Discussions By Condition: Head conditions

Excruciating Jaw Pain

Posted In: Head conditions 352 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • June 5, 2006
  • 03:12 PM

Help! I have extreme jaw pain that radiates through the whole right side of my face, especially in my back teeth (upper and lower) and extends behind my ear, to the back of my head. Thinking it was something to do with my teeth, I saw my dentist, who took Xrays and did a series of tests, finding nothing. He insists that it's my sinuses (since it's allergy season), but I've had many sinus infections, and the pain is dull and in a different place. The pain was so bad yesterday, that I had to go to the ER and they gave me Vicodin (yuk!). Please, if anybody has had similar or has any ideas. The pain comes and goes and lasts between 15 minutes to 3-4 hours.
Thanks, Chris

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  • Hi Chris.I have a similar condition. I had pain that my dentist and I thought was my wisdom teeth so they took them all out (at great expense).However I still had the pain and it was getting worse. So bad to the fact that I have passed out from being dizzy and in so much pain.It affects my whole left face, ear and jaw.I have been to a special jaw clinic and have suggested a 'bitskena' (like a mouth guard) to help my jaw relax at night in the correct position. I will see how it works.I also went to an osteopath, who gently manipulated and massaged the muscles and that really helped for a while, but was absolute agony to have done and the next day I couldnt eat or speak. However it is well worth a try.I have now been on strong pain killers and sleeping tablets for 8 months now and am very dissatisfied with my GP and dentist here since I wanted a quick solution. However I have been told by others that there is no quick solution and the only way is to go to a jaw/mouth specialist by referal of your dentist.Good luck in what you are going through and just try to see a specialist as soon as you can. It seems to be missunderstood by a lot of dentists and GPs./G
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been searching the web to see in any information was available on the pain that I have been experiencing for 2 and one half years. My search led me to you. I am sorry to say I have no answers for you, other than to say you are not alove, as you have described what I have been going through to every detail. In fact 2 years ago I posted something on the Web looking for a reply and I thought at first I had run across my own call for help. The fact that I am not the only person with this in itself uplifting because I was beginning to think I was going crazy. I have been considering having my teeth on the left side all pulled out but now see from Gregg's message that it might not even stop the pain, and my dentist assures me that there is nothing wrong with my teeth. A couple of questions to both of you - 1. I have had extensive dental work - have you?2. I went to an Ear -Nose and Throat Specialist and he said that due to the dental work done I had tooth matter in my sinuses that caused a sinus infection A batch of medication seemed to improve things. Lorna
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 4, 2006
    • 07:17 PM
    • 0
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  • I had the same pain. I was relieved of it by taking several consecutive doses of sudafed decongestant (strong dose). I believed that it was sinus related and I think that it was. I chose to use the over-the-counter sudafed which is about 5 times more concentrated. You can acquire this stronger dose by talking to the pharmacist. It is regulated over-the-counter sudafed.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 18, 2007
    • 04:09 PM
    • 0
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  • This sounds a lot like a condition called trigeminal neuralgia...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 24, 2007
    • 06:36 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi Chris.I have a similar condition. I had pain that my dentist and I thought was my wisdom teeth so they took them all out (at great expense).However I still had the pain and it was getting worse. So bad to the fact that I have passed out from being dizzy and in so much pain.It affects my whole left face, ear and jaw.I have been to a special jaw clinic and have suggested a 'bitskena' (like a mouth guard) to help my jaw relax at night in the correct position. I will see how it works.I also went to an osteopath, who gently manipulated and massaged the muscles and that really helped for a while, but was absolute agony to have done and the next day I couldnt eat or speak. However it is well worth a try.I have now been on strong pain killers and sleeping tablets for 8 months now and am very dissatisfied with my GP and dentist here since I wanted a quick solution. However I have been told by others that there is no quick solution and the only way is to go to a jaw/mouth specialist by referal of your dentist.Good luck in what you are going through and just try to see a specialist as soon as you can. It seems to be missunderstood by a lot of dentists and GPs./GMy wife has the same and has been diagnosed with Trigiminal nuralga. Carbitrol has helped her.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 13, 2007
    • 03:01 PM
    • 0
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  • I too have been going through extreme jaw pain like electric shocks on one side of my face. After researching on line and talking to a friend and cousin who both had this I discussed it with my doctor. He feels it is trigeminal neuralgia. The main source of treatment is anti seizure medications. Other pain killers aren't really effective. It is hard to diagnose as many doctors have never seen it and few dentists have seen it. (I went that route too.) Fortunately my doctor has seen it and is checking now to make sure it isn't a tumor just to be on the safe side. When the anti seizue medication doesn't help they have surgery they do for it. At present I am researching the prognosis of it.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My symptoms are exactly like what Chris described. They started about 2 weeks ago, and I have yet to figure out how to ease the excruciating, sharp pain. The dentist has suggested taking antihistamines, and said many people have been in complaining of similar "discomfort" which he attributes to seasonal allergies.Because the pain is so erratic, it is difficult to know what antihistamines/pain relievers really work. Also, I have found no pattern regarding what triggers the pain.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Well it has been interesting reading what others are going through. I started to have pain on the right side of my lower jaw almost 4 weeks ago. It wasn't bad at first and I thought maybe I was getting a cavity. I went to the dentist and had x-rays, I was told by the dentist that he could not see anything. I let it go at that and was mildly uncomfortable for the next two weeks. On Mothers day we went out for dinner and my jaw started to really hurt.It was like someone was jamming an ice pick into my tooth and jaw. I thought it was a tooth ache. The next two days were extremly painful. The major pain would last from 15 minutes to an hour, it would then die down to a dull pain. I went to the dentist again and told him the tooth I thoughy it was, that tooth has a crown on it by the way. He tapped on that tooth and all the ones around it with a metal intstrument and that did not cause me any additional pain. He said if it was a tooth ache I should have jumped out of the chair. He indicated it could be tmj brought on by stress and that once I was aware of this it would probably go away. It has not gone away, I have been to my GP and now to an ENT. Pain pills do not make a dent in the pain when it comes. Holding water in my mouth on the painful side stops the pain until I swallow the water then it comes right back. I have also been given muscle relaxers and so far they do not help. The only thing that seems to help me is Motrin 1b and the only thing I can think of is that it is an anti inflamitory and that's why it works. I also have been getting as much sleep as possible. I am going to have a scan done in a few days and see what that reveals. Good luck to the rest of you this is a very strange and unsettling thing. I will let you know how it goes as the diagnosis devlopes.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • please let me know what you found out. your description sounds identical to mine and they did a root canal...now its worse.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been experiencing the same pain in my right jaw, ear and teeth on that side of my face for the last week. pain killers dont seem to help at all. I have also been to the dentist but nothing was found on xrays. I have had this a few times over the last few years and have found relief with accupunture after a couple of treatements, which can become a bit expensive. Ive also noticed the muscles on that side of my neck and shoulder are also tense, and i seem to get this jaw pain when im stressed so im thinking this could all be related im thinking of trying refloxology next to hopefully relieve the pain.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hello everyone, I have been experiencing severe jaw pain for the past week, I am due at the dentist tomorrow. Similar to other posts it does not seem to be connected to my teeth. I have tried a variety of others prescribed painkillers in desperation but nothing touches the pain and at its worse I feel as though I want to havemy jaw removed. I thought I would have a quick look on the internet and hope it would be something conected to a nerve? Not that I know if that is a good or a bad thing!I will see what dentiist says tomorrow and let you know. At least Im not alone.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I have been having the exact kind of jaw pain but it started out as a toothache in one of my teeth on the lower right side that has a hole in it then it seemed to spread along to other teeth along the right side over a few weeks, then my jaw, now up to my head and i've been getting the worst stabbing headache/migraines just above my right ear sometimes all at once so i feel like someone has just shot my in the head or hit me with a baseball bat i cant stand it and i cant take strong painkillers for it now because i've just found out i'm pregnant (not that they really helped anyways...but sometimes they'd put me to sleep if i took enough)...i have to go see my dentist soon ... does anyone get these pains at specific times? i usually get them at random but the headache/migraine has been occuring in the mornings alot lately.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Trigeminal neuralgia...i have it. Same dentist stories and problems for years. GP diagnosed, MRI to rule out other causes, see a neurologist. Seizure meds, baclofen and Zanaflex for pain/relax the muscles around the nerve. Narcotics for severe pain.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Well it has been interesting reading what others are going through. I started to have pain on the right side of my lower jaw almost 4 weeks ago. It wasn't bad at first and I thought maybe I was getting a cavity. I went to the dentist and had x-rays, I was told by the dentist that he could not see anything. I let it go at that and was mildly uncomfortable for the next two weeks. On Mothers day we went out for dinner and my jaw started to really hurt.It was like someone was jamming an ice pick into my tooth and jaw. I thought it was a tooth ache. The next two days were extremly painful. The major pain would last from 15 minutes to an hour, it would then die down to a dull pain. I went to the dentist again and told him the tooth I thoughy it was, that tooth has a crown on it by the way. He tapped on that tooth and all the ones around it with a metal intstrument and that did not cause me any additional pain. He said if it was a tooth ache I should have jumped out of the chair. He indicated it could be tmj brought on by stress and that once I was aware of this it would probably go away. It has not gone away, I have been to my GP and now to an ENT. Pain pills do not make a dent in the pain when it comes. Holding water in my mouth on the painful side stops the pain until I swallow the water then it comes right back. I have also been given muscle relaxers and so far they do not help. The only thing that seems to help me is Motrin 1b and the only thing I can think of is that it is an anti inflamitory and that's why it works. I also have been getting as much sleep as possible. I am going to have a scan done in a few days and see what that reveals. Good luck to the rest of you this is a very strange and unsettling thing. I will let you know how it goes as the diagnosis devlopes.Did you have a scan, and if so did you find the solution to your pain?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • 3 months ago, I had intense, jaw pain along the trigemital nerve, the middle and lower branches. It felt like a hot poker on the inside of my mouth, and lasted for 2-3 minutes, recurring many times during the day. The neurologist I saw sent me for an MRI, which, thankfully, was negative. The pain disappeared after 5 days. Now, I have had a new bout of pain, same side (right), but this time, it is more centered on the lower right, back molar, and extends to my jaw. The pain is not as intense as on the previous occassion, and yet, it is very distracting. I leave for an international trip in a week, and worry about this pain returning. If it is dental, then I assume I may need a root canal?, or some other procedure. But, I have read that most times this pain is not dental, and many people undergo unnecessary dental work, that only makes the pain worse. I wonder in TN can come and go like this, and in different presentations.... severe intense, then dull, and acheing....Have other people had TN that presents in different ways?Susan J.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi,For the last four or five days I have had severe pain on the left side of my jaw towards the back. It started mild, but i didn't loose sleep over it. the next day the pain was a little more stronger, and recently I have not been able to sleep at all. The only thing that seems to help is holding cold water (warm water worsens it) on the leftside. But the pain does not seem to go away. I've tried painkillers, and orajel, but they do not ease the pain at all. the only thing that soothes the pain is my cold water method. If i don't hold water in my mouth, the pain comes back and spreads to my ear and sometimes to my eye. sometimes it kind of feels as if my jaw was tired out. for two days straight the pain has not gone away and if i stop holding cold water the pain becomes unbarable. Any clues? I will check back in a few days with a follow up. hopefully the pain has gone away by then.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, my sympathies to all experiencing this type of pain. I work in a dental clinic - I'm not the dentist there but have been around for a while. Thought I'd put together some hopefully helpful thoughts:Pain from a root infection of the tooth generally speaking is mild to exruciating - mild/medium pain is usually associated with exposure of the tooth to cold or heat. In this case, the pain seems to linger for anywhere from 4 seconds to about 30 seconds and goes away. Exruciating pain associated with this typically does not go away until a root canal therapy is completed. Then, if done right, will disappear instantly. To rule this out, I recomment consulting with an endodontist (a specialist in root canals). Do not go to a general dentist since it is very difficult to judge their level of experience with such diagnosis and most dentists think they know everything. An endodontist will charge about $100 including xrays to look at the area and let you know if they see any tooth nerve related concerns. TMJ: Pain from TMJ disorders runs the gamut - it can be mild to severe. It can eminate and radiate to various areas of the head including the jaw, teeth, head, neck and shoulders. Pain can be exacerbated if someone if clenching and/or grinding. Again, don't mess around with any general dentist for this. Seek a TMJ specialist or a general dentist who has attended specialty education from either the Pankey Institute (www.pankey.org for a dentist near you) or the Dawson Institute. These doctors will carefully evaluate your bite. teeth, and jaw and let you know if they can offer you treatment through splint therapy and/or bite equilibration. For very little cost, some can make you a temporary 'Pankey jig' for under $150 that you wear at night to see if it can relieve your symptoms. Some of you mentioned sudafed - this works well if you are clenching at night and that is why you may be getting some relief. (many may not know when they clench or grind). For grinding, meditation before sleep usually works well) Halcion, a prescription only pain medication also works very well for TMJ type pain. You may also get relief through sacro-cranial therapy (they're hard to find but well worth the effort)Trigeminal nerve disorder: We had a patient who was diagnosed with this a while ago. I am not familiar with it except that the research I did showed that it is supposedly the most painful disorder know to man (on a scale of 1 to 10 it scores 25.) So, if you feel your pain falls in this category, you may have this disorder. Our patient was seeing a neurologist for this and I did not keep touch to see what happened (he left to another state)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i am relieved to read the comments.i too have an on /off pain in the jawi also thought it was from a toothbut my dentist said he didnt think so...i will insist he take another xray...in the meantime i have pain and discomforton my right side..it also seems to go up to my head...seems like i can follow the vein and it is very tender and painful....advils seem to take forever to tone it down....any more suggestions?thanksrick
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • You all are experiencing different combinations of symptoms my husband has. Please get checked for Tirgeminal Neuralgia (TN) also known as tic de laroue (sp?) and the suicide disease... there are web sites everywhere dedicated to dealing with this disease.My husband's pain was only relieved by holding ice cold water in his mouth or an ice pack to the side of his mouth where he felt the electric shocks. He too thought it was a toothache and had a dental appointment for a root canal, although the doctor could not find a cavitiy, chipped tooth... nothing! We ended up in the emergency room when he overdosed on vicodin (prescribed by his dentist for the pain). We were told then what the condition was. It is associated with Multiple Sclerosis. We were lucky, my husband does not have MS but you should all be aware. It seems to be triggered by extreme amounts of stress (his first attack came after our first baby was born and became ill at one month old with a severe cold). Other attacks followed when deaths in the family occured, when we moved, etcetera... it seems to be his body's way of saying slow down! Best of luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I don't know if the cause for your symptoms is the same as mine but i will say that you are probably clenching tightly at night and are unaware of this. I clenched and became aware only at 32 when I had been doing it since two or three years old. I have the same pain you describe and what it was for me was unexpressed grief and tightly held in anger. I took a homeopathic remedy based on my particular constitution and i have finallly noticed some relief. I suggest you consult a homeopathic physician and also do some kind of healing work. If you are clenching you probably have a strong will and may not be open to it, but until I worked on the deep pain in my heart which expressed itself as tension- very painful in my jaw and face, I was in pain for years. My face was also tight and rigid. On Saturday and today I woke up with my jaw completely relaxed. The healing work I have done has loosed some of the repressed emotions and i've expressed the grief allowing my subconscious to truly rest at night. Ask yourself if you are clenching at night and how your dreams are if they are anxious if you cannot figure them out or they are bizarre perhaps you need to release some things so your sleep is more peaceful. The sinus issues would relate to this condition because allergies and sinusitis are reactive diseases from overwrought emotions.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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