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Jaw pain - NICO, nerve damage or what?

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Old 03-25-2003, 10:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2
davision HB User
Post Jaw pain - NICO, nerve damage or what?

A very long story made somewhat short...

My wife had a tooth extracted and then the oral surgeon put in a "pack" to supposedly aid healing.

Pain related to the problem tooth disappeared, but a different type of pain developed soon after the procedure. She went back to the surgeon who said he would clean it out. The attempt was half-hearted at best, my wife is relatively certain that the cleaning was grossly inadequate. The biopsy report came back from the lab reading "severe inflammation due to foreign material". The oral surgeon explained it away saying "maybe some coffee grounds got in there" but we're nearly convinced it was the "pack" since virtually every dental professional we've seen since has advised against packs and said they would have thoroughly cleaned the socket immediately after a problem arose.

Fast forward a few months... there is a persistent pain in my wife's jaw -- right below the extraction site.

Research on the web keeps pointing to this NICO condition or something related to "cavitations". However this theory is almost entirely unknown to the dental professionals she has spoken with. They have offered no alternative explanation however, except maybe nerve damage.

So my questions are:

1) Are the NICO/cavitation people for real, or is this a fabricated explanation for something else (i.e. nerve damage)?

2) If they are for real, why is it that very few dentists/oral surgeons have ever heard of this condition?

3) Regardless of the validity of NICO, is it possible that this persistent pain is caused by nerve damage and if so, what can be done about it?

By the way, I've read the post in early March by jojocm which talks about a similar problem... but I'm looking for more information.

[This message has been edited by davision (edited 03-26-2003).]

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Old 04-02-2003, 01:35 AM   #2
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goodwillstacy HB User

You also might want to post this on the TMJ board. Someone might know about it. I know a little, but Osteo seems to know much more. Come on over to the TMJ board, we're all very friendly and will do all we can to help.
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Old 04-06-2003, 03:09 AM   #3
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jojocm HB User

I think your wife has chronic osteomyelitis. Most dentists and doctors only look for acute osteomyelitis.(if they look at all) The chronic form is very hard to diagnose and treat. A bone scan (3 phase) and MRI would be good. Take your biopsy report to an infectious disease doctor. The orders for any test should say, "suspect osteomyelitis". Don't take no for an answer. This is serious and will spread.

I am getting another debridment and going back on IV antibiotics on Tuesday. I will also get HBO therapy. This is what you need to treat osteomyelitis. I had doctors tell me nothing was wrong, nerve damage, as it just got worse.

Good luck! If I could I would give my email. I have so much to say about this.

Old 04-07-2003, 11:22 AM   #4
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cathyk HB User

jojocm - I wish you could give your email too! I'm going to have a 3-phase bone scan done next week - the prescrip for the test was written by the doc to look for chronic osteomyelitis. I've had a total of 6 teeth removed in the last few years, and I can tell 2 more are dying. The last one pulled by a newer dentist a couple of weeks ago just shattered and he indicated there was next to no blood flow at all to it. Every one of these teeth was a deep mercury filling at one time - all now replaced. However, of the 6 teeth pulled, 4 had prior root canals that still were painful after the procedure had been done, so they were extracted which relieved most of the pain. Five of these 6 pulled dry socketed. I also had a major abcess from one of my wisdom teeth. The really bad extractions/abcess were on the left side. I've recently had tests done indicating there is low oxygen saturation down the entire left side of my body, which is where most of my physical pain is from head to toe. It's become very apparent that my mercury overload is also coupled with jaw infection and/or cavitations.

I'm interested in hearing more about whether the bone deterioration you are experiencing is limited to your head/jaw areas, or if it's throughout. Also, did you have the gums/jaw scraped out and treated directly? Very interesting you're doing HBO treatments as well - I'm lucky that if it comes to that my MD has one of the best healing/treatment centers in the country that does this as well.

Any info you can share is much appreciated, thanks.

Old 04-15-2003, 07:58 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles
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davision HB User

I just wanted to say thank you to the people on this board and give a brief update.

The doctors at UCLA have basically come to the conclusion that my wife's problem is probably nerve damage but they want to rule out osteomyelitis per our request. We wouldn't have known to ask about such a condition if not for the info provided here.

My wife has already had a "tomograph"?? or some type of slicing x-ray but evidently that will not rule out OM, so tomorrow she is getting an MRI. This was suggested by the infection diseases expert.

We'll see what happens.

By the way... those of you who have osteomyelitis -- do you have nausea? My wife has it plus steady pain... however she does not have any type of discharge nor the fever which are supposedly are also OM symptoms.

If you have osteomyelitis I'm curious to know your COMPLETE list of symptoms to see where my wife differs.


Old 04-16-2003, 03:27 PM   #6
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cathyk HB User

Randi - I'm glad you osteo folks are back on the boards - apparently a few of us have some questions! In my previous email I was asking jojocm about bone deterioration - that's what I was calling the osteo - and whether they had it in other areas of the body or if it was limited to the face.

I had my bone scan yesterday and should have results next week. Earlier this week I got an infection in the upper 3 teeth and it was biopsied a couple of days ago. One of these 3 was extracted a few weeks ago but I don't think this is related to the extraction as the infection is coming from the tooth behind it, but escaping from the extraction site - yikes. This is the area where there is next to no blood flow going to the teeth. When he did the extraction it just shattered below the bone. This is the first time I've had issues in this area of my mouth - it's always been the lower, primarily the left, where abcesses occured and bad extractions were done. I'm now missing 6 teeth and only the last one was "done right" (I've 3 other docs prior to the one I have now - they did the root canals that never felt good, and did extractions that weren't done correctly). The one below it is dying too - I can feel it. I'm grateful he know what he's doing, and if he can't do it, he knows the folks to send me to. I also have an MD that could do the HBO if it comes to that - either Chicago or Ohio I think are the closest places to me.

The doc indicated the bone looked good in the immediate area of the extraction as he was cleaning the bone (no dead tissue). The lower left jaw may be another story - and is what is concerning him, and me. This is where the greatest pain is, where the bad history is, where the deteriorated TMJ disc is.

I found out from a neuro he sent me to a few weeks back that my entire left side of my body has low oxygen saturation (thus the bad blood flow to the teeth) - he thinks it's either coming from the jaw on the left via necrosis or from the deep mercury fillings I had.

I'm not going to spend alot of time worrying about it until the results get back - no use - it just wastes energy. What really concerns me is that from what you all say about the antibiotic IVs - there's not an antibiotic I can take without breaking out in itchy hives all over and yeast infections. They always tell me "it's a newer one with no side effects" - wrong - then I end up having to take something to counteract those effects.

I've been doing a mega-detox to get all the junk out of my body just so it's healthier as I tackle the jaw and mouth issues.

I'm keeping you posted - you all are fabulous for sharing your experiences, advice, etc. Please keep the advice coming - I'm taking heed to all of it.

Oh yea - have any of you experienced other health related things like fibro, muscle and joint pain in addition to the jaw and mouth issues?

And did any of your problems start with something as far back as 20 years ago - I ask as my very first bad experience came from my lower left wisdom tooth that had an enormous abcess - I sometimes wonder if my issue with antibiotics and stopping them so soon then never really took care of the problem and it healed over with that bacteria inside. The reason I ask is I met someone online with my exact same history, fibro and all, and it all started with a bad lower left wisdom tooth - a coincidence? Maybe or maybe not.

Also, 4 of the 6 teeth were root canals that never took and hurt like h%^& - I felt instant relief upon extraction each and every time, that's why I insist on them.

thanks to all of you...

[This message has been edited by cathyk (edited 04-16-2003).]

Old 06-19-2003, 07:30 PM   #7
Annette Prado
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: chicago,IL, US
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Annette Prado HB User

My story is very similar to your wife's. I have been in pain for the last 10 months, because of dental work. I have had 3 root canals and all 3 have lead to extractions. I've been in terrible pain since. The list of doctors goes on and on. I have seen 5 dentist, oral surgeons, neuro-surgeon,neurologist,anesthesiologist,ENT doctor, along with numerous trips to the ER. I also had 2 apicoectomies performed-no success. I decided to research things on my own and I came across a syndrome called Myofascial Pain Dysfunction. I found a dentist that deal's with neuromuscular dentistry. After visiting with him, he came to the conclusion that the pain i am feeling in my mouth, gums,face,and head has nothing to do with my teeth, it's all with the muscles and trigger points. Sometimes trigger points can be the source of referred pain.
Hopefully, this will be of some help.

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