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From Tooth Ache to Potentially Life Threatening Situation

J

JasonD

Junior member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
11
For about a years time, I dealt with a what you might consider an annoyance to food on my left bottom side. It started off innocently enough. Every now and then a bite in a spot in that area would cause some pain. No problem I thought. Something small or maybe just some food lodged in the wrong place causing it. No big deal.


As time went on, a bite in a spot in that area would cause more intense pain. So, instead of immediately going to the dentist to get a checkup, I figured I'd just chew on the other side predominantly and deal with softer things on the painful side, because well that was the not smart thing to do. In retrospect, I was obviously trying to avoid the "scary" dentist visit.


Fast forward 9 months. The pain on any bite on my left bottom side was now excruciating. No more putting off the dentist. I made a dental visit and they did a full x-ray of my mouth. My teeth were actually in really good condition. I said there is no way the teeth on the bottom left are in good condition. There has to be a cavity you are not seeing there somewhere. "Oh no, we don't see anything on x-ray". Ok, so on with the cleaning. The dental hygienist proceeded to do the scraping and rinsing and all of the normal cleaning duties. As soon as she got the tooth pic on the left bottom side I came out of my chair. I said you can't clean that area. It's too sensitive. That's where I was saying if I bite down I actually do come out of my chair in pain. She proceeded to topically numb it and attempt another go. I somehow got through it, but barely, as I could still feel intense pain even after the numbing agent.


So the problem wasn't really addressed but they thought maybe it was buxism (teeth grinding) and to wear a proper guard at night and take an advil before bed to relax things a bit. I gave that a shot.


A month later I was in so much pain I called them and said I need a prescription for antibiotics, an anti-inflammatory, and an anti-pain dispensed immediately. The pain was indescribable. It started to radiate down the left side of my throat and the headaches from the toothache were incredibly severe. No food was needed to trigger it now. It had a pulse of it's own. They prescribed Penicillin, Hydrocodone, and Flexeril. Three days into the cocktail nothing appeared to be working. In fact things were only getting worse.


They changed the prescription from Penicillin to Clindamycin at 1200MG per day. This is a very powerful yet side effect prone antibiotic.


After two days on Clindamycin, pain was at it's peak. Nothing was touching this. Now, not only was it a radiating tooth ache, the bottom part of my chin had really started to swell as well as my left cheek. When I say swell I mean it was really bad. My face looked distorted. This small tooth ache that I should have taken care of a year ago had now turned into something that was causing real quality of life issues for me. The pain was unbearable 100% of the time. I could not sleep. I could not swallow without severe pain. I could not open my mouth past a tenth of an inch. I had been drinking soup for 4 days at this point because of all of these issues. Keep n mind every single swallow felt like someone was stabbing me in the throat. It was in my jaw, my cheek, my chin. I was at my wits end and was very depressed. I had no clue what the next step was at this point. Why is this happening? All seemed hopeless.


I was starving. I hopped on youtube to see about doing some possible jaw movements to stretch things out to hopefully be able to get a fork or some food in my mouth. So one of the movements had me move my bottom jaw horizontally back and forth about 20 times (along with other movements) for a few sets. I had just started on the jaw horizontal movement and on about the 12th rep when it happened...


The most DISGUSTING and NASTIEST taste you will ever have in your mouth started rushing through. I jumped up and ran into the kitchen and started sucking and spitting from that area as fast as possible. It was so nasty. It just kept coming though. So kept sucking and spitting. After every spit I felt more pain relief. Kept going, kept going, kept going. Finally, it slowed down to a dribble. That was 3 days ago.


So, I had a severe tooth abscess apparently deep and under the root that ruptured that had probably been growing for an entire year if not more. I have been sleeping with a spit can basically to keep offloading things as often as possible. I am still on the Clindamycin to combat sepsis (a real concern at this point) but have cut the dose as that dose was too high for me to effectively handle with the harmful side effect possibilities (c-diff being one).


The swelling has started to go down slightly over the past couple of days and quality of life is 1000 times better now. The jaw is starting to loosen up as well, but still have some work to do there. My first bite of real food was still soup, but I did get noodles and the small pieces of chicken in and down. That wasn't happening before.


Will be looking at a root canal or tooth extraction all together at this point moving forward. My main livelihood emergency is largely behind me but need to stay on it.


I wanted to write this just in case someone out there is going through much of the same. It won't seem like much at first, but it will grow over time. It will be an exponential growth curve though. This abscess pain skyrocketed and went from annoying pain to potential emergency room visit within two months. The night before the rupture, I was in so much pain that I actually contemplated calling 911. When I say "pain" referring to the abscess, I don't know if that describes it well enough. It's not just pain. You feel your body’s every pulse, every movement, etc. all through that one small avenue. It then radiates through your head as a never ending migraine. It never stops. In my case, the infection spread way beyond the tooth. It can be life threatening as your mouth is so close to your brain. If it gets there it is potentially lights out. Do more research beyond this post if you are experiencing anything like this. I do believe it was the worst pain I've ever felt in my entire life.

I understand a root canal or extraction will need to be done soon. I’m just happy to sleep a couple nights of good sleep, eat a few good meals, and feel no pain in the immediate short term.

Thank you.
 
Last edited:
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,748
Hi Jason,

sorry to read about your ordeal. I'm particularly sorry to read that your dentist failed to listen to you and diagnose properly. If you have pain then something is wrong and it's your dentist job to find out what.

Your story reminds me of my recent cracked tooth that started as a slight pain when biting on that side. If a crack is not treated, it can get worse and bacteria coming in can cause the nerve to get inflamed.

I'm glad to hear that you can finally get some sleep now and hope your tooth get treated very soon. I am also wondering if you will go back to the same dentist or if you will try to find someone else. I would be really upset if a dentist ignored my painful tooth.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
J

JasonD

Junior member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
11
Hi Jason,

sorry to read about your ordeal. I'm particularly sorry to read that your dentist failed to listen to you and diagnose properly. If you have pain then something is wrong and it's your dentist job to find out what.

Your story reminds me of my recent cracked tooth that started as a slight pain when biting on that side. If a crack is not treated, it can get worse and bacteria coming in can cause the nerve to get inflamed.

I'm glad to hear that you can finally get some sleep now and hope your tooth get treated very soon. I am also wondering if you will go back to the same dentist or if you will try to find someone else. I would be really upset if a dentist ignored my painful tooth.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
Enarete,

Thanks for replying on this. I agree about the dentist should have explored more thoroughly on what the pain was coming from. If you have pain during a cleaning that doesn't allow touching anywhere near an area, it should be investigated more thoroughly. I'm not sure if I will go back to this dentist or not. I have an oral surgeon appt in a week to get even more thoughts on what the next steps should be.

As for your cracked tooth, been there too. That's a lot of fun huh? The occasional pizza red pepper flake get right on top of the crack and you bite down on it...sends you straight out of your chair. In my case I did get it capped as it was caught in time but as you may know as well, that's a fun experience too. The temporary cap gets put on while the perm one gets made. Then going back to get the temp cap removed and scraping out the glue from the tooth...great memories.

Will keep everyone in the loop as to what the oral surgeon appointment results in.

Take care!
 
T

toraflora

Member
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
38
Location
Pasadena
Hi Jason,

sorry to read about your ordeal. I'm particularly sorry to read that your dentist failed to listen to you and diagnose properly. If you have pain then something is wrong and it's your dentist job to find out what.

Your story reminds me of my recent cracked tooth that started as a slight pain when biting on that side. If a crack is not treated, it can get worse and bacteria coming in can cause the nerve to get inflamed.

I'm glad to hear that you can finally get some sleep now and hope your tooth get treated very soon. I am also wondering if you will go back to the same dentist or if you will try to find someone else. I would be really upset if a dentist ignored my painful tooth.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
I'm currently in a situation when I fear that I have a cracked tooth (symptoms have not subsided after 6 weeks) and my dentist just brushed it off as a bruised ligament. I'm really fearing it getting worse and also have a great fear of root canal or dental implant. Any advice?
 
C

comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,881
Location
Miami, Fl
I've seen a similar situation once. At some point its best to just to remove the tooth. I am uncomfortable with multiple courses and protracted use of clindamycin.
 
J

JasonD

Junior member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
11
Get the tooth pulled ASAP. A crack may also be difficult for a normal xray to see. My oral surgeon had a 3D xray that showed the crack from the top of the tooth. If you wait it will get infected and abscess. If that happens I caution you not to take clyndamicin for longer than 10-14 days and if you do take it for that length of time take a probiotic like Florastor with it. You’ll get it pulled and feel great afterwards. Don’t deal with the pain for fear of the dentist. Just get it pulled and move forward with better quality of life. You’ve got this.
 
J

JasonD

Junior member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
11
I'm currently in a situation when I fear that I have a cracked tooth (symptoms have not subsided after 6 weeks) and my dentist just brushed it off as a bruised ligament. I'm really fearing it getting worse and also have a great fear of root canal or dental implant. Any advice?
I meant to also add and forgot that I hadn’t in the original post, I got c-diff and toxic megacolon from overuse of clyndamicin. That’s why I implore you to take a probiotic and do not use clynda for more than 10-14 days. The abscess will come back. Getting the tooth pulled was the only solution.
 
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