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Seeking answers that never seem to be found



Feb 5, 2020
Hey there! I had a bottom premolar root canal in October. No infection—tooth just kept aching. It hasn’t ever felt totally right but the last few days or so it has really been aching —kind of a “high” pain to pressure and touch in certain spots but more a burning all along my lower jaw and up into my ear. Sometimes the ache extends across the upper left jaw. That’s the best way I can describe it. The jaw has no pain when I touch it but a constant burning feeling. Ibuprofen does not change it at all. Comes and goes but mostly has been there all along. Does not hurt to eat on (maybe a bit sensitive but not excessively so). The gums are not sensitive to press on.

Went to the dentist today and had an x ray. They said the root canal looks perfect with no infection at the root tip.

What in the world could be going on? An important thing to note—I have had other root canals on the top teeth in my mouth -no infections just painful teeth—that look perfect on x ray but are sore to the touch. Soreness ebbs and flows but still a degree of soreness in them three years later. Sometimes that burning feeling in gums but no pain in actual gums when I press. Look perfect on x ray. Is this the same thing? This burning feels more intense and the tooth is more sensitive to touch but…

Dentists are stumped with me. I never know what’s actual pain and what is …whatever this is.
So many questions...
Does anything provoke the pain? How long does it go on for when it starts?
Any bad taste or anyone complain your breath smells funny?
Does your tongue or palate feel burning as well?
Don't answer these in public unless you are happy to:
How old are you and are you male or female?
Any underlying medical conditions?
Any tablets or medications?
Have you been checked for anaemia/low folic acid/Vit B12?
Any major stress factors in your life right now that weren't present 3 years ago?
Thank you, Gordon! Let me answer your questions!

The pain is just always there — in all the teeth that have been treated, really. The root canals were done in 2020-2021 and they always have some sort of pain to finger pressure or just a dull ache in general. They are generally fine to bite on. But there is often burning across the teeth. That’s the best way to describe it. Even when I’m not doing anything with them.
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The most recent root canal and the one with the burning pain is the one that hurts the most. But the pain is similar to the others — just much more severe. Not waking me up at night. Just pain all the time
Lately my mouth has felt almost metallic at times with a burning in the gums and maybe the tongue?? But that isn’t often and doesn’t stand out as a symptom per se. Sometimes a Metallic-y taste. But no bad breath — unless my husband is lying to me. 🤣

I am a 47 year old female. No dental or health problems prior to this but if I’m being honest the constant pain and worry is for sure taking a toll on my mental health. It’s exhausting worrying all the time, having this chronic pain, and then wondering if it will ever go away…worrying all these teeth are going to fall out.

But here’s the thing. Every single root canal that was done was done because it was thought “the nerve was dying.” There was never — not once — an infection. And still to this day — four years later all of the teeth are sore to the touch (varying in severity) and often have a burning sensation accompanying them. Sometimes in the teeth. Most often up in the gums.
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I haven’t checked the folic or b12 but will certainly look into it. No stress really other than these teeth😩 I have seen specialists like Neurologists, ent, and more dentist than I can count. They just don’t know. I have tried gabapentin, carbamezapine, and amitriptyline and they all just made me feel like a zombie but didn’t really make any significant difference in the pain or burning.

The thing that has me so concerned is that this newest root canal in October — the tooth pain is greater than the others ever were but the burning pain is the same. Maybe more intense.

I am so worried that maybe its a cracked tooth (but it really doesn’t hurt to bite on) or even worse a dental abscess. I’ve never had one but who knows. The pain is not worse at night — just always there in varying degrees. But the last two days have been awful. But the x ray only showed a perfect root canal.

The last neurologist I saw said NO MORE ROOT TREATMENTS. He thinks it’s neural but is stumped as to why the meds didn’t really make much of a difference. I should also add that ibuprofen and Tylenol, advil, aleve …none of those things touch this.

Sorry for the novel. I’m just so tired of this pain and scared and tired of pretending that I’m okay when really I’m battling this inside all the time 😩
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Assuming that your hard tissues are fine (it sounds like it) then you're looking at the soft tissues...

Something it could be is BMS, Burning Mouth Syndrome:

You're a little bit on the young side, but fairly close to the main demographic who suffer from it. (I my experience ladies in their early 50s).

It's well worth getting your serum folate and Vitamin B12 levels checked. A slight lowering of those can spark it off.

As a quick and easy thing to do first, try increasing the folic acid in your diet, almost as if you were pregnant, veggies like cauliflower, spinach and broccoli, Kellogs Special K cereal is quite rich in folate too for some reason.
One last thing — just giving you all the info I can. They actually did two apicoectomies on two teeth and they STILL are sore to touch and burn. I’m just a dental mystery.
Gordon, I know this sounds crazy but just having something else to try gives me hope/. It’s so so hard dealing with this constant pain and now I’m so worried about that bottom pre molar. I will go to the pharmacy here and get some fólic acid and b12 and start that right away

Would burning mouth cause the teeth to be sore, too?
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Would burning mouth cause the teeth to be sore, too?
Might do, it's usually pretty generalised, it can flit about from area to area too...
Hi there! I have been having some sort of a similar issue recently. My tooth, which underwent a root canal treatment after infection and has a crown almost 20 years ago, never caused any pain until two weeks ago, when a throbbing and discomfort began at the gum top of the tooth. This tooth is one of the two main upper front teeth. It happened after 1) I brushed my teeth a little hard that week, and 2) I had to deal with a very stressful situation suddenly. My dentist is saying that the tooth and gum looks perfect. Could BMS be causing this throbbing feeling? I don't feel any burning per se, just a painless throbbing that I fear will spiral into pain sooner or later.
No, more likely you've bruised the ligament that holds the tooth in place, take it easy on biting on it for a few days and hopefully it'll settle down again.
@Gordon Hi Gordon, thanks for the help. It's actually been nearly three weeks since the discomfort started on May 2nd, and while it does seem to miraculously subside on some days, it does re-appear, sometimes quite strongly, on other days. To describe it, it feels like a sensation of something trying to come out of the teeth-gum area, and therefore some sort of pressure and pushing feeling. I have tried flossing and mouthwash to keep any infections at bay, but like I said earlier, my dentist said there are no signs of infection anyway (unless it is inside the tooth somewhere). I don't have bad breath either. Other things to note are: 1) I had a low blood count recently, 2) I am menopausing, 3) I eat fruits in the morning, 4) I have had a history of the most random tooth pains, some which resolved themselves and some which resulted in tooth extractions like my wisdom tooth.
It would be worth asking your dentist to carefully check the bite in the area, teeth can drift a little bit in their sockets, which could lead to them getting a bit battered when you bite on them.