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An Odd Ache That’s Not Going Away; Unsure of What to Do?

A

APhobicQueen

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
152
Location
Canada
Well me again. This time with a different issue that I’m not even sure how to describe. I’m feeling myself starting to spiral and I’d really rather not, so I’m hoping perhaps to know whether or not I should be contacting my dentist again, or even my GP.

I went to the dentist last week (Tuesday), to have a little check on how my healing from extractions (four uppers, done on Oct 11th) was going. I was told everything was okay and I was healing well. The dentist scraped my remaining front tooth which has had restoration work, and I was informed I still had some cavities that needed filling + cleanings to be done, etc, etc.

I woke up the next day however with a weird ache in my jaw. At first I attributed to to opening my mouth at the dentist. But since then it hasn’t gone away. The oddest part is I can’t seem to pin down the ache (and sometimes the ache becomes a bit painful and other times it mellows out), it seems to switch where it is? Sometimes the ache feels like it’s in my ear, sometimes it feels like it’s in the jaw itself, sometimes the TMJ joint. Most of the time it seems to be concentrated on my right side, and in the cheek area, but at this point I’m sort of throwing my hands up and saying “I don’t really know.”

I was prepared to try to let it rest, but then tonight when I was eating on my left side, I experienced some pain. Not with everything, but when I ate something particularly hard. I would get a bit of a shooting pain where my second lower molar is on that side.

A few things for context:

1) I have been eating harder things (crackers for example) with my back molars mostly, and not using my whole mouth. Perhaps it’s wear on those teeth? Even before I had the extractions I couldn’t use my whole mouth because of the problem teeth.
2) I still have my bottom wisdom teeth. They do need to come out but I was told this was going to be far down the line. They’re fully horizontal/impacted however and I was told seven months ago, on a “collision course with my molars” (but was assured it shouldn’t happen any time soon.)
3) There is the possibility I clench my teeth sometimes.
4) My jaw does pop, and crack when I open it wide. I believe 10 years ago, the dentist who examined me said something about TMJ but it was never confirmed/labelled very mild.

I’m sorry about the length of this message, but I wanted to make sure I was giving enough detail (and anxiety does make one like to over-explain.) I’m really hoping one of the lovely dentists on here can maybe assuage my fears, or at the very least tell me what my next steps should be.

Thank you!
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
7,989
It sounds like your TM joints are acting up a bit.
Try limiting how wide you open your mouth for a couple of days, apply ice packs over the joints and (if you're able to) take some Ibuprofen four times a day again for a couple of days.
Take ladylike bites of food, you don't need to change your diet, just cut it up a bit smaller and eat slower.
 
A

APhobicQueen

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
152
Location
Canada
Thank you @Gordon!

I suspected it might be something to do with those pesky joints, but it’s reassuring to have an agreement without me having to ring my poor dentist again in a panic!

I will definitely be taking your advice and make sure to try to let the joints rest up for the next while and not put any more strain or work on them than absolutely necessary.

Thank you again!
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
7,989
Give us a shout if it doesn't improve in another few days.
 

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