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Is my tooth dying?

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Old 08-21-2008, 04:16 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 2
Is my tooth dying?


7 weeks ago I had a very old amalgam filling replaced with a white one due to some decay under the filling. The filling was on my upper pre molar and very deep. During the procedure the dentist told me that the nerve was exposed. She said that it looked like it had been exposed before but had repaired itself. I was advised that the tooth would be sensitive for a couple of weeks or so. Well here I am 7 weeks later and have a dull pain that radiates to the jaw hinge area almost all the time. On a scale of 1-10 I would rate the pain as 4 or 5 at the moment.

I take 200mg ibuprofen and the pain goes immediately within 20 minutes. The tooth is extremely sensitive to cold and although I haven't been dousing my tooth in boiling water I think I'm getting some mild sensitivity to hot as well but I can't be sure now because it aches all the time. I went back to the dentist and asked for a x-ray to see if something else was going on inside the tooth but she didn't do one. She tapped the teeth and I felt no sensation or pain which she said was a good sign, She puffed air on it and the sensitivity kicked in. She then advised me that my gum had receeded around that tooth due to the deep filling which had exposed a part of the tooth that is not covered by enamel and therefore very sensitive. I was advised to rub the tooth with sensodyne and leave it overnight for the next 6 weeks.

I am desperately trying to avoid a root canal treatment on this tooth and hoping that my nerve will repair itself once again, but what I really want is some advice on is whether I'm kidding myself and making the whole situation worse for me if I do need a RCT. Are these usual symptoms that are associated with a deep filling and how long should I expect this to go on for.

Is my tooth dying?

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Old 08-21-2008, 08:07 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: london
Posts: 439
bergerbaby HB User
Re: Is my tooth dying?

well,sometimes a root canal isnt needed ,sometimes just a dose of anti-biotics and using sensoydine toothpaste
sometimes can help the tooth ,but if it continues to give you pain ,then generally there isnt any other option but to do a root canal on the tooth

but ,for now use sensydine toothpaste see how you go with that

Old 08-21-2008, 11:25 AM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: nebraska
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drumgirl7 HB User
Re: Is my tooth dying?

If the pain seems deep and aching in the jaw, I think it could be inside the tooth rather than just the outer which case sensodyne won't help. If that nerve has been agitated to the point that it becomes "irreversible pulpitis", then you will need a root canal, which isn't that bad as long as it works. You could give it more time to settle down, but did you say 7 weeks? That's almost 2 months! It's my gut feeling that it might need a root canal...x rays aren't really going to tell you anything yet...until an abscess develops, which could take awhile. So your nerve is ticked off and it's probably going to persist until it's removed. Just my opinion. Of course, try the sensodyne thing for as long as you can stand it first!
Good luck!

Last edited by drumgirl7; 08-21-2008 at 11:28 AM.

Old 08-21-2008, 03:27 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: California
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taape HB Usertaape HB User
Re: Is my tooth dying?

I had a similar situation and just kept waiting hoping the pain would go away. but it didn't. An xray was taken and it was hard for the dentist to tell whether the tooth needed a root canal for sure. I waited even longer and then the tooth got abscessed and I got really ill and had to take antibiotics before the endodontist would even do the root canal. Then it became an emergency and he did it after 3 days on antibiotics.

When you mention that you have jaw pain I would think that you may have an abscessed tooth or on the way to it. I had jaw pain but didn't even connect to being from my tooth because I have chronic pain it didn't even phase me.

I also didn't chew on that side of my mouth for 2 months because of the tooth pain and developed tmj issues, not good.

So, it's nice not to need a root canal but it's worse to get really ill when you could get the root canal before it's very infected. I would ask for an xray and take it to an endodontist for an evaluation asap.

Last edited by taape; 08-21-2008 at 03:28 PM.

Old 08-21-2008, 10:42 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: nj
Posts: 98
misty57 HB User
Re: Is my tooth dying?

I had the same problem with one of my teeth. What my dentist did for me was bonded the exposed area and the problem was gone. I could never brush my teeth without hitting a nerve on that tooth and causing me pain. So he covered all the exposed area of tooth with bonding and I've had not had a problem since. You could try it and see if that helps. Good Luck Misty

Old 09-02-2008, 04:07 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 2
Re: Is my tooth dying?

Thank you so much for your response. It has made things a lot clearer for me and put some perspective on my situation. I have now gone ahead and made an appointment with my dentist for a review which I suspect will end with RTC. I just have to get on with it.

If you don't mind I have one further question. The tooth in question is on the right side and is the second premolar. However, the pain although still on the same side seems to be under my lower back molars as well as at the point of the jaw hinge area under the ear. Is it possible that this is referred pain?

Old 09-02-2008, 06:20 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: canada
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sara43c HB User
Re: Is my tooth dying?

I had a root canal on a top premolar and the pain was severe on the top and on the bottom. Also my jaw bone ached sometimes and the roof of my mouth was sore on that side. X-rays never did show anything so it took a long time to determine which tooth was actually infected. So yes it can hurt on the bottom even though a top tooth is infected. I was pain free immediately after the root canal.

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