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603946 tn?1333945439

jaw, molar eye, ear pain/ neck muscle strained

2 months ago I had lower left molar pain- woke in the night molar throbbing- Naprosyn relieved pain. This tooth has crown - 23 years ago and root canal 15 years ago (went right thru top of crown) also had a pin-stabilizer post (not sure of the real name)- there was not much tooth left/ so I have gotten 15 extra years out of this tooth- I am 47.  

Started with molar pain- tooth # 19- flossed well several days- pain seemed to subside- a bit overweight began phentermine and daily exercises- maybe overdid it- and stretched neck muscle terribly on left side- eye felt like it wanted to close- like a migraine- pressure applied on tension point on muscle and my head pain was relieved while pressure applied. Began Inderal 10 mg... Left ear began to ache.

Muscle spasms much worse on left side- molar begins to hurt again. Also had salivary glands swell HUGE several times this summer- (when eating). Naprosyn relieved tenderness and swelling.

Chiropracter 3 times week- massage therapy 3 times a week- then had to break down and see
GP again 8/22- pain was at it's worsttttt
Medrol pack, Toradol, and Soma prescribed for severe pain and inflammation- I could barely hold my head up- it felt like a bowling ball- no ear infection GP said we needed to rule out dental problems then get MRI if no change......
First night I started these meds---All pain gone except in molar/jaw bone on first night and slight ear ache- still dull aching- every day tooth gets a little better but still painful when opening mouth and usually uncomfortable while chewing. Sometimes I chew and there is no pain at all.
Chiropracter relieved pressure on TMJ points on left side- 8/28 but still slight throbbing- I want to save this tooth-  I did take a few PenVK  last week just in case ear was infected.....

What all can we try before we go to oral surgeon for extraction?
re try root canal?

6 Responses
Avatar universal
You have a lot of symptoms consistent with a TMjoint problem.  Explanation would be too lengthy, but you may be experiencing referred pain (from muscle trigger point)  in your molar.  Do not let anyone do anything to that tooth until you see a TMJ specialist and let him/her diagnose the problem.  I've seen so many teeth extracted needlessly because of a misdiagnosis that I can't stress this enough.  Check out aacfp.org or aaop.org to find a good TMJ dentitst.   Good Luck, TMJDoc
Avatar universal
I am a 52 yr old woman in very good health.  About two weeks ago I began experiencing pressure, no pain, in my head, temples, top of the head, base of the skull, across the bridge of my nose, sinuses.  When I bend over it is worse. It is very uncomfortable. I also have pain in my left shoulder and especially in my scapula and cervical spine.  I went to my GP who sent me to my eye doctor.  Eye doctor checked out the optical nerve, and it was fine.  She told me to wear my close-up and distance glasses more.  The pressure continued, responded somewhat to ibuprofin.  I went to  my chiropractor last week and she relieved the symptoms a little.  Yesterday I began feeling pain in a tooth that has a crown.  It is now sensitive to cold and clearly a problem. I am wondering if it could have been the source of the problem, or a result of some other problem, since the pain in my tooth occurred after the pressure started.  I am waiting to hear back from my dentist.  Any ideas?  Thanks!
603946 tn?1333945439
not the doc here but
there are 3 or more tests my dentist/endodontist did to prove to me it was the tooth

biting on hard object- negative for pain
blowing cold air on tooth -negative for pain
tapping on top of crown-root canal tooth with metal instrument- PAIN positive
xrays showed a few areas that proved to me there was inflammation and possible dental file in root

scheduled for retreatment of root canal next Monday-wish me luck

The neck pain/muscle spasm is still there- massage therapist + chiropractor 3 X week still working on it and it has diminished a lot- no more ear, eye, or jaw pain after corticosteroids and a round of Pen VK
Avatar universal
Your symptoms can be from many different things.  If ibuprofen and chiropractic have helped then that would indicate some muscle/skeletal problems.  The TMjoint can be involved with some of what you have described.  The tooth symptoms seem to be independent, but there are times that muscle pain can be referred to a tooth.  If your dentist finds no explanation for your tooth pain I would recommend waiting on any treatment.  Cold sensitivity doesn't always mean any other than exposed root surfaces which are easily treated.  If you can find a qualified TMJ dentist it would be advisable to get an opinion to see if that is part of the problem as your symptoms are very common for TMD.  Hope that helps,  TMJDoc
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply.  I just got back from the entodonist.  I did, indeed, have a diseased tooth.  I got a root canal that he worked on for almost two hours.  He had some edifying remarks about my symptoms of neck, temple, sinus and other head pressure.  He did not think that the root canal alone would relieve my symptoms, but thought I should pursue a bite plate with my dentist.  He thought my symptoms fit more with someone who clenches her teeth.  He even thought that, although my tooth was diseased, my clenching, if indeed I am a clencher, might have contributed to the problem in my tooth.
I went to my osteopath two nights ago and, again, got some relief, but the pressure in my head is still there.  It clearly responds well to manipulation and anti-inflametories, but does not go away entirely. My osteopath, who specializes in TMJ issues, finds nothing remarkable in my jaw, although he did adjust it.  He did say that my parietal lobe had as much pressure as it would if I had had a blow to the head.  My initials, since I got married, are now TMJ. Perhaps that is my new diagnosis, too!
What do you think about bite plates and clenching and head pressure?  
Avatar universal
Let me start with clenching.  It can indeed cause damage to the teeth with cracking the enamal (and these can get deeper and effect the nerve/pulp) and notching along the gum line.  It can create headaches do to muscle pain.  As a dentist that does cranial therapy clenching can cause cranial strains, but conversely it is thought that the muscle/cranial strains can precipitate clenching.  So we aren't sure of the cause, just the effects.  Cranial strains can have a symptom of head pressure.  Cranial strains can lead to TMjoint dysfunction and vice/versa.  These concepts are not held universally throughout the dental/TMJ community.  Does your osteopath do cranial therapy then?  Does he work with a dentist to treat TMJ dysfunction?  If not he's missing out as the combination can be quite good in eliminating pain.  My professional experience would lead me to think that you should get an opinion from a TMJ specialist as your symptoms are consistent with TMjoint problems and that may be why other therapies are not lasting.  Bite plates (not an accurate name....) if not prescribed and directed for a specific problem diagnosed by a train TMJ dentist are usually ineffective.  Dentists shouldn't use these as a shot in the dark hoping to hit something.  However as part of a thoroughly diagnosed treatment plan they are invaluable when they are designed to treat a specific problem.   Hope that may be of some help.   TMJDoc
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