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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6020
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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Dr bornfeld. I need some help. I had a molar extracted 12

Customer Question

Dr bornfeld. I need some help. I had a molar extracted 12 days ago due to severe decay. Most of my teeth are decaying for whatever reasons. I was fine for the first few days with the exception of some pain and discomfort but nothing out of the ordinary. 6 days ago I experienced the worst kind of pain ever in my jaw. It was unbearable. I have 2 teeth on that same side that I'm having issues with. One needs a root canal and the other I had a root canal done over a year ago but there is consistent pain there. So at first I wasn't sure where the pain was coming from. Since then, it's obvious that the pain is in the jaw where the novacane shot was given. And def in the 2 tooth I mentioned. Went back to the oral surgeon and he suggested TMJ or perhaps a slight change with my jaw because it isn't aligning the way it should bcz I've had so many teeth extracted on that side. I've had TMJ on the other side and this doesn't feel like TMJ to me. I get some severe shocks to the jaw and pain. I'm terrified. I've let my teeth go for so long bcz I was always afraid of experiencing something like this and here I am at a loss and in pain. What can it be? Besides needing a root canal and seeing what's going on with the other root canal, why this sudden horrible pain in my jaw.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 1 year ago.

Because pain is a non-specific symptom shared by a wide variety of different issues, it is not possible for me to identify the true source of your pain. And although you may have little doubt about the location from which your pain is originating, the sensory nerve supply of the mouth does not permit accurate pain localization; in fact the opposite is true: pain shows a decided predisposition to refer to areas which may be remote from its actual point of origin. Therefore, a reliable identification of the cause for your pain will require additional diagnostic efforts.

It is my empirical observation that oral surgeons are not the most appropriate dentists to properly diagnose oral pain, because the scope of their specialist's expertise is too narrow. Just as an aside, you should know that anesthetic injections almost never lead to acute onset pain that is delayed a full 6 days after the event, so notwithstanding the perceived location of your pain, I am inclined to eliminate the injection as its cause. Other than that, your narrative implies a complex dental condition that will need to be explored to its fullest extent, and your primary care general dentist would be the best person to either implement that service or provide you with an appropriate specialist referral if deemed necessary. A failure to detect a dental cause for your pain would merit broadening the scope of the diagnostic search to other sources of oro-facial pain (e.g., neuropathy, sinusitis, vasculitis, or even referred cardiac pain), which could involve a variety of other medical specialties.

Hope this helps...