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Dental x-ray

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Old 03-15-2006, 10:19 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 104
Traumatized HB User
Dental x-ray

Hello all.
Reading x-rays seems to be something very few dentists are really good at. Quite often, a panoramic x-ray is poorly developed showing black blotches all over the place etc... Well, after having about 5-6 panoramic x-rays done, I have noticed that some of the black blobs are actually there no matter where the x-ray was done. I have a large patch under my lower left 1st and 2nd molar. My dentist wants to send me off for a bone sample of that area. Anyone else with a similar experience? It seems to big to be osteomyelitis but then again, with all of the dodgy dental work in the past two years, anything is possible. I finally have a good dentist who is interested in sorting things out and doesn't deny that bacterii exist. I always got into an arguement about hygiene and bacterii with other ddtswho said my gland swelling was a fihment of my imagination. The side with the black blob on the x-ray, wisdom tooth is extracted, sore gumline as if covered in metal and often a deep ache from somewhere below, not from any of the teeth above. The glands there often swell and make the ache worse. My 1st molar seems to react most but the ache is from below leaving the tooth feeling like thorn. The ddt examined the tooth and it is alive and healthy. Suspects IAN damage.
Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Old 03-15-2006, 12:34 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2005
Location: West Central Ohio
Posts: 448
anitak1982 HB User
Re: Dental x-ray

One Dentist told me my teeth are what actually gave my face its shape. That should I ever lose them my face would collapse. Another Dentist told me that I had no bones in my face where your front teeth are and little to no gums so I could never wear a partial or have a bridge or dentures. Another time a Periodontist told me my bones had small tiny holes throughout and would never hold an implant. All gathered their findings from x-rays. Believe me this was a nightmare for me as I lived in fear for 20 years thinking all was hopeless.

Apparently all the horror stories I had been told by all the other dental professionals was not true, the new ICAT scan showed what x-rays never could, that my bones were fine and there was hope for me. This machine is similar to a cat scan but for dental professionals. It scans your head like an MRI where it slices the head into tiny slices of images. There was nothing wrong with my bones. In fact my bones were harder than my Prosthodontist had ever encountered in his 30 years of practice.

This could be the same in your case. Because of this I have problems trusting the old standby x-rays. Although they are good in some cases, like in my case the findings were not accurate.
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Last edited by anitak1982; 03-15-2006 at 12:36 PM.

Old 03-16-2006, 12:50 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New Britain, CT, USA
Posts: 247
CTmom HB User
Re: Dental x-ray

Hi Traumatized,

Good to hear from you again - or maybe not - I had hoped both of us would be past our dental issues by this time. I don't know if you remember me, but I developed jaw pain (not tooth) almost a year ago. Ended up having my submandibular gland removed which has helped some issues but many, including the jaw pain, remain. I've been taking a break from Drs. to see what will develop, if the pain will localize and trying to figure out what to do next.

Anyway, all my issues started with lower jaw pain. When I went to my dentist he took an x-ray which showed a small black circle under one tooth on that side. He sent me to an endodontist who tested the teeth, found them all alive and not sensitive, and said the black spot was nothing. In fact, it had been there for a number of years looking back at old x-rays and in the year since it was discovered it hasn't changed at all. When I went though my evaluation for my submandibular gland they also did x-rays from different angles and saw nothing. I also had a CT scan. Unfortunately the quality was poor and I had to pay for it anyway, but basically they could see nothing.

Since the gland was removed my fevers are gone. Also, obviously the gland no longer swells everytime I eat. The pathology had shown a chronic infection. Fine.

However, I still have a sometimes severe pain in my lower jaw. There are periods (weeks) where I have no symptoms and then a flare-up. When they flare I also have a blocked ear on that side and one-sided throat pain. No fever. No visible swelling but my uvula (the little thing dangling in the back of the throat) hangs at an angle away from the side with pain (and only with a pain flare-up). Sometimes the gums on that side tingle. This goes on for a week or more and then gradually goes away. Thankfully, the symptoms don't disturb my sleep. To confuse matters more, I have some residual nerve damage from the surgery and I'm not sure how that is contributing to things. Of course, my ENT surgeon says I should be fine now. My dentist and endodontist have seen me repeatedly and say my teeth look great. They don't want to do a root canal without a clear indication one particular tooth is the problem. I think my GP is starting to wonder if I'm crazy. I'm just waiting for him to say it's stress. I'm sure it's not, but dealing with it certainly can cause stress!

Anyway, since x-rays have not been helpful I'm going to a new ENT in the hopes that he will order either a better CT scan or an MRI to make sure there is nothing serious going on in there. At this point they have mentioned osteomyelitis, TMJ, some type of infection, some type of growth, nerve damage or some combination of the above, but noone seems to want to follow through with testing and diagnosis. My dentist is also referring me to an oral surgeon who is an MD at a teaching hospital nearby. He says he takes complicated cases so I am hoping he can provide some answers, or at least point me in the right direction. Let me know what you find out with your bone sample and how that goes, since I may be heading in the same direction.

Old 03-16-2006, 01:35 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 104
Traumatized HB User
Re: Dental x-ray

Hiya CT,
Good to hear from you but I am sorry to hear that the battle hasn't been won yet.
Things have worsened for me. Luckily, I have finally found a dentist who is willing to co-operate and rule out teeth from the whole problem. I have developed an internal connection with my jaw and gland problems. Immune disorders have already been ruled out so it brought back to finding a good dentist. My internist is clueless. When my jaw starts to throb, or maybe it is the other way around, my throat seems swollen, my ribs ache, my lungs are bad, my heart beat is irregular, stiff abdomen, extreme back pain radiating from somewhere inside like pancreas since it isn't directly left (spleen) or right (gall bladder). I am sick as a dog when the whole thing starts. My head starts to feel frozen and my body aches. The episodes I mentioned in previous posts have turned into weekly episodes that only let up for 1 or 2 days and then start all over again. Back pain never seems to go away and radiates to my shoulder blades. My parotids don't swell unilaterally anymore, just the left side now. I have a constant metal taste in my mouth. I feel HOPELESS. The only thing giving me a little hope now is the caring DDT and the Isotope I have this tuesday to rule out osteomyelitis. Horrific. One trip the the DDT two years ago has led to a nightmare of incredible pain. I lay in bed at night when I am amidst an attack thinking that this is it. I can't breathe well and my heart is buggered.
We have to keep each other posted. I am truly interested in hearing about how you are doing. I really hope that we can both get down to the bottom of our problems.
Take good care,
Fingers crossed!!

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