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  • Help! Mystery problem continues

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    Old 07-01-2005, 09:14 AM   #1
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    Location: New Britain, CT, USA
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    CTmom HB User
    Help! Mystery problem continues

    I have been having a problem with my mouth for the past two months. It all started when my dentist saw what he thought was the beginnings of an abscess on a dental x-ray at a cleaning - but he wasn't sure. He sent me to the endodontist who looked at the two teeth in the back on my lower jaw. He tested teeth (which are both crowned) and they were not sensitive. My gums were normal. He looked at x-ray and said he did not think it was an abscess especially since teeth were not at all sensitive to biting.

    About a week later I started developing lower jaw pain under these teeth. The teeth themselves never hurt. I went to my MD who said my lymph glands were enlarged and prescribed an antibiotic and referred me to an ENT. The ENT I saw said it was a blocked salivary gland and to give the antibiotics some time. I saw him again a few weeks later and was still in pain. He prescribed a stronger antibiotic but pain still continued. He then ordered a CT scan. I just got the results and they were normal - no salivary stones, tumors, etc...

    I have no idea what to do from here. The teeth do not hurt but the jaw aches on and off. I also sometimes feel that my tongue is swollen on that side and my throat is sore and swollen on that side as well. Sometimes it hurts to move my neck and/or tongue. I have had low grade fevers, nausea and diarrhea for the past two days (after being off the antiobiotics). No one seems to know what to do for me besides prescribing more antibiotics which don't help.

    Could this all possibly be an abscessed tooth despite what the endodontist said? If so, how can I figure out which one since the teeth don't hurt. Is it reasonable to ask for another x-ray after two months of this. Wouldn't an abscess show up on the CT scan? I know I have to check with my MD/dentist on all this, but with the holiday weekend both offices are closed till Tuesday and I don't think this really qualifies as an emergency since it's been going on so long (although it feels like an emergency to me!) I have been taking Motrin and Tylenol but they don't help. The only thing that seems to help is sipping cold water and chewing food (which makes no sense at all). Any suggestions on what this may be or what I can do to make it through the weekend?

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    Old 07-01-2005, 09:26 AM   #2
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    Re: Help! Mystery problem continues

    Is the pain most intense when you wake up? Th fevers, nasua and diarrhea might be side effects from going off the antibiotics, but what it MIGHT be is that you are grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws during your sleep. That happened to me a few years ago. I'd wake up with a really really sore jaw and I thought maybe it was some sort of cavity. I went to the dentist and he said it was probably me grinding my jaw in the night.

    Old 07-01-2005, 10:12 AM   #3
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    Re: Help! Mystery problem continues


    Actually, it feels better in the morning (one of the reasons my Dr. thought it was a salivary gland problem.) I wear a nightguard faithfully. Thanks for the response though!

    Old 07-01-2005, 11:19 AM   #4
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    Re: Help! Mystery problem continues

    It could actually be a number of things. The fact these teeth were crowned means the area was worked on at one point. No pain, when biting down on the teeth or no tooth sensitivity, doesn't always mean a root canal won't help. I've had alot of dental work done and for awhile, my gum and jaw area just ached for months. I researched it to death and even went to a neurologist. I did read about trigerminal neuralgia, which is facial pain, sometimes triggered by dental work. The root cause of jaw and facial pain often isn't obvious. It sounds like your doctors are trying to rule things out, even saying your salivary glands might be infected. Taking the antibiotics is probably a good idea. I ended up having a tooth root canalled that didn't scream out root canal and that helped. The fact that chewing on the tooth can relieve the pain makes me think that it might be the tooth. I know none of this really helps. I'd write down all your symtoms and keep in touch with a trusting dentist. Try to do anything to rest and relax your jaw and gum area. I found icing the area with a soft ice pak helped. I took 600 mg of ibuprofen and even a mild sedative for awhile. You might inquire about anything that can help nerve inflammation. After about 4 months, my pain gradually subsided.

    Old 07-03-2005, 08:10 PM   #5
    Join Date: Jul 2005
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    milli447 HB User
    Re: Help! Mystery problem continues

    You may have a couple of things going on. An abscess hurts more with heat, so cold would make it feel better. Gum disease can cause an infection and chewing makes it feel better. I would be suspicious about the crowns and have them looked at by another dentist who also knows how to diagnose gum disease. Grinding causes myofacial pain and you may need a muscle relaxant and have the fit checked on your night guard. Acid reflux disease can cause your tongue and throat to hurt.

    Last edited by Modinatrix21; 07-03-2005 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Read posting rules. No websites.

    Old 07-05-2005, 11:02 AM   #6
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    Re: Help! Mystery problem continues

    I had something like this phantom pain start on Friday morning. However mine was on the right side & encompassed the jaw, the gums, upper & lower, perhaps the teeth (when in pain, it's sometimes difficult to determine where it stops) & even a slight earache. Biting down on food was very painful.

    I had recently, in the last six weeks, had a periodontist visit (preceded by a deep teeth cleaning by his hygienist a month before) & everything checked out "normal", even "good".

    Needless to say I was puzzled, but since it was the holiday weekend, ibfrofun had to suffice for temporary pain relief until today, Tuesday, when the dental office would be open.

    However, today all the jaw/tooth/ear pain is gone & I feel back to normal.

    What did I do? Well I pulled out my trusty old copy of "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook", specifically referring to Chapter 4-Head & Neck, identified the muscles that would likely be causing this rather excruciating pain & went to work deep massaging the trigger points. I have successfully used this book for body pain, mostly low back-ache, but never had reason to use it for anything above the neck, so didn't know what to expect.

    I got almost immediate, though short-term relief, but that made me think I was on the right track, so yesterday, about every hour, on the hour, I would do the message for short periods of time & noticed the pain period was lessening & until this morning when it was totally gone.

    I suggest you look into this book. Particularly because of my good results, I plan to bring a copy to the hygienist at my next cleaning appointment as she has mentioned having TMJ-type problems & jaw pain in the past although she has no dental problems.

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