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Chronic toothache

(27 Posts)
Sheena Thu 09-Jul-20 07:21:32

Some help and advice please anyone?

I started this toothache in my upper right teeth back last September and a sensitivity to anything remotely hot. Dentist took an xray but could see nothing wrong. At that time I had to have a tooth out lower right and she said the top pain could be referred pain. But it still continued. I hadn't been too happy with this dentist so changed to another mainly for a second opinion.

Again more xrays, but this new dentist , although sympathetic , again could see nothing wrong. Suggested there may be some infection lurking where she could not see and prescribed erythromycin for 10 days. That did nothing. So back again to the dentist. She then referred me to see a maxfax consultant .... I had a full face x ray and also a CT scan of my face.

Then Lockdown ! The consultant rang me to say he could see nothing wrong, the CT scan showed my sinuses where absolutely clear, and that he though I had a degree of "pulpitis" in UR4 and possibly UR5 (which has a big old filling) . So , as all the dentists were now closed I could do nothing ... and still the pain continued,

I was able to visit the dentist this Tuesday at last. Again she did another xray but the same conclusion... she could see nothing untoward. So after a long discussion she said really the only way forward was to do a root canal on the one middle tooth that has this large filling. She "thinks" this could be the culprit... and there "might" be an infection lurking there.

But surely if I had an abscess or some infection after all these months it would have erupted in some way? and it could be any one of the three top teeth where this pain seems to come from . The ache radiates up into mu cheek and under the right eye and into the right side of my nose. On a bad day it is over my head and into my ear. I take paracetomol and ibuprofen when it is bad. I can go some days and it is just ticking away in the background, and other days when it is raging.

I am so scared to have root canal treatment as have heard really nothing but problems with that. But I just can't face having another tooth extraction .

I am so bothered that the dentist just doesn't know which tooth is the problem (not her fault as nothing is showing on the xrays) . I fear I will go through with this root canal and it will just make matters worse.

I am so afraid to go to the dentist anyway so this is just freaking me out.

To be honest, I'd rather put up with what I have now.... but it's that worry that there is some sort of infection there which isn't going to go away.

Sorry for the long post.... but there might be someone out there in Gransnetland who could help ?

Thank you thanks

kittylester Thu 09-Jul-20 07:25:46

I had unexplained pain for a while which turned out to be a cracked cusp which are very hard to spot.

Hetty58 Thu 09-Jul-20 07:50:07

I had that problem in the past and when, eventually, (after months of pain) the dentist was persuaded to remove the filling, the tooth couldn't be saved. Not everything shows up on x-rays.

Sheena Thu 09-Jul-20 08:21:11

Sorry everyone..
I just wanted to add that I can eat perfectly well on that right side , it doesn't hurt when I bite down hard... the dentist has banged all those three teeth but that doesn't hurt either, so surely if it was infected or an abscess then I'd have trouble eating? I just get an extreme fleeting pain with anything hot.

GagaJo Thu 09-Jul-20 08:49:05

I understand you dilemma. I had unexplained toothache which the dentist thought was one specific tooth. He expensively redid the filling, only for the pain to continue.

Eventually I worked out on my own that the pain was being caused by a space (not the technical term I'm sure) on one side of a tooth.

I used a combination of sensitive toothpaste and mouthwash and also Corsodyl toothpaste to tame it a bit. The pain isn't often bad anymore.

I had a similar problem years ago after chemo. Really extreme toothache caused by sensitivity as a side effect of chemotherapy.

BlueBelle Thu 09-Jul-20 09:03:16

I m really wondering if this is anything to do with teeth at all could it not be a nerve pain which wouldn’t show up on any xrays
I wouldn’t have a root canal unless absolutely necessary I m sure it would hurt biting down if it was the tooth

Sheena Thu 09-Jul-20 09:19:13

Thanks Kittylester, Hetty and GagoJo ... and yes, Bluebelle that's what the Maxfax guy said when I saw him.... he wasn't convinced it was my teeth hence the CT scan, but that showed up all clear in the sinuses.. but of course i wouldn't show up the nerves.

I am very loathe to go down the root canal route (excuse the pun) as terribly scared anyway.

I did ask the dentist if she could just take out the old filling and out in a new one, but she didn't seem to consider that.

Oh I feel sick with worry.

travelsafar Thu 09-Jul-20 09:27:29

Have you tried one of the very good toothpastes for sensitivity. Sensodyne and Colgate Pro relief are brilliant. It builds up in the small holes in the enamel and blocks off the sensitive nerve. I think that is how it works anyway. I just know it works. It doesn't taste that great but if you have sensitive teeth it is no price to pay. About 2.00 per tube. Worth trying at that price. You have to continue to use it everytime you brush teeth.

CassieJ Thu 09-Jul-20 10:15:44

It could be trigeminal neuralgia

I have had this in the past and the pain is horrendous! It is nothing to do with teeth, it is nerve pain. Apparently healthy teeth are often removed to try to get rid of the pain, but as this is nerve pain, no matter how many teeth you have removed it will not get rid of it.

See your GP to get pain relief, that is the only thing that helped me.

gillybob Thu 09-Jul-20 10:24:01

I feel your pain Sheena . I had the dreaded root canal treatment on my front tooth last November . Have had it opened and closed 4 times now so the tooth is very weak and the gum surrounding very sore after so many injections on top of one another . Currently left open due to lockdown . I’ve had 7 lots of antibiotics ( they help for a while ) and have been in pain ever since . I was mistakenly referred to an ENT consultant instead of a maxfax ( I had a telephone consultation ) and I’m back on the waiting list again . I am convinced the dentist has done something to my sinuses as I can’t lie on my left side or breath through my left nostril .

Elderflower2 Thu 09-Jul-20 10:24:01

I mix ground cloves with organic neem powder and use as a tooth powder. It is pretty good as one of my teeth has separated from the gum and is on its way out and can be quite painful at times. The mix numbs the gums while I brush and leaves a pleasant after taste.

Sheena Thu 09-Jul-20 10:41:22

Thanks travelsafar ... none of those toothpastes help sadly , and I have tried lots and spent a small fortune ! I have some duraphatt on prescription and have been using that since Tuesday (on the advice of the hygienist) . Not holding out much hope !

No, CassieJ not TN as it doesn't appear to be that sort of pain.

Oh dear, gillybob you certainly are going through it , and sadly your story is why I dread this treatment .

Thanks Elderflower2 for the tip .

Judy54 Thu 09-Jul-20 13:54:12

Yes it could be a neurological problem. I have a muscular problem in my jaw which at times is very painful. If the Dentist is not sure do see your GP to get this checked out. Also do not be afraid of a root canal if needed, I had on many years ago and have had no problems with it.

sharon103 Thu 09-Jul-20 14:04:01

I agree with CassieJ Thu 09-Jul-20 10:15:44
It could be trigeminal neuralgia

My sister used have this when she was alive. I would make an appointment with your doctor.

Coolgran65 Thu 09-Jul-20 14:07:53

At one time my dentist was unable to determine which tooth was the problem.

By injecting and numbing a tooth nerve one at a time he found it. If the pain continued when a particular tooth nerve was numbed then it wasn’t that tooth. This was done over a few sessions. He did find the problem tooth.

BlueBelle Thu 09-Jul-20 14:10:39

I wouldn’t discount TN Sheena nerve pain can effect different people in totally different ways and even in different places
It doesn’t sound as if it’s a tooth problem at all I wouldn’t mess around with them at all see your GP get a different perspective

midgey Thu 09-Jul-20 14:12:27

I have found that you have to use the ‘right’ sensitive toothpaste, the one that suits you. It is a case of trial and error!

Sheena Thu 09-Jul-20 14:29:08

Thanks Sharon103 .. I have checked that link but it isn't TN.. I have none of those symptoms at all.

BlueBelle I saw a maxfax consultant back in Febrary as it may not have been my teeth that were the problem, but after a full x ray and CT scan he sent me back to the dentist saying it was a case of "pulpitis" .

I have been to my GP, but she was not interested at all and said she couldn't possibly comment on anything the dentist was advising. Because I had been to the dentist and she prescribed antibiotics in case it was a sinus infection. So I went to the GP to ask her advice . That was her response.

My worry is that it IS a tooth problem, I am sure it is.. but because the dentist can't be sure which tooth she is proposing this root canal on the one tooth she "thinks" is responsible for causing all this pain.

I think because nothing is showing up on any xrays it worries me that she is going to do something "just in case".

I have an awful fear of any dental treatment .. going to the dentist is a huge problem to me..... stupid and cowardly, but this is really fretting me.

dhills02 Thu 09-Jul-20 21:46:03

It could be trigelmic neuropathic pain which can't be sorted out by dental treatment but can arise as it did in my case from dental trauma. It is horrible and I hope you don't have it. Root canal treatment is ok if the problem is dental and not related to nerve damage.

Check the website below which is informative:

OliGirlz Tue 08-Jun-21 19:56:17

I had the same pain for 3 months! It was unbearable

NotSpaghetti Tue 08-Jun-21 21:11:31

If you are using sensitive toothpaste you should choose one with Novamin in it. Sensodyne do two (or maybe three) types with this in and it's way more effective than the ordinary Sensodyne or the colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief range.

I think consumers don't know about Novamin as Sensodyne has so much less going into advertising than the Colgate option.

If toothpaste can help, I think the Novamin ones are definitely worth a go. They are about £5 a tube but fairly often on offer.

If you want to see the pain-relief comparison studies I found two on Google Scholar a couple of years ago.

sodapop Tue 08-Jun-21 21:16:30

Don't get too worried about root canal treatment Sheena I've had it done several times in the last few years and it was painless. I am lucky with a very good French dentist.

lemsip Tue 08-Jun-21 21:26:07

Sheena Thu 09-Jul-20 14:29:08 Note date of sheena's post july 2020. so supposed she's had her treatment now a year later.
whatever revived this a year later

NotSpaghetti Wed 09-Jun-21 07:01:25

Oh my goodness lemsip!
I DO hope so!

NotSpaghetti Wed 09-Jun-21 07:02:09

Oh my goodness lemsip.
I do hope so.