How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask drbigreddog Your Own Question
drbigreddog, Dentist (DDS or equivalent)
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  I continue to practice general (family) dentistry after 20 years and continue to love this great profession.
Type Your Dental Question Here...
drbigreddog is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I had a filing done on my farthest back molar on my left

Customer Question

Hi I had a filing done on my farthest back molar on my left side, the tooth doesn't hurt, it throbs on the top and bottom jaw and the muscle from the bottom of my jaw to my ear, throbs. The actual teeth don't hurt.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  drbigreddog replied 2 years ago.
I want your positive rating! If I fail to answer your questions to your liking, ask me for more details or clarification before rating. Thanks!
Hello! With the information you provided, it sounds like you are having a side effect of the local anesthesia. The injection of local anesthesia (novacaine0 sometimes causes everything in that area to ache for a few days. If this is in fact what is happening, then you are doing the right thing with ibuprofin and applying heat. If this indeed the problem, your symptoms should begin to resolve within 3 days of the injection. May last up to a week total.
To rule out an actual problem with the tooth and/or the filling, see if the tooth hurts when biting down on it. The lack of pain when biting would indicate it is the the side effect from the injection and not the actual filling. If painful to bite ON THIS TOOTH ONLY, then go back to your dentist to find out what happened and what can be done. If painful to bite down on several of the teeth on that side, it would also indicate a side effect of the injection.
I wish you luck in your pursuit of a pain free mouth! Hopefully it is just a side effect and will go away shortly.
Please either rate my answer or ask for further clarification on anything I said. Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The tooth doesnt hurt at all. The filifing is in the lower jaw but im having throbing in the uppwr part and top jaw. The muscle on the side of my face is tight and throbs. Ita been a month since the filing
Expert:  drbigreddog replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. You are having more than a side effect from the injection. It is called trismus. Basically, the muscles in the area are in spasm. Basically, they are tight as you described.
I'm guessing you can't open your mouth very wide without pain?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Nope, and if I talk a lot I get waves of pain surging then it eases.
Expert:  drbigreddog replied 2 years ago.
It is unusual that the trismus symptoms are causing this much trouble. Usually, the pain is gone after a few weeks and then only hurts when trying to open wide.
In your case, you need to "rest" your mouth as much as long as it takes to get the discomfort to go away: eating soft foods only, don't open your mouth more than necessary, avoid wide openings. No gum chewing. No ice chewing.
Continue to take ibuprofen or Aleve as necessary.
Once the symptoms are greatly reduced, then you can begin "self physical therapy." This means taking your fingers and GENTLY prying your mouth open slightly more each day. Let your finger muscles open your mouth, don't use your mouth muscles. This may take several weeks to get your full range of motion back. But don't try this self physical therapy until the bulk of the symptoms are gone! It will just prolong the agony.
To summarize, take it easy on the mouth muscles. Do as little as humanly possible to let your muscles relax. You can massage (or have someone do it for you), take antiinflammatories such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve. Avoid opening. Eat soft foods only. Also, use heat packs to stimulate blood flow to the jaw area.
I wish you well. Trismus is not fun. It will get better. It just takes time.
Expert:  drbigreddog replied 2 years ago.
Just checking are you doing now? I hope you are seeing at least some improvement...remember, it does take time for the trismus to fully resolve.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Went back to the dentist, had a root canal completed. Still tender when I bite but nothing like before.
Expert:  drbigreddog replied 2 years ago.
Oh wow! I was completely wrong in M diagnosis of trismus. When you said the tooth didn't hurt at all, it never occurred to me that the tooth would need a root canal.
Well, I'm glad its feeling better now!
With regards ***** ***** (wrong) answer, I ask that you "not accept" my answer or "reject" my answer. That way, you don't pay me. Read the instructions carefully...I think you get your deposit back if you do this.
Thank you!