Wisdom tooth extracted...pain..NOT TMJ!
I posted on here a few times a few weeks back but just wanted to give everyone an update. I had my lower left wisdom tooth extracted about 7 weeks ago. The oral surgeon who did the extraction said I had a pretty bad infection and gave me less than a weeks worth of Clindamyacin to clear it up. the swelling in my mouth went down before the antibiotics were done but I finished them up to be safe.
About 2 weeks later I noticed I still couldnt open my jaw all the way. A few days after that I started to get SEVERE pain in my jaw, temple, and ear, all on the side the tooth was extracted. I went back to this oral surgeon and he said it sounded like TMJ and gave me a prescription for Tylox, (pain meds.) The pain grew worse and at times was disabilitating. I read up as much as possible on TMJ and the symptoms were all what I was having. I went to another dentist, here in South Carolina, and he said he would look into having me a splint made but that I needed to wait for a few weeks. I even went to a Chiropractor who told me I had arthritis in my upper spine which was the stem of my problem. Daily massage and jaw adjustments would do the trick and relieve the pain he said. It did not. I couldnt wait for the one dentist to make me a splint so I went to my family Orthodontist in Augusta Georgia and he made me one within a few hours. He said that he could tell I clenched at night from looking at the x-rays and this was probably the cause of my TMJ problems.
It did not get any better after a weeks worth of splint therapy and my jaw had started to swell. I began to have severe numbness in my chin and lower lips so I called to Orthodontist and he said that did not sound normal. He made me an appointment with another local Oral surgeon for the following day. My jaw was very swollen and the pain was UNBEARABLE. The Oral surgeon said that the swelling and pain was not coming from my TMJ, and when he pressed hard on my jaw, a small amount of puss came out of my mouth. He immediately put me on oral antibiotics and made me an appointment with an ENT for the next day. After a CT scan and alot of pressing and probing, the ENT told me I had a severe infection. WOW. I was stunned. Well, needless to say I was in pretty bad shape and had to be put on intravenous antibiotics (Home administered 3 times a day). This lasted for a week, the swelling went down, and the pain ended.
I just took out my IV myself yesterday and now am doing oral antibiotics for another week. I feel 98 percent better. I can remember the pains I went through and dont know how anyone can live through that for any extended period of time. I was only in pain for 3-4 weeks but it felt like a year. I still have very slight pain and discomfort in my jaw area, but that is most likely from the stress and inactivity my jaw has experienced over the past weeks. Most likely will go away in a week or so.
All I can say is that if your dentist tells you that you have TMJD, and you have recently had dental work done...get another opinion, and another, adn another until you find out the TRUE root of the pain. I am lucky I got diagnosed in time or this nasty infection could have spread to my brain...NOT good!!
And for all of those in severe pain, I truly feel for you and it takes time but you WILL get better and life goes on.