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Dr. Behere
Dr. Behere, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 2837
Experience:  Masters degree, years of experience with all kinds of dental problems.
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Several weeks ago I start experiencing a throbbing sensation

Customer Question

Several weeks ago I start experiencing a throbbing sensation in / around the second molar (#18) which can range from minor-mild and sometimes even occurs to the top of the mouth around the #13 and #14.
I went to a dentist who did a cleaning and xrays, but, he did not note any issues other than 2 small cavities on unrelated teeth after consulting the films and doing an examination.
Of late, I have also had a stiff / tightness of the neck on the same left side that the tooth (teeth) are on as well as a fluidish sound in my ear when pain is occurring if I close my mouth and "blow up" my cheeks on that side. I also have a tight muscle / vein feeling on the left front of the neck if I look up above the 45 degree range.
Until recently I had not thought anything of it and then started seeing articles that claim these may all be conntected.
Coincidentally, when pain is occurring, (I believe it to be the treatment) I've also discovered that massaging / squeezing the left trapezius seems to significantly reduce, or totally remove, the throbbing sensation and fluidish sound (when blowing up the cheeks).
Is it likely that all these are related?
What is possible diagnosis?
If I should seek further treatment, who do I go to seeing as I already went to a dentist?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Behere replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for putting up your question on Just Answer.
Your history and symptoms indicate that you could be suffering from a type of TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) that falls in the category of a muscle spasm. This is a very complicated group of disorders, which has been classified and re classified many times over into sub groups.
Based on the limited information available to me, I cannot give you a pin-point diagnosis but i can guide you in the right direction.
Just as we pull muscles of our back, thigh etc after doing too much exercise, the muscles of the neck and face can also be pulled if there is too much stress. These spasms cause the kind of symptoms you are experiencing. The stress is causing your muscles to hyper activate, thereby leading to tenderness in muscles and occasional pain.
You need some rest. Avoid chewing on sticky/hard food. Apply ice to the tender areas.
For now, take anti inflammatory medication. Switch between taking 400 milligrams of ibuprofen (e.g., 2 tablets of Advil), and 1000 milligrams of acetaminophen (e.g., 2 tablets of extra-strength Tylenol) every 3 hours. Be careful not to use these medications if you have had previous adverse reactions to either, or if you have had gastritis or peptic ulcer disease in the past, or if you have liver disease.
You may also need prescription muscle-relaxants and/or anxiolytics.
When this episode settles down, please visit the Orofcacial Pain / Oral Medicine department of the dental school nearest to you. You will need a detailed history, physical and X rays to pin-point the diagnosis, and thus help shape the treatment plan.
Hope this answers your question. Feel free to contact me again for more information. Please leave a positive rating for me if this answer has helped you. I do not get credit for it otherwise.
Good Luck !
Dr. Behere