Intermittent tooth pain, swollen gum, normal x-ray

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Prosopon

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Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
22
Hello, I have been to my dentist multiple times over the past year or so (probably more actually) with pain in one of my upper molars (the one before my wisdom tooth) and swelling around the gum. Each time I go I get an x-ray and each time that comes back normal. The tooth in question has a filling.

The pain is intermittent. It isn't agony but it is very unpleasant. It feels like the tooth is throbbing. When the dentist taps on it, again, it isn't agony, but the tapping aggravates it. I think my electric toothbrush aggravates it too.

What could be causing this?

I have a lot of anxieties about my teeth. I find going to the dentist very stressful because I get scared about having problems. I am so obsessive about taking care of them that I take any problems with them as a personal failure, which makes me feel very depressed.
 
Yourbigpalal83

Yourbigpalal83

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
461
Im not a dentist, but i know enough to perhaps point you in the right direction.

Does the tooth have a sharp pain when chewing on things? Espically when release your bite?

You also said it has a filling in it, but the dentist said you have no cavity there?

You could have a cracked tooth. These are very common to miss on X-rays. Next time your at the dentist, ask him to check for one. A transillumination test (simply holding up a high powered light to the tooth) is helpful in these cases. If the tooth is cracked, especially through the pulp, thus causing you pain..the light won't transmit through the tooth to the other side, it will bottom out along the crack.

If not perhaps the pulp is injured. Usually if you feel pain within a tooth, from my understanding, the enamel has to be breached somewhere or something is going on beneath the gum line or bone. Sometimes this can be simple sinuses, especially on upper teeth. Sinus pressure can mimic the sensation of a toothache...

But if your gum is swollen, odds are its not and theres something going on with the tooth. maby one of the roots is cracked, due to the filling...idk but your dentist would have the equipment to find out!

and trust me don't feel bad about having to have dental work. i know exactly how you feel. Teeth, no matter how good n strong they are, no matter how well you brush and floss them (and brushing and flossing them will help greatly) will eventually over time might need some work here and there. Simple ware, injuries, etc...this happens.. its not a reflection of who you are as a person. believe me, i used to be, and to a point still am paranoid about anything happening to my teeth) but you can't let that fear and anxiety consume you! Simply look at it as a problem that needs to be solved and move on from it and try to do your best.


Best of Luck
 
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Prosopon

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
22
Im not a dentist, but i know enough to perhaps point you in the right direction.

Does the tooth have a sharp pain when chewing on things? Espically when release your bite?

You also said it has a filling in it, but the dentist said you have no cavity there?

You could have a cracked tooth. These are very common to miss on X-rays. Next time your at the dentist, ask him to check for one. A transillumination test (simply holding up a high powered light to the tooth) is helpful in these cases. If the tooth is cracked, especially through the pulp, thus causing you pain..the light won't transmit through the tooth to the other side, it will bottom out along the crack.

If not perhaps the pulp is injured. Usually if you feel pain within a tooth, from my understanding, the enamel has to be breached somewhere or something is going on beneath the gum line or bone. Sometimes this can be simple sinuses, especially on upper teeth. Sinus pressure can mimic the sensation of a toothache...

But if your gum is swollen, odds are its not and theres something going on with the tooth. maby one of the roots is cracked, due to the filling...idk but your dentist would have the equipment to find out!

and trust me don't feel bad about having to have dental work. i know exactly how you feel. Teeth, no matter how good n strong they are, no matter how well you brush and floss them (and brushing and flossing them will help greatly) will eventually over time might need some work here and there. Simple ware, injuries, etc...this happens.. its not a reflection of who you are as a person. believe me, i used to be, and to a point still am paranoid about anything happening to my teeth) but you can't let that fear and anxiety consume you! Simply look at it as a problem that needs to be solved and move on from it and try to do your best.


Best of Luck

Hello, thank you so, so much for such a nice and helpful response. The pain is more of a throbbing sensation than sharp. My dentist did mention the tooth could be cracked and I have an appointment for the filling to be removed so that this can be investigated. That's in a month though. I am going to a different dental surgery tomorrow to see what they say and to also see if they can investigate sooner because the pain is almost constant now and my anxiety over all this is through the roof.

I really appreciate what you said about not feeling bad for needing work.
 
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penny_e

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Apr 17, 2013
Messages
58
Hello, thank you so, so much for such a nice and helpful response. The pain is more of a throbbing sensation than sharp. My dentist did mention the tooth could be cracked and I have an appointment for the filling to be removed so that this can be investigated. That's in a month though. I am going to a different dental surgery tomorrow to see what they say and to also see if they can investigate sooner because the pain is almost constant now and my anxiety over all this is through the roof.

I really appreciate what you said about not feeling bad for needing work.

Does it hurt when you eat something sweet on it? Do you get and electrical zings in the tooth from something cold? I had a cracked tooth removed after 4 dentists I got the proper diagnosis thankfully, I had to have it extracted it was in the roots.
 
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Prosopon

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
22
Does it hurt when you eat something sweet on it? Do you get and electrical zings in the tooth from something cold? I had a cracked tooth removed after 4 dentists I got the proper diagnosis thankfully, I had to have it extracted it was in the roots.

I have noticed that it is somewhat sensitive to sweetness but it doesn't seem to be especially sensitive to hot or cold.

I saw a new dentist today who thought she could see shadowing in the root. She gave me the option of root canal treatment or extraction so I have chosen root canal treatment as I think it would be better to try and keep all my own teeth. I have been referred to a specialist as apparently it will be quite tricky. I'm a bit frustrated that she didn't go through the pros and cons of each option. Perhaps I should have asked but I get seriously overwhelmed in appointments! I feel like I have made the right choice. In the meantime, while I wait for my referral, I am taking antibiotics. Again I had a choice, take antibiotics or have the dentist remove the nerve and "dress" the tooth. I opted for antibiotics but she said I could return if the pain continues and she'll remove the nerve. I've never had anything like this done so I am pretty scared.
 
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