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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 05-27-2003, 02:39 PM   #1
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Deb47 HB User
Post Can Anyone Relate?

Hi, everyone...I have had bad dental problems for years now. It all started with an upper molar that continued to hurt, despite having procedure after procedure done to try and "fix" it. I had the tooth pulled over a year ago, and I still have pain in the gum region where the tooth had been. It comes and goes. Now, I have the same exact tooth on the opposite was root canaled over a year ago, and it won't stop bothering me. In fact, I just had the tooth next to it root canaled; just under two weeks ago, and this molar (its the 2nd from the very back) is still killing me. The latest root canal I had done was for a dead tooth. The pulp was mushy..... On x-ray, dentists/Endondtists always tell me things look "great". I am wondering if I have a condtion in my bones...what tests should I ask to have done? I am tired of being in pain all the time. I am honestly at my wit's end....can anyone give me advice on how to start looking for real help with this? Someone suggested I post about my problem here. I notice if I move my jaw to the left and right I hear a clicking sound. But I don't really have pain in my jaw. It seems there's a problem in my gums; though no doctor can see anything wrong. I'm tired of being in pain all the time! Deb

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Old 05-27-2003, 05:37 PM   #2
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cathyk HB User

Hi Deb47 - I also have a history with dental issues in addition to TMJ. For the last few years every painful tooth that has been root canaled (sometimes 3 times per tooth) continued to have a deep pain so I asked to have them extracted. I felt instant relief each time after extraction - it relieved the throbbing. I am in no way telling you to have your teeth pulled though!

There has never been ANY indication from xrays, gum condition, etc., that the teeth were bad. Only when they would extract they would realize the pulp was dead or in process of dying. I've been through a few dentists and it's always the same scenario. We've assumed it's been TMJ related - like the trigger points referring pain in the lower jaw - but that's not the case in my upper jaw.

In trying to find out why my teeth are slowly dying on me, my physician ordered a 3-phase bone scan for me about a month ago. The maxilla is showing abnormal activity indicating lack of blood flow to the area causing tooth death. Mandibular condoyles looked good on the scan though - hallelujah!

I'm operating under the theory right now that my white composite fillings have been leaking for a number of years allowing bacteria to leach in. I don't think they were compatible with my body chemisty - I'll know soon enough as the material will be biopsied and I've been tested for a better material to be used in the future.

Having a good TMJ dentist/specialist test your bite is something you can do. Make sure they know what they're doing - I had one dentist tell me my bite "looked good" for years only to find out from my newest doc that my left disc was displaced and deteriorated causing pain. I went for years with a bad bite and due to clenching and grinding in my sleep I cracked a few of them causing them to die. Self-induced prolonged pressure on a tooth can keep the tooth in pain due to stessing the ligament underneath it too.


[This message has been edited by cathyk (edited 05-27-2003).]

Old 05-27-2003, 08:16 PM   #3
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Deb47 HB User

Hi, Cathy. Thank you for responding to my post! I'm sorry you've got a similar problem as I do; but its nice to talk to someone "who's been there" besides me. I feel so alone in this situation, though of course I know I can't be alone. I guess I'll have to keep getting my teeth pulled. I have to do something...its driving me nuts. I can hardly believe I've put up with these stupid teeth of mine for so long. I dread every time I see a dentist for continuing pain....especially when they keep telling me they don't see anything wrong. Did you have a tough time, going back to your dentist; telling them that you had continued pain in your teeth? What are you planning on doing with your remaining teeth? Are you getting implants, bridges, etc? I'm not trying to be nosy; just wondering, since I seem to be heading down that same road myself. Anyway, thank you for posting, Cathy.... Deb

Old 05-28-2003, 11:58 AM   #4
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cathyk HB User

Hi Deb47 -

It's frustrating to keep going back for any kind of health issue, but my dentists never gave me a hard time about it all "being in my head" or getting frustrated with me. I find it very disturbing from others on the board that when the doc can't find the problem then one must not exist......yikes.

I'm lucky now as my dentist is also my TMJ guy so he's experienced across the board. We've done the blood testing for material compatibility so the remaining white composites done by someone else will be removed/refilled with a better material better suited for my body chemistry. I will probably have at least one more tooth pulled as I feel the pressure building inside it. Then I'll have bridges for the upper jaw made later this year after dealing with the bone infection.

Implants are not an option for me - to some extent I think I'll always be a clencher even to a mild degree and that can snap an implant right off.

I will have my splint for awhile longer and then I'll be weaned off onto a splint/partial kind of appliance before going to permanent partial down the road.

If you can find a good TMJ doc I would talk to them to rule out referred pain from the TMJ or trigger points causing you pain in the teeth before having them extracted. Although if you feel relief upon extraction like I did it's probably not the TMJ/trigger p's.


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