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face, jaw and ear pain after dental work
An_241708 posted:
Two months ago I had a silver filling on the bottom left of my mouth replaced with a white composite filling. The silver filling had broken over time. Since the replacement, I have had jaw, face and ear pain on that side of my face. It started near the tooth that had the work done and then moved to include the upper jaw area. Now it no longer hurts near the tooth that was worked on but still hurts in the upper jaw area. My ear no longer hurts but feels like there is heaviness in the ear area. The pain always responds to Advil which I have been taking every 8 hours but recently I have been able to use oragel instead of Advil several times a day. Do you think this is nerve damage from an injection? How would I know if there was infection? There is no pain when eating with that tooth. There is no discoloration, and no actual painful area when pressing on the tooth. What do you think? Do I need to go back to the dentist or wait it out? I have read that if it is nerve damage from an injection that it might take up to wix months to resolve on its own!?
Zev Kaufman, DDS responded:
Dear An_241708:

It is, unfortunately, quite common to have terrible pain following the replacement of an amalgam restoration with a large composite one. The composite restoration, as it sets, shrinks quite a bit, and this action, apparently, causes extreme sensitivity. If this pulpitis (inflammation of the pulpal tissues inside the tooth) lingers, the tooth will die and after 4 days to a week the tooth will not hurt anymore. The pain can radiate to the upper jaw and if the bite is off, a patient will describe what you have.

Nerve damage to injection is not extremely common and thus, I tend to look at the tooth as the culprit to the pain.

I personally prefer to replace a large, failed amalgam restoration with a ceramic (porcelain) restoration, gold restoration, or a crown. All of which result in a much superior restoration to the composite, but are much more expensive.

I recommend you go back to your dentist, or better yet, go to an Endodonitst (the specialist in this area) and have the tooth evaluated for vitality. If the tooth is dead, you will have to get a root canal and a crown restoration in order to keep it.

Best of luck,
Dr. Zev Kaufman
ANITASPAIN replied to Zev Kaufman, DDS's response:
Dentist put on tooth that had cracked old fillings Since then much pain in jaw.Crown put on.Pain still there.
Did root canal. Still pain. MRI & CAT scan done. Had mouth piece made, hot & cold packs, treatments in Dr office, pain killers,pain is still there. 1 Dentist says pull tooth. Other Dentist said no. No treatment of any kind is taking away the constant pain. I touch area around tooth and that causes pain to get worse. Root canal is not finished. no rods installed yet and no crown on tooth Tooth is bottom right in back. Some say nerve damage, others TMD. Please give your thoughts. Thank you.
Zev Kaufman, DDS replied to ANITASPAIN's response:
Dear Anitaspain:

So far, all I have heard from you that procedures were done, yet you have not mentioned a single word about a diagnosis. You MUST have a dentist look at the situation critically, evaluate it and find out WHY you have pain. If you can generate pain just by touching the gum around that tooth, you might have a fracture in the tooth that cannot be detected on Xrays, but can be diagnosed in other ways. Unfortunately, I cannot do this over the internet. If the problem is with the tooth, you might be able to fix it. If the problem is NOT with the tooth, but some other source, extraction of the tooth is not necessary. You have to consult with your dentist.

Best wishes,
Dr. Zev Kaufman
alinajoy replied to ANITASPAIN's response:
Hi...I was reading your story and it is very similar to what i have been experiencing the last month. Do you mind me asking what came out of the situation? Thanks!
An_259749 responded:
I would like to know how everything worked out for you. I am the same as you were at this very minute...except at the stage awaiting a possible root canal and or CT scan. Diagnosed w Trigeminal Neuralgia by Urgent Care 2 months ago after prepping for a crown on back lower left molar, Went back to dentist and have been working on possible bite issues...since been corrected but now my pain is a 10 for the past 2 days,. relentless & horrific,,,no amount of meds will kill the pain. Very scared as it is the weekend and my only option is the ER and I don't know how they can help me. Finally went on some antibiotics starting last night but worried infection spread to my brain and I am gonna die cuz that's how bad I feel but have no fever. Help?
facepain2013 replied to An_259749's response:
I was reading up on my face pain and saw your post. The exact same thing happened to me. My dentist said my old fillings needed to be removed and crowns put on 2 left back molars. I wasn't having any problems but decided to take care of it before it became a problem. After the crown prep I had incredible pain and continue to have pain. I had root canals on 1 of the prepped teeth and 1 untouched tooth and continued to have pain. 8 dental professionals told me nothing was wrong with my teeth. I was then dx. with Trigeminal Neuralgia by an ENT. After going to several dentists, oral surgeons, and endodontists I finally found out that one tooth was split in half under the crown and the other root canaled tooth was cracked in half. I still have pain even after the teeth have been removed. I now see a neurosurgeon to help me with the constant pain.
tugando replied to Zev Kaufman, DDS's response:
It's been a while since you posted this, but I am having the same issues which you described. I had an amalgam filling replaced on my left-second molar (which has fractures) about 2-1/2 weeks ago, and have had nothing but pain afterwards. About one week ago, the entire left-side of my face hurt tremendously, but now it's just the lower-left tip below my chin that hurts, usually after I eat. The pain radiates down the left-side of my throat. My questions is, does this pain eventually go away? I have been taking Advil ever since the pain started, and I am scared for my health, since it is not recommended to take Advil for such a long period of time. I will truly appreciate any advice you provide.

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