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Pain/infection in jaw after filling
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Pain/infection in jaw after filling

I had a 2 fillings performed on an upper tooth on about a little over a month ago. Before I went in for the filling, I'd been having terrible tooth pain and had developed an abscess on the gum above that tooth. At the same time, I was experiencing a pressure/pulling sensation down my jaw, around my ear and down my neck. I was first given a round of antibiotics, and the pain, abscess and pressure/pulling sensation all went away. I then went in a few weeks later to have the cavities filled as there were 2 right next to each other that were very close to the root, but the dentist was able to just repair them with a filling and not a root canal. Right around the time I went back for the fillings, the pressure/pulling in my neck/jaw had returned and I told the dentist that and after the procedure was given a 2nd round of antibiotics. After a couple days, the pain all went away and I thought everything was fine.

Then about 2 weeks after finishing the 2nd course of antibiotics, the pressure/pulling sensations in my lower jaw, ear and neck all came back. It got worse and then the pressure turned into intense pain and I finally went to Urgent Care - the dr. said it was probably an infection in the mandibular area that has never completely gone away from all the dental problems/abscess. She gave me a 3rd round of antibiotics and I've been on them for 4 days and while the pain has subsided, the pressure/pulling sensation is still there and very bothersome and uncomfortable. This course doesn't seem to be getting rid of it.

At this point, I don't know what to do. Do I go back to the dentist? If so what can they do? Or should I go to an ENT for the infection in my jaw area or someone else? I just want it to go away and feel like I've been dealing with this for 2 months and am tired of being on antibiotics with no relief plus don't like what the antibiotics are doing to my body.

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It sounds like you need a root canal on those teeth instead of a filling.  Have your dentist evaluate the two fillings for potential root canals.  A cold test should help to determine which one may be the problematic one.
2 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for answering my question.

I did go back to the dentist and they took x-rays and checked the tooth that was filled and it turns out it's fine - I don't even have an infection, Urgent Care was wrong (they never did x-rays). He said the tooth itself would be bothering me and it's not. He said he thinks it's a combination of sinus issues and some TMJ problems.

I've had sinus trouble my whole life and know what the symptoms are and this neck pulling feelings is not related. I have been told previously that I might have TMJ but was never officially diagnosed with it. I do tend to clench my jaw and teeth when stressed and have been doing it much more since end of Jan. when this all started because I have taken on a new position with my job and am very stressed out with new responsibilities. I do notice I tend to hold my stress/tension in my jaws by clenching my teeth and I tend to do it more to the side and when I do it, I can feel that left side pulling. Could this be what's going on to make this pulling pain right under my ear and along the neck/jawline?

What type of doctor do I need to go to about TMJ to get a diagnosis? Is there any treatment or do I just have to deal with it?

Since I've discovered this, I've been more conscious of trying to relax my jaw and not clench and the neck pulling feelings have gotten better though have not gone away completely. I do tend to do it more at night while I sleep.

Thanks for your help.
Cristi
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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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