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Root canals and tooth pain oh my!

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Acheygirl

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
58
Location
USA
Hi everyone. I am starting this journal for support and perhaps advice. I have reached a real dead end with my dental pain and I am starting to think this is a hopeless situation. I honestly don't quite know where to go from here and it has affected my life and my relationships.

Let me first preface by saying I am middle aged. As a child I grew up with a dentist who like to drill. All of my molars are packed full of fillings. No tooth back there is left unfilled. They are all probably on their way out. Anyhow last summer I got a tooth ache in the top premolar or so I thought. When I would floss and pull the floss out, that specific tooth would ache. So I waited it out until October when it got worse and saw my dentist. He looked at it and said it was cracked and wanted to remove the filling. We did and he said fortunately the crack stopped. So he refilled it and said if it continues to hurt I should visit the endodontist and discuss root canal therapy.

I went home and it felt good. It waxes and wanes. So I thought we had solved the problem. A week later it started to throb. I wanted to hold out hope that maybe it was reversable but it got worse so i saw the endo. He did all the tests to those upper teeth. Hot water, cold water, tapping and pressure testing. He said he could root canal that tooth that day but maybe I can wait and see if it goes away since we got no clear cut answers. I went home but ended up coming back in pain so we opted to root canal that tooth. I felt relieved and hopeful but a few weeks later it hurt more, so back in I went. We ended up retreating that tooth twice but the pain continued. So we thought it was the neighboring tooth. Same thing wait and come back and I ended up coming back and getting that tooth done. He said it was looking very diseased inside and felt we solved it. Not so!

Here I am still in pain. Some days worse then others. To make things more confusing I have a cracked molar on that side. But that tooth seems ok for now? I get pain and pressure in both the root canal teeth. I also get stinging in my gums, an vicks vapor rub sensation in my gums, aching that spreads to a lower tooth which is also cracked. I feel like all hope is lost. Not sure where to turn. I wonder about a facial nerve issue but I have no clue who to see for it. My primary doc is stumped. We discussed neurontin and amitriptiline for pain. I am ok with that but I want to be sure it's not a tooth issue before I add medication. Unfortunately even these reputable well trained doctors cannot quite figure it out. A 3d cone scan did not reveal anything. Thanks for listening.🎻
 
A

Acheygirl

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
58
Location
USA
I did leave a few things out I thought might be helpful. Prior to this I have never experienced any chronic conditions before and as far as I know my health is pretty good. I do well with pain and normally never have any. Prior to this I was motivated and happy. Life was going well and I was looking forward to the new year with children growing and off to college I was excited to have some me time. Now I have to arrange my day around my mouth pain. I have already missed out on my wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, my Husband's Birthday, Christmas and New Years. The Holidays were the worst because I had to pretend I felt good and hope it would be a pain free day. Some days are good, then out of nowhere dental pain. I can just be sitting in the car and it will start to ache.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,682
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Acheygirl,

Glad you started a journal. I know for me it helps to get support and just look back at your journey,. Sorry all what you are going through its frustrating and disheartening . I wish you could have a turn around somehow. It IS really hard especially around the holidays to deal with dental pain too! and the feeling of never really knowing when its really going to act up. HOpe you can get some answers and relief soon.. :grouphug:
 
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MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
1,999
Oh man, I know I have commented in other posts, but my situation is so similar. I had a completely normal, pain free mouth until I got one root canal on a back upper molar after the crown was replaced and it never settled. That started an avalanche of dental issues. I did legitimately have a front tooth issue that is not related to the molars, but my dentist, endodontist and oral surgeon still have no idea why both root canals failed and other teeth hurt.
I also have had this ongoing for almost two years now, and have missed family events and holidays and planned stuff around mouth pain. It stinks.
Basically my host of dental specialists and doctors concluded that my immune system rejected the root canals and then went into overdrive, making my nerves go haywire. There has never conclusively been an autoimmune disorder diagnosed. I started having other issues crop up, like eczema and allergic reactions to things that I have never reacted to before, that seemed totally random but they think are connected. That didn’t happen until just this past year so over a year after all the issues with my teeth started.
I hope you can get some answers! The only thing that helped the pain for me was extraction, unfortunately.
 
A

Acheygirl

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
58
Location
USA
Thank you Krlovesherkids and Mountainmama.

Mountainmama I know we talked and I read you story. This is so frustrating. I know you mentioned that your body was not accepting the root canal teeth. Some days I feel the teeth are settling down and others not so.

I love my husband but he is not really understanding and I have a friend who I might lose the friendship with because she is losing patience with me. Oddly she also had a year or so of tooth pain but does not understand.
 
A

Acheygirl

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
58
Location
USA
I just came across an article that says that atipical facial pain is associated with depression and psychological issues. That concerning to read and seems off. I was a happy and productive person before this. We were looking at houses and excited with the next stage of our lives. It makes me feel like I need to buck up and stop complaining. :(
 
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M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
1,999
I just came across an article that says that atipical facial pain is associated with depression and psychological issues. That concerning to read and seems off. I was a happy and productive person before this. We were looking at houses and excited with the next stage of our lives. It makes me feel like I need to buck up and stop complaining. :(
Don’t let it get you down! I also don’t have a lot of support from my husband with the pain. He is supportive in my decisions to choose to extract and get implants rather than try another root canal, but he has a super high pain tolerance and doesn’t understand why the pain would hold me back. Bad timing where my first issues started right around when he got his private pilot’s license. He had a friend with a plane he could borrow and he got so frustrated with me for not wanting to go anywhere.
I will say that my dentist entertained the idea of neuralgia but my oral surgeon said definitively that it wasn’t.
I will say that it got me down so much that I did go on antidepressants for about 8 months, just to get me through the worst of it. I have never in my life had depression previously, and feel pretty good now after going off them. I have always had anxiety but nothing that requires medication.
Don’t listen to others who tell you that you are overreacting. It is impossible not to when you have all this stuff going on that can’t be explained.
 
A

Acheygirl

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
58
Location
USA
I thought I would do a quick update. So I had read here and on other forums the success using b12 supplimentation to help nerve pain in teeth from root canals. I got on a high dose b12 and really started turning a corner. I was excited that indeed this was phantom tooth pain and the b12 was helping. Unfortunately over the weekend my one root canal tooth started to hurt upon biting and up along the gum. So I think the whole phantom tooth issues goes out the window. I dont' think it's that but I feel the tooth is failing and has been causing low grade chronic inflammation. I go in tomorrow to an implant specialist and also to the endodontist to see what they say. I think I will go for extraction at this point. I will update more..
 
A

Acheygirl

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
58
Location
USA
It's 12am and I am sitting here in a panic. Pain is really kicking up it comes in waves. I've been up 24 hours straight and could not sleep today as I was waiting for the doctors to call me back - and the anxiety of this all has been so hard. I am so scared of what tomorrow will bring. If they will remove the tooth, if it is the right tooth (which I am pretty sure it is as it hurts to touch all the way at the top of that root along with pressure pain on that tooth). I am also scared that the tooth will come out but I will still be in pain. The worry about walking around missing tooth #12 for 4 months and everyone will see it gone. So many things going through my mind tonight along with pain. I pray I can sleep a few hours and gear up for tomorrow. If anyone is reading this and believes in prayer or higher power please think of me.
 
A

Acheygirl

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
58
Location
USA
I was able to get about 4 hours sleep last night. Beggars can't be choosers so I am happy I got some sleep.

I went in to the Endodontist today. The train of thought was that the next move is an apicoectomy. I was told it likely was not an infection as no swelling or fever present but that it was probably some inflammation at the apex of the tooth.

I also saw the dental implant specialist today. He was not a huge fan of that procedure and he was not pressing for a tooth extraction either. He said sometimes root canals for whatever reason just fail and even though mine was done picture perfect, they can't always be a sure thing. He did notice my bite on the crown was off and sanded a portion of it down. He said that can put stress on the tooth. He also had me bite on cotton and asked if it hurt upon release. I told him no and he said that's a good sign as if it did, it could signal a crack in teh root. He said if it does not improve in a week give him a call back. They can get me in to extract the tooth and install the implant that day. So at least I feel some sense of peace that I will not be left hanging in pain. That was my biggest fear. I had one time where I was in lots of pain but the endo was out for 3 days. I was in a panic that if it got to be a 10 on the pain scale what would I have done? When your having severe pain not knowing what to do or where to go is horrifying.

Today as of now things are somewhat calm but I also get that ice cold vicks sensation and the tooth hurts up top near the root if i push on it. So at least I know that this is the tooth causing the problems. I am torn. I don't think I want to do the apicoectomy. I think if the tooth continues to react I would like to pull it. The endo says there is nothing better then the natural tooth. I suppose this is true. But if it will cause me nothing but pain and heartache I don't want it.
 
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