentist because of the pain, she drilled into the tooth adjacent to the wisdom tooth I had removed a few years earlier and discovered the nerves were dying and the tooth was neucrotic. I experienced much relief after the nerves were removed. I took antibiotics for a couple weeks, then had the tooth pulled. Three days later my whole jaw swelled for several weeks and the breastbone pain became intolerable. I went to an Internal Medicine Specialist who had my jaw scanned. The scan showed "hot spots" which I was told was not uncommon given the trauma to my jaw. She refuses to even consider infection. I was diagnosed once again with neuralgia. She also says I have asthma (strange, when I can only feel the lung constriction on the left side), acid reflux, AND chostochondritis. I am having a hard time believing this as ALL my symptoms began at the exact same time. Also, I can feel the pathway of my pain - from the pocket under my jaw where the teeth were removed (which keeps developing inflammation), down my neck, and into the back of my breastbone. It has all become completely debilitating, and doctors treat me as if I am a hypochondriac. Any thoughts or suggestions out there??
Jean
PS - I have left out all the X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, heart tests, blood tests, etc., I've had done to rule out other conditions.

 
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:47 PM   #2
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Hi Jean, I am just wondering why you dont think neuralgia can be the problem as it can be a very painful thing to have? Perhaps there are nerves that lead from the jaw downwards and these have been damaged causing the bad pain?

 
Old 04-06-2007, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xant View Post
Hi Jean, I am just wondering why you dont think neuralgia can be the problem as it can be a very painful thing to have? Perhaps there are nerves that lead from the jaw downwards and these have been damaged causing the bad pain?
Thanks for the reply. There are several reasons I don't think the pain is neuralgia - maybe partly, but not all. I've asked several doctors about a nerve running from my jaw to my breastbone. They all say no - two different problems. Also, it is not the "typical" neuralgia pain which is shooting and pulsating...my pain is burning, localized, and constant. Nerve pain meds have not helped, but Ibuprophen will, if I take enough of it. Tissue inflammation keeps developing -and just my tongue rubbing against the affected area (when I talk) can increase the irritation to the point I become hoarse.
Another reason I keep suspecting infection is, that according to many articles I've read, breastbone pain can be a symptom of oral infections. I guess all in all, I am skeptical because nothing the doctors diagnose explains all my symptoms, and none of their treatments have given any relief. And to get everything at once and yet not have them be linked.....just seems like too big a coincidence to me. Thanks again
Jean

 
Old 04-06-2007, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Since you suspect an infection, have you tried any antitbiotics and if so do you get any relief? Generally a blood test can also confirm an underlying infection in addition to xrays, scans, etc. My PCP never seems to question me when I ask for antibiotic for dental reasons - I know not a great thing either, but you may want to check with your PCP. Also, b/c this has become chronic I was wondering if you have tried trigger point injections - this is generally a mixuture of lydacaine and a form of novacaine injection both inside and outside of the mouth in the area of the of the inflamation - if this is indeed nerve related, there are many types of nerve blocking injections that may help. You may also want to consult with a cranio-facial, orofacial or myofacial pain specialist. Also have you been back to the oral surgeon on the slim chance this may be due to a jaw "bone" infection - from what I understand this can be difficult to determine by those not familiar with it and often goes undiagnosed. Was just wondering if your tongue hurts, feels irritated, pulls toward one side or tends to push against one side more than the other? Do you ever have trouble swallowing?

 
Old 04-07-2007, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

My medical history is such a mess because I've been to so many doctors that it would take pages to tell. The second tooth that was pulled had apparently been abscessing for well over two years if intense pain is any indication (I've often wondered if infection from the first tooth could have spread to the second). Numerous blood tests were taken then (and since) and no infection was ever indicated. I was told that when an infection localizes, it often doesn't show in blood tests. After the second extraction, my entire left jaw swelled for over a month, and I was on antibiotics for about six weeks. Things slowly did improve then, but it got to the point where they wouldn't give me any more antibiotics - and still won't. I've had trigger point injections in my chest for pain (not my jaw), but they didn't seem to help much. The discomfort is much deeper than rib joint pain indicated by costochondritis. Here's any irony. I did go to an extremely reputable oral surgeon who DID suspect it could be infection. He was going to refer me to an Infectious Disease doctor, but wanted to consult with an ENT collegue first. When he didn't get back to me and my calls went unreturned (later heard he had a heart attack), I began seeing an Internal Medicine doctor out of desperation. I requested my records from him - and no mention of the pending referral. My Internal Medicine doc does not believe it's infection....says I'd be much sicker and in the hospital if it were - and that I would not get a good reception if I tried to go to an Infectious Disease doctor on my own. I tried to get an appointment with another oral surgeon, and I can't get in for over six months (I live in a rural area).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thelma-Louise View Post
Was just wondering if your tongue hurts, feels irritated, pulls toward one side or tends to push against one side more than the other? Do you ever have trouble swallowing?
YES, my tongue feels exactly like that. I've complained about it repeatedly. My current doctor firmly tells me it's neuralgia. I don't have trouble swallowing, but there is irritation under my tongue and in my neck. One doctor told me I was "tongue obsessed". Thanks for the reply. All feedback helps. Doctors who can't find answers tend to make you feel like a hypochondriac - which I'm not. It's not in my nature. I'm just so overwhelmed I can't find help, that I don't know what to do next.
Jean

 
Old 04-07-2007, 04:08 PM   #6
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

You may want to try wearing a night guard or splint and seeing a tmj specialist - you could be experiencing muscular tmj due to the extractions. It can be quite severe and cause many seemingly unrelated symptoms that send many people to various drs b/c of the widespread symptoms. The jaw, neck and tongue use all the same muscles and sometimes when the structure surrounding the tongue (the teeth) which offers guidance in swallowing, chewing, speaking, etc. is disturbed the tongue can not function properly - usually it will start to ache, feel cramped or sore, will rub against the sides of the remaining teeth more so - or more to one side than usual, it may feel and look swollen or puffy underneath the tongue and become redder in color or look inflamed or feel like it is bigger than normal. If the tongue is being "strained" during normal function it can pull the neck muscles it shares which triggers other pain and symptoms. In extreme cases - the cervical spine (upper part of the back of the neck which holds the head in balance) can be pulled as a result causing pain down the neck to the chest, back, shoulders and arms. Left untreated you basically can end up with myofacial pain syndrome and spasms and misalignment of the cervical spine or neck (loss of "S" curve or a forward head or tilted head posture) - similar to neuralgia but you will find it does not respond well to pain meds since it is a dysfunction of the tongue muscle and not nerve related.

Its just a thought since most of your story sounds similar to what those with muscular tmj go through as well in terms of going to various drs, similar symptoms and getting various diagnoses.

Last edited by Thelma-Louise; 04-07-2007 at 04:09 PM.

 
Old 04-08-2007, 06:49 PM   #7
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Thelma-Louise,
I can't thank you enough for your replies. I don't know how you have become so knowledgable, but you've certainly given me some avenues to check and I am extremely grateful.

Just a few more questions & I promise to stop bugging you. When you asked if my tongue hurts, feels irritated, pulls toward one side or tends to push against one side more than the other - were you thinking jaw bone infection or muscular tmj symptoms? Have you heard of muscular tmj causing coughing? And where would I buy a night guard? I'm willing to try anything. The only mild relief I've found so far is taking Ibuprophen.

Again, THANK YOU. Now if I can only get a doctor to listen.

Jean

 
Old 04-08-2007, 08:52 PM   #8
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Its really no problem - that's why we all come here - to learn and for support and to share info and our experiences. Its how I learned what I know as well.

I have muscular tmj - which I think may be what you are suffering with as well. Mine came on quite abruptly after a dentist mangled an upper back tooth during a routine filling - I'm not sure why but he changed the whole tooth's size and appearance and within a couple weeks my whole face pulled to one side and I started having trouble with my tongue. It actually became quite disabling and I am still having trouble. So I was forced to do a lot of research and learn about what caused my sudden condition since I was always very healthy up to that point. What confused me was that I always thought tmj was limited to a dysfunction of the tm joint or a displaced condyle - and so do many drs I consulted with - both medical and dental. And I always thought it was more like an arthritic or neuralgia-like ache, not the kind of pain I had in my whole face, which started to affect my body. It was only when I finally found the "right" dentist who explained what was happening (dysfunction) with the tongue "muscle" that my symptoms finally started to make sense. Progress in fixing it though has been slow.

There are over the counter night guards available where other dental products are sold that need to be boiled and then inserted so they mold to your teeth and bite and there are other 'one size fit all' pre-formed guards available over the internet. Some people find they help but others find that ones made by a dentist are better since they are customized to your mouth and usually designed to correct your specific problem. Obvioulsy the retail ones are much cheaper ($25 - $100) than those made by the dentists which can cost around $300 or much more. Since you are still not sure this may be the problem I would suggest you try the retail versions first - if you get even the tinyest bit of relief - then you will know you are heading in the right direction and can then look for a tmj specialist (good ones are hard to find) to get a custom guard made.

Oh- and yes the coughing can be part of it - it has to do with the sinus and nasal passages not being cleared or drained through the throat during normal swallowing function, something most of us seldom notice when things are working properly. If the tongue tends to go to one side more than the other it can pull the cervical and jaw relationship out of alignment which then alters the pathway of the sinus and back of the throat interferring with normal sinus drainage.

I really hope you find out what the problem is and get this figured out.

 
Old 04-08-2007, 10:02 PM   #9
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Thelma-Louise,
You took the time to reply on Easter!! No matter how this turns out, you have been a godsend. Not only have you given me great information, you have given me direction and hope at a time when I was near the bottom. This whole ordeal has been a nightmare and I have felt so powerless. I will be saying prayers for your quick and full recovery. Thank you!
Jean

 
Old 04-17-2007, 06:29 AM   #10
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

I had to reply to this, because I am experiencing the exact same thing. I began a few weeks ago to develop pain underneath my jaw on the left side and down my neck and into my breastbone area on that side. It feels as if my lymph glands are swollen, but to feel them they are not actually swollen.

I was put on clindamycin for 10 days and then had the wisdom tooth removed 5 days ago that was decayed and abscessed on the left side. I was told to take the antibiotics for two more days. '

I did so, and as soon as I stopped taking them, the pain came back. I am so worried that I could have an infection in my jaw bone.

How have you been doing?

I have not had any fever, but exhaustion and body aches.

I wanted to say too that I have some pain in the joint of my jaw, my left ear off and on and in the molars that are there on the left lower side of my jaw.

Thanks for your help

Darlene

Last edited by monkeyme; 04-17-2007 at 06:31 AM. Reason: more information

 
Old 04-17-2007, 11:17 AM   #11
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Hi Darlene,
I am frustrated beyond measure...that's how I am! I can't tell you how many posts I've read on other boards, plus medical articles, linking tooth abscess and breastbone pain. Yet if you ask a dentist (I've asked several) or go to a medical doctor, they look at you like your crazy.

I would call whoever removed your tooth, explain your symptoms, then ask for another round of antibiotics. If you develop a fever or start to feel seriously ill, go to a doctor or hospital immediately. I am not trying to scare you. The probability of this happening is extremely low, but you need to be aware. Hopefully another round of antibiotics will take care of the problem. If not, have your dentist refer you to an oral surgeon. From what I have derived, they are the doctors of choice when it comes to diagnosing infections. I've tried getting into one but there is a 6 month waiting list. It sucks to live in a rural area!

Other than that, I don't know what to tell you as I am still trying to get to the root of my problem myself. I am feeling a bit better the last week - don't have a clue why...just hope it continues.

Jean
PS - Forgot to mention....I was told that it takes a jawbone at least 6 months to recover from a traumatic tooth removal. So "some" continued discomfort is not necessarily a "sign" of anything. However, when the pain is sharp and travels down the breastbone (and causes me to cough) - I just don't know. If I ever find out, this board will be the first I'll post on. Good Luck - I'm hoping you will be just fine in a couple weeks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyme View Post
I had to reply to this, because I am experiencing the exact same thing. I began a few weeks ago to develop pain underneath my jaw on the left side and down my neck and into my breastbone area on that side. It feels as if my lymph glands are swollen, but to feel them they are not actually swollen.

I was put on clindamycin for 10 days and then had the wisdom tooth removed 5 days ago that was decayed and abscessed on the left side. I was told to take the antibiotics for two more days. '

I did so, and as soon as I stopped taking them, the pain came back. I am so worried that I could have an infection in my jaw bone.

How have you been doing?

I have not had any fever, but exhaustion and body aches.

I wanted to say too that I have some pain in the joint of my jaw, my left ear off and on and in the molars that are there on the left lower side of my jaw.

Thanks for your help

Darlene

 
Old 01-15-2009, 05:25 PM   #12
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Marie View Post
Hi Darlene,
I am frustrated beyond measure...that's how I am! I can't tell you how many posts I've read on other boards, plus medical articles, linking tooth abscess and breastbone pain. Yet if you ask a dentist (I've asked several) or go to a medical doctor, they look at you like your crazy.

I would call whoever removed your tooth, explain your symptoms, then ask for another round of antibiotics. If you develop a fever or start to feel seriously ill, go to a doctor or hospital immediately. I am not trying to scare you. The probability of this happening is extremely low, but you need to be aware. Hopefully another round of antibiotics will take care of the problem. If not, have your dentist refer you to an oral surgeon. From what I have derived, they are the doctors of choice when it comes to diagnosing infections. I've tried getting into one but there is a 6 month waiting list. It sucks to live in a rural area!

Other than that, I don't know what to tell you as I am still trying to get to the root of my problem myself. I am feeling a bit better the last week - don't have a clue why...just hope it continues.

Jean
PS - Forgot to mention....I was told that it takes a jawbone at least 6 months to recover from a traumatic tooth removal. So "some" continued discomfort is not necessarily a "sign" of anything. However, when the pain is sharp and travels down the breastbone (and causes me to cough) - I just don't know. If I ever find out, this board will be the first I'll post on. Good Luck - I'm hoping you will be just fine in a couple weeks!
Hi there..
I just read your post..and I have to say that I, too, have been going through these symptoms for about 20 years! I (think) I have developed what is called Hashimotos Thyroiditus, too. (I am still waiting on the test results for this, but I am 99.9% sure I have this auto-immune disease..most likely due to a bone infection, after a wisdom tooth extraction I had about 20 years ago.)

And, yes, my symptoms come and go...it is the strangest thing.
I get jaw bone pain, chest pain, neck pain, swelling in my neck and lymph nodes..there is definitely an infection that my body is trying to fight.

Please let me know what happens with you!
I dont have insurance and I am about to see a Holistic dentist to get checked for dental cavitations and jaw bone infection......

KIM

 
Old 01-15-2009, 05:33 PM   #13
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Re: Osteomylitis?? Abscess?? I need help!

Jean Marie..
I just read your post, and i have been going through the same symtoms, as well as a lot of neck pain and swelling in neck and jaw. I am going to see a Holistic dentist. They can determine whether you have necrotic tissue in your jaw due to wisdom tooth extraction.

They do special tests and can SEE the infected bone. Then they can either do surgery to clean out the bone and/or give what is called Ozone injections to kill the bacteria on contact inside the jaw bone.

**( removed by the moderator ) **

The regular Drs and dentists just dont dig deep enough to find infection..but they sure know how to cause them! They also love to give anti-depressants and pain pills.

KIM

Last edited by moderator2; 01-15-2009 at 05:44 PM. Reason: posted disallowed website(s)

 
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