TMJD and a Gum Infection Question

D

Dancinhamster

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
31
Dear All,

I am ridiculously frightened of dentists, so the past few years have been a nightmare. Besides agonising root canals (both ending in abscesses & horrendous extractions), I've been diagnosed with TMJD - which mimics chronic toothache. After 4 emergency visits to my dentist, x-rays, impressions and having my teeth & gums poked, I ended up back at the out-of-hours dentist (an hours drive away) where I was diagnosed with a gum infection and given 5 days worth of 250mg Amoxicillian.
I am, however, STILL in pain. Surely after 4 days the infection and pain should have cleared up? I'm beside myself with fear. It's causing me to be sick, not sleep etc and I am so frightened that I'll end up with yet more abscesses and extractions. This particular incident has gone on since October....seriously, I can't take much more....

Please help :(
 
M

mcfly666

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
28
Dear All,

I am ridiculously frightened of dentists, so the past few years have been a nightmare. Besides agonising root canals (both ending in abscesses & horrendous extractions), I've been diagnosed with TMJD - which mimics chronic toothache. After 4 emergency visits to my dentist, x-rays, impressions and having my teeth & gums poked, I ended up back at the out-of-hours dentist (an hours drive away) where I was diagnosed with a gum infection and given 5 days worth of 250mg Amoxicillian.
I am, however, STILL in pain. Surely after 4 days the infection and pain should have cleared up? I'm beside myself with fear. It's causing me to be sick, not sleep etc and I am so frightened that I'll end up with yet more abscesses and extractions. This particular incident has gone on since October....seriously, I can't take much more....

Please help :(

So sorry about your pain :cry: I have been having similar problems ever since I had a tooth restored so I know how you feel. And your right, it feels like the most painful toothache ever... I can only give advice on what has helped ease my pain, hopefully some of it may be useful to you.

Hot/Cold items on the jaw joint and face eases the muscles.
Over the counter painkillers, I tend to use a codeine/paracetamol one and nurophen.
Relaxation techniques - very important, try not to get tensed up over it, it really helps.
No stimulants - especially before you go sleep EG: smoking, caffine (tea/coffee) and alcohol.

Thats the 'normal' things over with, I'll say some others below but it may not apply to you. A few questions first...

Do you ever clench your teeth together when your stressed or doing stressful things, or have you ever woken up in the morning with a sore jaw/teeth. I ask because its quite common to have something called 'Bruxism' with TMJD. This is when you grind/clench your teeth together either when you sleep or when your awake.

If you do find yourself doing that then tell your dentist asap, they will be able to advise on what the best course of action to take, personally when I have major dental work done, it changes my bite. Normally that would not be so bad, but because I'm a grinder/clencher we feel ANY bite change more than most and as the grinding forces are so extreme it puts a lot of pressure on teeth, jaw's and their supporting structures.

I have to do all of the above when I experience it, along with the below...

Don't use a pillow when you sleep, keep the neck strait in line with your back - it can really help.
Get the dentist to make you a night guard or splint, these will change your way you can close your mouth and will help the pain in the muscles and stop grinding.

When its really bad I take a sedative like Tamazepam, this helps you relax when you sleep (i know your sleeping! but it really helps)

Ask the dentist to check your bite, you could have an occlusion problem, even if you don't have bruxism. the dental work you've had done along with the extractions means your teeth may be shifting. there may be high spots to your restorations which can be ground down. Any quick change to your bite like that can cause TMJD as the stress it puts on the muscles and jaw/teeth are TREMENDOUS! Imagine you've sprained your ankle, then you run a marathon on it, that is what is happening to the muscles in the jaw and ligaments holding your teeth in.

With the question's you've asked, yes the Amoxicillin should have cleared the infection up, but since you've had no improvement at all I tend to think you've not got an infection or the dose isnt high enough. The stresses from teeth movement can cause the tissues around teeth called the Periodontal ligament to get really angry and inflamed with TMJD and bruxism. You may have something commonly called 'sprained tooth syndrome' (google it)

Try not to worry about more extractions and abcesses, if your bruxing or if the TMJD is causing the pain you've go no reason to get infected teeth again. The stress you put yourself under will make the pain more unbearable and will hinder the healing process your going through.

Try looking for a local Orthodontic specialist, these dentists are specialist 'bite doctors' they should be able to help you if your bite is off.
 
D

Dancinhamster

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
31
So sorry about your pain :cry: I have been having similar problems ever since I had a tooth restored so I know how you feel. And your right, it feels like the most painful toothache ever... I can only give advice on what has helped ease my pain, hopefully some of it may be useful to you.

Hot/Cold items on the jaw joint and face eases the muscles.
Over the counter painkillers, I tend to use a codeine/paracetamol one and nurophen.
Relaxation techniques - very important, try not to get tensed up over it, it really helps.
No stimulants - especially before you go sleep EG: smoking, caffine (tea/coffee) and alcohol.

Thats the 'normal' things over with, I'll say some others below but it may not apply to you. A few questions first...

Do you ever clench your teeth together when your stressed or doing stressful things, or have you ever woken up in the morning with a sore jaw/teeth. I ask because its quite common to have something called 'Bruxism' with TMJD. This is when you grind/clench your teeth together either when you sleep or when your awake.

If you do find yourself doing that then tell your dentist asap, they will be able to advise on what the best course of action to take, personally when I have major dental work done, it changes my bite. Normally that would not be so bad, but because I'm a grinder/clencher we feel ANY bite change more than most and as the grinding forces are so extreme it puts a lot of pressure on teeth, jaw's and their supporting structures.

I have to do all of the above when I experience it, along with the below...

Don't use a pillow when you sleep, keep the neck strait in line with your back - it can really help.
Get the dentist to make you a night guard or splint, these will change your way you can close your mouth and will help the pain in the muscles and stop grinding.

When its really bad I take a sedative like Tamazepam, this helps you relax when you sleep (i know your sleeping! but it really helps)

Ask the dentist to check your bite, you could have an occlusion problem, even if you don't have bruxism. the dental work you've had done along with the extractions means your teeth may be shifting. there may be high spots to your restorations which can be ground down. Any quick change to your bite like that can cause TMJD as the stress it puts on the muscles and jaw/teeth are TREMENDOUS! Imagine you've sprained your ankle, then you run a marathon on it, that is what is happening to the muscles in the jaw and ligaments holding your teeth in.

With the question's you've asked, yes the Amoxicillin should have cleared the infection up, but since you've had no improvement at all I tend to think you've not got an infection or the dose isnt high enough. The stresses from teeth movement can cause the tissues around teeth called the Periodontal ligament to get really angry and inflamed with TMJD and bruxism. You may have something commonly called 'sprained tooth syndrome' (google it)

Try not to worry about more extractions and abcesses, if your bruxing or if the TMJD is causing the pain you've go no reason to get infected teeth again. The stress you put yourself under will make the pain more unbearable and will hinder the healing process your going through.

Try looking for a local Orthodontic specialist, these dentists are specialist 'bite doctors' they should be able to help you if your bite is off.

Hello Macfly - thank you for answering :)

My my dentist is making a bite guard for me, as I've always ground my teeth. My jaw has always been clicky, and wonky.
I started with TMJD in 2009 after 2 bad car crashes. I'm still having treatment for back and shoulder injuries. My GP has refused to support me. She refused to refer me to an Osteopath, so I have to pay for private treatment. This is a financial burden as I lost my job in March.
She also refused to agree with the TMJ diagnosis - claiming its depression. She won't prescribe pain relief. As I'm asthmatic, I can only take paracetamol or Paramol. These don't really ease the pain.
I don't drink or smoke, or drink coffee. Other than this, I'm healthy.
The pain is horrendous, but people just don't believe me and make me feel like an over-dramatic hypochondriac. It's so upsetting.
My gums are still swollen and sore - is this part of the sprained tooth problem? It's like electric shocks or a metal spike digging into the nerve.
Im trying not to worry.....but having had two extractions - when the anaesthetic didn't work at all, when the extraction caused a lot of damage and a secondary infection, when I had to wait for 3 weeks to see a dentist - I'm terrified.
I just want to cut my head off.......the thought of another abscess is just so distressing.....:o
 
Soma

Soma

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
101
Dancin, I don't really have any advice, I just want to say that a lot of us here know that feeling that you are feeling (I'm going through something very similar at the moment). The dread and worry. Even on good days it effects us so much that it's still there in the back of our mind. Most people in the world have no idea just how much damage this dental stuff can do to the quality of our lives.

I'll keep my fingers crossed and wish on a star that everything works out as quickly and painlessly as it can for you.

Keep your chin up.
 
D

Dancinhamster

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
31
Soma - thank you so much!
I've made another appointment today, and I think they're getting sick of me (not as much as I am of them :D ). The pain is better, but it's still there, and the gum is still sore & swollen. The abject terror we feel seems to be reinforced every time we go get help. And you're right - people don't understand how much this effects our lives.

Hopefully something will be done today - I'll be sure to grumble on here about it :giggle:
 
M

mcfly666

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
28
Soma - thank you so much!
I've made another appointment today, and I think they're getting sick of me (not as much as I am of them :D ). The pain is better, but it's still there, and the gum is still sore & swollen. The abject terror we feel seems to be reinforced every time we go get help. And you're right - people don't understand how much this effects our lives.

Hopefully something will be done today - I'll be sure to grumble on here about it :giggle:

I honestly know where your coming from Dancinhamster I has three people looking in my mouth at once this week. I was telling them my bite was off and they all agreed that it was OK! I felt like I was making it up:hmm:

After an hour of checking with bite paper, they found a high spot and ground down a gold inlay which made it better but the real high spot the dentist does not want to touch because its a working cusp...

I am going to make an appointment with an Orthodontic dentist to see if anything can be done via equilibration (grinding down of teeth) The problem with trying to get your bite right when the teeth are not stable is that they could change something and two weeks later it comes back, or even two weeks later the teeth align and the bit you've had ground off isn't even touching something anymore...

From what you've said, you suffer from Bruxism, which is linked to your TMJD problems. The night guard will help a lot. And the symptoms will hopefully die down when used. Bruxism can be natural for anxiety sufferers like ourselves but since you've said the doctor thinks you're depressed, things like SSRI anti-depressants can make the whole situation a LOT worse. if you are taking antidepressants it may be worth going back to the doctor to see if there is anything you can take that has no links to Bruxism. Also, ask to try a muscle relaxant for when you sleep which can help...

As for pain meds, go to a supermarket and buy yourself some Ibuprofen - just the cheap stuff. Take it with the Paramol. Paramol will only really help the pain, Ibuprofen will help with the swelling that is making the pain worse. The combination may just get you out of the woods. Oh and it may be a bit of a stab in the dark, but maybe try taking a nutritional supplement. A one a day multivitamin/mineral tablet that contains Magnesium. Studies have shown that when people are deficient in certain compounds Bruxism is a lot worse.
 
D

Dancinhamster

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
31
Hello again Macfly :)

I cant take anything stronger painkiller-wise, as it has a really bad effect on my asthma. I do not, and will not take anti-depressants. My GP will not give me anything - get this - until I "admit to myself that I have depression, and that is causing pain".
I am finding a new GP as we speak ;)

I'm off out to the dentist AGAIN to address this gum pain. I'm in such a palava.....because the thought of an abscess and root canal or extraction is my worst nightmare. Ugh. Teeth.

And it's dreadful when other people simply don't believe you. You know your body - and you knew your bite was wonky. Sooooooooo frustrating!
Right....I'm just fighting the urge to vomit....and off I go to see Driller Killer :o Xx
 
D

Dancinhamster

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
31
Hello again Macfly :)

I cant take anything stronger painkiller-wise, as it has a really bad effect on my asthma. I do not, and will not take anti-depressants. My GP will not give me anything - get this - until I "admit to myself that I have depression, and that is causing pain".
I am finding a new GP as we speak ;)

I'm off out to the dentist AGAIN to address this gum pain. I'm in such a palava.....because the thought of an abscess and root canal or extraction is my worst nightmare. Ugh. Teeth.

And it's dreadful when other people simply don't believe you. You know your body - and you knew your bite was wonky. Sooooooooo frustrating!
Right....I'm just fighting the urge to vomit....and off I go to see Driller Killer :o Xx

OK.
So my dentist says there's NO infection. None at all. The swelling and the pain have been caused by my toothbrush.

I give up.

I just give up:cry:
 
M

mcfly666

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
28
OK.
So my dentist says there's NO infection. None at all. The swelling and the pain have been caused by my toothbrush.

I give up.

I just give up:cry:

It could be time for a second opinion with another dentist then. I really feel for you, it feels like your banging your head against a brick wall when trying to explain the symptoms to people. Hopefully a new doctor will be a bit more understanding with you;).

On a second more hopeful note, you mentioned that you had some accidents that has made your mouth really bad. You may be able to get Implants done on the NHS if you fight your corner. Normally the NHS wont do implants but if you have a bad accident and a clear medical need you can get them on the NHS.

It's only a guess but if you have a full set of teeth, they wont want to move around so much and exaggerate your TMJD :)

Talk to your new doctor about it and get referred...
 
D

Dancinhamster

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Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
31
I don't think that implants are the right choice for me. Firstly - far too painful looking, plus lots of people saying they're rubbish. Secondly - I am struggling to pay for me current treatment, let alone anything that advanced.

Still having pains around the rear teeth, that arcs up and over the roof of my mouth.
I'm not even going to bother going back to the dentist, to be fobbed-off yet again, until my bite guard has been produced.

I looked up Sprained Tooth Syndrome - thank you! I'm not sure that would cause pain running along the length of the gums or the roof of my mouth - it doesn't appear in the symptoms.

I'm just so tired of the constant pain, eating soup, and the general contempt shown by the NHS. Thank you for being kind x
 
M

mcfly666

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Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
28
It can take a while for it to all die down, the pain along the gums is understandable though. You have a big nerve running along each side of the face that teeth and structures supporting them share so if you upset one (or more) they can basically trigger all sorts of strange stuff along that nerve. Funnily enough the Maxillary part of the nerve supplies sensation to the teeth and roof of the mouth in that area.

Eventually the nerve goes up around the side of your face which can cause all sorts of pain and weird sensations when things are not happy.

I can understand about the implants, I have the same reservations about them myself. But apparently they are not as painful as when you had the tooth removed. And if you live in the UK you can get them for free if you've had a bad accident and lost teeth.

Anyway, I hope your feeling a bit better and things are improving even if only slightly :innocent:
 
D

Dancinhamster

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
31
It can take a while for it to all die down, the pain along the gums is understandable though. You have a big nerve running along each side of the face that teeth and structures supporting them share so if you upset one (or more) they can basically trigger all sorts of strange stuff along that nerve. Funnily enough the Maxillary part of the nerve supplies sensation to the teeth and roof of the mouth in that area.

Eventually the nerve goes up around the side of your face which can cause all sorts of pain and weird sensations when things are not happy.

I can understand about the implants, I have the same reservations about them myself. But apparently they are not as painful as when you had the tooth removed. And if you live in the UK you can get them for free if you've had a bad accident and lost teeth.

Anyway, I hope your feeling a bit better and things are improving even if only slightly :innocent:

ah....now that's interesting! When I wash my face I get a sensation on the side where the gum is swollen! Similar to how my cheek felt when I had an abscess. I'm just confused as the emergency dentist took X-rays and said the gum was infected - but my dentist said she was wrong. Argh. I'm still on the Paramol to help me sleep, and still waiting on my bite guard....been three weeks now :(

I'm hoping I'll be able to eat for Xmas. Soup is getting sooooooooo boring xxx
 
J

jsherer74

Junior member
Joined
May 16, 2017
Messages
3
Hi I'm having similar symptoms. Had a filling done three months ago. It never felt right. I had it adjusted several times with no long term relief. recently I did some traveling and it got really painful. I had sensitivity to cold water and last night it flared up and I woke up with what I guess was a swollen gland in my jaw!

Last visit to he dentist they did full scans and XRays...found there was nothing wrong with the tooth. They asked if I was a teeth grinder, I'm not...she suggested I buy a mouth guard. I have wore it with limited relief! going for a second opinion!
 
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