| | chronic tooth pain
Seven years ago I had a root canal on a lower molar. A couple of weeks later I started getting pain that felt like it was the tooth aching. The root canal was redone several times, and then finally the tooth was extracted. That didn't end the pain, so I subsequently had my wisdom teeth out, the adjoining tooth out, a top tooth out and finally gum surgery because it was suspected a root tip may have been left behind. Since then I have still suffered pain, usually on and off, with sometimes months with no pain in between. This past year, however, the pain has been almost constant. The gums (I have no teeth there now) ache as if they're being squeezed with a clamp, and when it's most severe my lips on that side have a kind of burning/tingling feeling. As well the pain goes down that side of my neck and around the base of my skull. CT scans and MRIs show nothing wrong. Regular, over-the-counter pain relievers do not have any effect. The only thing that helps sometimes is a narcotic pain reliever which naturally I don't want to use too much of. We've also tried some antidepressants and amitriptylene, but they didn't seem to help and have annoying side effects. It doesn't seem to be the tmj joint as there's no pain opening my mouth or chewing (in fact, chewing seems to help). I also can't grind my teeth because there aren't any teeth there anymore. Any insights?