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Dentists - 'hot' root canal with no signs of decay - what's going on???



Jan 22, 2010
Hi, I have a root canal that is giving me pain and behaving oddly, in that it is giving an extreme reaction to hot, not cold or warm, just hot, although it gets more annoyed with anything warm, it just doesn't jump.

Ironically, I wrote about this identical problem with the same tooth years ago here on this forum.

At that time though, this tooth was intact, not root canalled, but this feels identical, except now it gives severe pain if I chew anything hot, particularly meat and more fibrous materials that push at the gum/root of the tooth. It is a sharp, but not electric pain and if I do hurt it like this it will make it far more painful for the rest of the day.

I am getting a hot face, ear and sometimes neck from this. There is no bad taste in my mouth or any other visible signs of decay. The dentist examined it and X-rayed and said it looks fine. She said there was a 'slight shadow' on the X-ray but that was not unusual and it was probably nothing. She felt there was no reason to give me antibiotics as there was no sign of infection.

Do any dentists have ANY idea what might be going on here? The only thing I will say is I suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia on the right-hand side of my face. I have not been able to eat on that side for ten months, so this tooth, which is on the left, has been taking a lot of the strain. But my TN is in remission currently and I am eating on the right-hand side again, so I am now avoiding eating on the left to try and help this tooth, but nothing is working. This is making me miserable; I have barely got rid of one pain and another has started!

That said, there was no TN when this happened the first time and these symptoms are identical, except for the more severe jabs of pain at hot now, so I'm not convinced the TN is relevant. The dentist has said we can try antibiotics but I know it didn't help the first time and as there is no sign of infection I don't hold out much hope for them helping this time.

What confuses me is HOW can it be giving me sharp sensitivity pains when there is no root in it? What, exactly, is hurting, or could be hurting? If it was a gum inflammation surely it would show, so what's going on?

Any dentists who may have a suggestion would be most welcome. The dentist has said my only option, if antibiotics don't work, is to take the tooth out and I really, REALLY do not want to do that.

Any thoughts anyone???
i've read somewhere that this "tooth" could still hurt, pressure-wise, as the inside of the tooth (root, nerve) is gone now, but the LIGAMENTS" around the tooth are still alive, and this is what hold the tooth in place. I did asked for that kind of problem before, and this seem to be a common thing to have pressure sensitivity sometimes. So i'm just trying to deal with it when i do have that on the only tooth (molar) i have a RCT on. And i also try to chew softer food on it as well, no hard things, i don't want to provoke any breaking of the tooth or any additional pain that may appear.

I hope this help you.