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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:13 AM   #1
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Pain after dental work

I have been suffering from headaches and jaw (TMJ) pain on the right side of my face for about five years now. Two years ago I went to the dentist for a check-up. He told me I had one cavity in a tooth in my right jaw, and I booked an appointment to have a routine filling.

As soon as he had finished putting it I felt pain in my tooth, sharper than the usual dull pain I have. When I went back a week later complaining of the pain, he sent me to a colleague to have a root canal. The acute pain subsided, though my normal jaw pain was particularly bad in that period.

When I was on the plane to see my parents a few weeks later, the right side of jaw suddenly swelled up so that I had a hard ball of tissue the size of a marble below my ear. When I got back home, I went back to the endodontist who re-did the root canal, one of the most painful experiences of my life. The pain only got worse, and I then decided after consulting an oral surgeon just to pull the damn thing out, at which point the pain stopped.

I thought that would be the end of it, but last week I went back to my dentist for two or three more routine fillings, also on the right side of my face, and now I am in acute pain again. I don't know what to do. I've been told by many people that my headaches and jaw-pain are linked to stress, so I'm trying to ignore the pain in my teeth and hope it goes away on its own.

Everyone seems to think my dentist is great, but something tells me he must be doing something strange when he fills my cavities. I'm set against having a root canal, since that only seemed to make matters worse, but I'm scared that I'm going to have to remove another tooth or two eventually. Meanwhile, the pain is ruining another holiday season. I would appreciate any information and advice about what I should do!

 
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:41 AM   #2
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Re: Pain after dental work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleisthenes View Post
I have been suffering from headaches and jaw (TMJ) pain on the right side of my face for about five years now. Two years ago I went to the dentist for a check-up. He told me I had one cavity in a tooth in my right jaw, and I booked an appointment to have a routine filling.

As soon as he had finished putting it I felt pain in my tooth, sharper than the usual dull pain I have. When I went back a week later complaining of the pain, he sent me to a colleague to have a root canal. The acute pain subsided, though my normal jaw pain was particularly bad in that period.

When I was on the plane to see my parents a few weeks later, the right side of jaw suddenly swelled up so that I had a hard ball of tissue the size of a marble below my ear. When I got back home, I went back to the endodontist who re-did the root canal, one of the most painful experiences of my life. The pain only got worse, and I then decided after consulting an oral surgeon just to pull the damn thing out, at which point the pain stopped.

I thought that would be the end of it, but last week I went back to my dentist for two or three more routine fillings, also on the right side of my face, and now I am in acute pain again. I don't know what to do. I've been told by many people that my headaches and jaw-pain are linked to stress, so I'm trying to ignore the pain in my teeth and hope it goes away on its own.

Everyone seems to think my dentist is great, but something tells me he must be doing something strange when he fills my cavities. I'm set against having a root canal, since that only seemed to make matters worse, but I'm scared that I'm going to have to remove another tooth or two eventually. Meanwhile, the pain is ruining another holiday season. I would appreciate any information and advice about what I should do!
Hi----sounds like you are definitely predisposed to a tmj problem, and the root canals and filling work just make it 100 times worse for you. Have you consulted a tmjd specialist about your jaw pain? I think the lump you felt was the muscle behind the mandible (can't remember the exact name right now of it) is in complete spasms. You can try to do trigger point pressure and release on it daily. Also, take Advil or something for the swelling and pain. Any time dental work is done on tmjd patients, your dentist should be highly aware of your situation, and let you take frequent breaks. I can't tell you how many people I've come into contact with that have been injured by wisdom teeth extractions, root canals, etc. that come out of the office in excrutiating muscular pain, and even displaced disks from oral surgery. It astounds me that these dentists are being careless and letting this happen.

Oh, you can always use a heating pad on affected facial muscles, or a hot water bottle every night for at least 30 min. to try and break up the spasms. This really can help. Good luck with everything. J.

 
Old 12-19-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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Re: Pain after dental work

Thanks for the feedback. I've now been to a TMJ doctor, who confirmed that sufferers often have their symptoms exacerbated by a spell in the dentist's chair. I still don't really know why I feel so bad, but it may be a stress reaction of some sort (since although I feel feverish, I don't actually have a temperature). I'm also not sure why extracting the tooth two years ago relieved the pain. But I'll try to believe it's the TMJ, and use heat on it as you suggested.

 
Old 12-19-2009, 02:40 PM   #4
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Re: Pain after dental work

While its possible you are suffering the after affects some tmj sufferers experience after their mouth has been left open for an extended period of time during dental work, I would go for a consult with another dentist to make sure that's what it indeed is.

If this pain seems to be stemming from the teeth worked on, however, radiating pain and/or swelling after a routine filling can develop for several diff reasons - the filling was deep and is very close to the nerve or compromised it (so a root canal may be required), the filling was left either too high or too low, the tooth developed a hairline fracture when the tooth was filled or the tooth was not properly debrided or some decay was missed and it developed an infection after the new filling was placed - to name a few. If it was a composite filling aka white filling instead of amalgam - they are known to be problematic for certain individuals or teeth with deep cavities so the best thing to do might be to remove the composite/white filling and try amalgam to see if the tooth settles down afterwards - if not I would let an endo look at it. If these are old fillings being replaced it could be that either the decay under the older filling spread deeper into the tooth or the dentist is just drilling too deeply in an effort to make sure all decay is removed and the teeth (root/nerve) are being compomised as a result.

 
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