About three months ago I developed an ache in my lower jaw. Went to my dentist who took x-rays and said everything looked okay. Both back molars have crowns on them. Saw endodontist who also said everything okay. None of the teeth hurt - just the jawbone under them.
I saw an ENT who thought it might be a salivary gland stone as I have some swelling in the area when I eat. Antibiotics did not help. X-rays and CT scans showed no stone, but he incised the duct and dilated it anyway. Said x-rays did not show stones 20% of the time. It got infected - another round of antibiotics and two weeks later I am back to where I started from. Now he says my options are to live with it or have the gland surgically removed. The gland hurts when I eat but the swelling goes down in between. I do still have a constant low-grade ache in the area, however, which is making me crazy. Would a salivary gland problem ache like this all the time? I thought it was just specific to mealtimes but I know the nerves in this area can do strange things. I am worried the antibiotics are masking a chronic dental infection - although x-rays were negative. Is there anything else I can do to get a definitive diagnosis short of removing the gland and seeing if it fixes the problem? If I could see a stone I would have the surgery in a minute, but I don't want to have an unnecessary surgery and end up with the same problem or additional ones. I realize no one can make the decision to have surgery but me, but is there anything else you would recommend investigating before making this decision?
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