Two weeks ago I had a filling on a tooth in the back of my lower jawSince then I have not been able to open my mouth more than a inch or soMy dentist said its a hematoma and told me to apply heat 2x a day and put me on an antibioticShould I see an oral surgeon? It seems like a long time with this condition and it does hurt when I try to open my mouth further
Welcome, and thank you for putting your trust in me!Your dentist may be correct in his diagnosis, although there are several operative complications that could potentially account for the symptom of "trismus", or limitation of jaw range of motion. Most commonly, it is due to spasm in one of the jaw muscles caused by physical injury from the anesthetic needle, especially when having lower teeth filled. (This is because the trajectory of the anesthetic needle often takes it through one of these muscles when numbing teeth in the lower jaw.).Although some people recover normal function more quickly than others, you should have seen some improvement in two weeks' time. If you haven't, or if things simply aren't improving fast enough to your liking, you should consider arranging for a consultation with an oral surgeon, if only to verify the diagnosis and confirm that there aren't any other as yet undisclosed complications.In the meantime, there is no rational justification for taking antibiotics unless there is conspicuous evidence of infection (e.g., swelling, redness, fever, pus), and if you're still taking antibiotics for this particular problem, you should discontinue them. Application of moist heat is helpful, and need not be limited to only twice a day-- more frequent applications are more efficacious. You may apply heat as often as your daily activities allow. You should also practice gentle stretching exercises, opening your mouth just to the point of pain, with the aim of progressively increasing the amount of opening over time. If your oral surgeon deems it appropriate, he may choose to prescribe muscle relaxant medication which can help to speed resolution of the muscle spasm.To find contact information for an oral surgeon near you, consult the online directory of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.Hope this helps...
Good advice. I saw an oral surgeon who prescribed a series of stretches of my jaw to be done several times a day in conjunction with moist heat and Advil when needed. He thoroughly explained the hematoma to me . Your advice motivated me to see him and now I'm more comfortable and patient with my situation.
I'm glad the advice helped. Good luck!