DENTAL NERVE DAMAGE

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Mackster
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/21/2012 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, I'm off the Ulcerative Colitis forum but I'm here onbehalf of my poor wife.
about a year ago on a visit to her dentist, she underwent what should have been a simple repair of a loose cap on a top front tooth.
In a nutshell, her life has been pure hell ever since.
 
She is convinced that her dentist (of over 20 years) exerted too much pressure, resulting in nerve damage.
The dentist must have sensed that they couldn't help her and sent her to an endontist who after 3 surgical 'procedures' also drew a blank.
 
She has since been to a neurologist, and oral surgeon for an injection, had accupuncture, 3 consultations with a psychologist, tried cannabis, all to no avail.
 
She has been prescribed a plethora of pain killers, (morphine and percoset, oxicodone, etc.) and other drugs which seem to turn her into a zombie but do very little for the pain.
 
some of these drugs include: Amitriptyline, Carbamazepine, Hydromorphone, Cymbalta, at the moment she has started with a pain management clinic who have put her on Nucynta (which made her mouth even sorer) and is currently (for the past several days) been on 50mg of Lyrica.
 
She takes percoset, morphine and lorazapam nightly to help her get sleep.
 
Nothing seems to provide her with any relief, and is in tears a lot of the time.    She is getting plenty of love and support from her broken hearted family who feel helpless.
 
Is it possible that ther could be a surgical option that can render the nerve blocked/removed/deadened?
 
If there is anyone out there on this forum that has prior experience with this dilemma that could give advice or share a similar situation your help would be greatly appreciated.   We're at our wits end.

cogito
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Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 836
   Posted 11/22/2012 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mackster,

Sorry to hear about what happened with your wife.

My experience may be disanalogous, but may help. about 2 years ago, after a routine dental trip to replace a filling, a nerve to my tongue was damaged by the novacane needle.

For a few months, the right side of my tongue was numb. It took maybe 6-9 months until it was fully back to normal.

So, even though the damage I experienced took away feeling rather than causing pain, maybe there is hope that in time, the nerve will heal.

One possible way to evaluate whether a nerve ablation would help is to have a doctor inject the specific nerve/region with an anesthetic and see if that takes away the pain. They do that to evaluate for ablation with nerves coming out of the spine for example.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds:300mg Ultram ER daily, 2x 10mg Oxycontin daily, Oxycodone 5-10mg for BT. .25-.5mg xanax as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray

Mackster
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/22/2012 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks cogito, any bit of feedback is most welcome.  This pain is centred right on the front tooth/gum itself.  Strangely enough, the original (repaired) tooth  was extracted evn though they said there was nothing wrong with it.  The pain has migrated to it's neigboring top front tooth.   Which from all known testing, xrays, scans etc, is also apparently healthy.
 
I believe the 'ablation' injection was carried out six months ago by a dental surgeon although I'm not 100% sure they called it an 'ablation'.   We figured it was just a (mega) freezing injection.   Unfortunately all that did was numb the rest of her mouth but still left the pain isolated.   How sad is that?
 
From what I've read, your face is riddled with nerves mainly emanating from the trigeminal nerve centre.   The neurologist pretty well ruled out trigeminal neuralgia though as it has fairly unique symptoms that involve scary electric shock sensations.
 
Thanks again cogito, I'm beginning to think that my wife has something very unique but I'll keep bumping this thread for more tid-bits.
 
C'mon folks help us out here!

mve
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 11/22/2012 4:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't get it. I must have missed something. If she has a root canal done, the nerve will be removed. What could hurt then?
The answer to your question is a bit TOO obvious, that's why I think that I've missed something from your post.

Your wife is lucky to have you for a husband. I'm so sorry to hear about her pain.

Best wishes

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/22/2012 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks mve.  No she didn't have root canal work done, it was just a simple repair of an old cap.
 
I don't profess to know much about dentistry, but if by having root canal work means actually removing the nerve, you just might be onto something.
 
It suggests that the nerve can be eliminated, therefore problem solved?
 
I somehow don't think that this is viable though, or why wouldn't the so-called experts advocate it?

mve
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 11/22/2012 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, that's what I meant - she should have root canal done. Very simple thinking tells me: root canal - nerve gone - pain gone. The nerve cannot hurt if it's out. But, that all sounds like,
DUH!!!! That's why I wrote: " I don't get it....must have missed something..." because the solution to the problem( in my eyes) looks very, very, veeery simple.

about the (so-called) experts... I can guess a thousand times and still be wrong.

She needs a new dentist.
Poor woman.

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/22/2012 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   
We haven't been near her dentist since the 'incident'.  I emailed them back in March with the concerns and never got the decency of a reply.
I have to guess that any reply might be construed as some admission of guilt.
We haven't given any serious thought regarding litigation, but I'm sure cases like this would be extremely difficult to prove anyways.
 
I just want my missus back.

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/23/2012 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Re the 'removal of nerve'.    When you look at a schematic diagram of a nerve system it's almost like electrical circuitry.  I can't see that by cutting off the end of a nerve (wire) it could kill the pain.  The damaged end is still 'live'.   Maybe they would have to go to where the nerve originates ie the nerve center, to do the snipping?
 
I can only hope there is a nerve expert on this forum that could shed some light on this.

Snowbunny21
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 11/23/2012 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately there aren't any medical professionals here...We are just other pain patients and giving suggestions/thoughts on what to speak to a Dr. about...

It doesn't sound like she has actually had the Radiofrequency nerve ablation as this is not an "injection" per say...what you describe sounds like she got injected with lidocaine to numb the area....

I would just keep trying to find a Board Certified Neurologist to see what they recommend.
SB (Snowbunny) and the pup that snores (my yellow lab:))

3, two-level, cervical fusions over the past 11 years. The last one was anterior and posterior with lots of fun titanium!
Still have active herniations along with knee problems and another Morton's neuroma in left foot.
I try to find joy in each day even with chronic pain:)

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/23/2012 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Many thanks, Snowbunny.  I will definitely make enquiries re 'radiofrequency nerve ablation'.
I never heard of the word 'ablation' 'till cogito mentioned it.
 
I'll start with google...
 
You guys are just as great as the UC forum.
 
I'm gonna keep plugging away.  I'm on a mission.
 
My poor wife thinks she's dying. 

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 11/23/2012 3:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry for her pain:(

Had she tried Neurontin (Gabapentin) or Cymbalta before the Lyrica she is on? Those are other nerve pain medications...

And if this is her first one...then hopefully after a few weeks it will really start to make a difference. With nerve pain...there is pretty much no other medication that puts a dent in it like these types of meds do...

So keep us posted on how the Lyrica does....
SB (Snowbunny) and the pup that snores (my yellow lab:))

3, two-level, cervical fusions over the past 11 years. The last one was anterior and posterior with lots of fun titanium!
Still have active herniations along with knee problems and another Morton's neuroma in left foot.
I try to find joy in each day even with chronic pain:)

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 11/23/2012 3:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I have worked in the dental field for 38 years.  What she needs is a root canal done thru the crown she had worked on.  Teeth become abcessed even after being treated with a root canal they can reabcess again.  Her other anterior teeth can be tested with a pulp vitality tester.  If she reaches a 10 without feeling a tingle then she has other anterior teerh involved.
 
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but something isnt right here. 
 
She needs xrays done of her teeth.  Check to see how close the pulps are in relation to her fillings. 
 
Let us know how she does.
Betsey

Mackster
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/23/2012 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Betsey, she's had xrays, mri scan and a facial bone scan. They all came out as 'normal'.   Remember the (alleged) offending tooth is not there anymore.  Just the pain, which has now transferred the neighboring tooth.
 
Wouldn't an abcess be all swollen up and easy to spot and treat, like with antibiotics?
 
And to draw on your 38 years in the dental field, can a nerve be removed via a root canal procedure without damaging it?
 
Thanks for your invaluable help. 

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 11/23/2012 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
the tooth would have a small hole in it and the nerve would be removed amd then guttapercha and medicine would fill up the canal where the nerve was, and then a filling would fill in the hole.
the tooth would have no feeling in it when the nerve is taken out. Sometimes there is localized swelling and antibiotics are needed before a rootcanal is done.
Age to a woman is like krypronite to Superman.

mve
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 11/25/2012 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm so glad that you're finally getting some answers.
Good luck !
Say hi to your wife from mve.

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/25/2012 10:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Cheers mve, I've just read an article on AO (Atypical Ondontalgia) or 'Phantom Tooth Pain'.
My wife virtually ticks all the boxes.   It's very difficult to diagnose in any definitive way though.
Just have to keep plugging away. 

.:PinkSprklyButterflY:.
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 11/25/2012 10:59 PM (GMT -7)   
All I can say is >>> ooochy waaaweee waaaweee>>>> shakehead     Teeth pain s*c**.....
 
Good luck with getting her the treament she needs!!!
 
We need a ((hug)) button option on this thing! idea

Beagles
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Yesterday 3:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I would look into Tri-geminal Neuralgia if the solution is not a root canal. The Maxiofacial nerves are pretty well understood. If she hasn't had a root canal, then something is not right in this story ..

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted Yesterday 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Beagles, but the neurologist kinda ruled out trigeminal neuralgia after doing a bunch of tests.    I'm not saying that TN definitley is not the problem but TN symptoms generally manifest themselves with quite startling involuntary 'electric shock convulsions'.   My wife doesn't experience this.

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted Today 4:39 PM (GMT -7)   
PinkSprklyButterflY,  every contribution helps, even if it's not exactly scientific.  Your heart's in the right place,  thanks.

LivingColor
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 11/28/2012 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Another thing to consider, though I've had many dental problems, the one thing that stuck out to me, was where the offending tooth is.

I had sinus surgery, with repair of a deviated septum about 7 years ago, and they told me there was an outside chance of this happening beforehand, but the top front 4-6 teeth in my mouth went numb. Like they could have pulled then with no anesthetic. Took about 6 months for the nerves to regenerate. Pins and needles for a couple weeks, but then it stopped, and everything felt normal again. Surgery was done through the nostrils, no cuts inside the mouth.

I'm just spitballing, but have you tried an ear, nose, and throat doc? They may have something to add to the party here, as it could be related to one of the sinus cavities, or the nerves leading from it.
Short version; Early onset osteoarthritis (dx age 30), scoliosis, lumbar spondylolisthesis, sciatica, hip dysplasia, bipolar disorder, migraines, macular degeneration, TIA's (they think), chronic insomnia, investigating a genetic collagen syndrome + more
--
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 11/28/2012 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
LivingColor, yeah a sinus problem was mooted by the denturist as a possibility, but wouldn't the scans have shown any perforations?   (probably not if it were just nerve related I guess).
Anyways, thanks for the angle.  Probably a visit to an ENT specialist should be on the cards.
The pain clinic has upped her morphine intake but it's still struggling.

LivingColor
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 11/29/2012 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
The ENT can try to do a sort of nerve block from the sinuses, just a topical anesthetic on a long q-tip kinda jammed into that front sinus cavity, and see if that brings any kind of relief. If it does, then that could give them something to follow up on.

They did a similar procedure to me when they were trying to track down the cause of my migraines.
Short version; Early onset osteoarthritis (dx age 30), scoliosis, lumbar spondylolisthesis, sciatica, hip dysplasia, bipolar disorder, migraines, macular degeneration, TIA's (they think), chronic insomnia, investigating a genetic collagen syndrome + more
--
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference

Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 718
   Posted 12/1/2012 2:11 PM (GMT -7)   
What, jammed into the sinus cavity thru a nostril?  That has to make your eyes water a tad!

Matt-man&little-boy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 788
   Posted 12/1/2012 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi mackster, I was just curious if they had checked the surrounding teeth, my bro.s mother in law had three root canals in the same tooth, and finally went to a specialist down in LA who found that the tooth next to it had an almost invisible crack all the way through. They repaired that tooth, and she's finally out of pain afte 5 months of agony. Apparently they just did it on Thursday, and she is off pain meds now.
Matt
dx: just had L3-4 XLIF and ILIF, gotta see what happens. Disc bulge in T12-L1, ddd through rest of lumbar region. Gastric Bypass 2003, bleeding ulcer in pouch 2005, full small bowel obstruction 2011. Left shoulder has Bursitis, tendonitus, separated bicep muscle (I was told all the muscles look like string cheese lol, or a frayed rope), and arthritis of the Glenoid and humeral head.
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