Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trigeminal Neuralgia

So that's what I have.

I haven't shared much about my dental woes here, but boy, have I had woes lately.  It's been hard (literally) to smile for months. 

That's not the best thing for therapeutic parenting either.

For you newbies, I have genetically inferior teeth. My mouth has more silver amalgam than teeth.  Most of my fillings were done in childhood.  That means they are 35-40 years old now.

This is how it went down.  (This post is more for me than for you. It's a record of what happened.  You know, like history.)

Short version:  

In the past 3 months, I've had 3 separate toothaches, 1 root canal, 2 crowns and severe pain on the left side of my face.  Went to the Doctor.  I have TMJ and the nerves in my face are screaming.  I'm on meds.  Hopefully, relief is on the way.

Long version:

At the end of March, my lower right molar screamed every time I ate something cold.  I used ibuprofen a couple times a week.  Mid-April, I had my regularly scheduled cleaning.  I told the hygienist and she was super careful around that tooth.   She noticed my upper left molar was in very bad shape and needed a crown ASAP.  So I made an appointment to have it fixed mid-May.

Unfortunately, the sensitive tooth went ballistic and I used my May appointment to have a root canal and crown on the lower right.  We scheduled the upper left tooth for immediately after my dentist's maternity leave - June 22.  Before I even had the permanent crown on the first tooth, in mid-May, the second tooth was going crazy.  I continued the ibuprofen in higher and higher doses, more and more often just to make it through each day. 

Got my new crown on tooth #2 in June and it was a rough one.  The novocaine didn't quite cut it.  They had to shoot me up again halfway through the procedure.    My jaw kept locking open.  My mouth was pretty torn up.  When the numbing wore off, the air blowing outside felt like ice cream on a sensitive tooth.

Time passed and my teeth and jaw still hurt.  After a week, I went back to have the crown adjusted because it had a high spot.  The trouble:  The high spot was pummeling a very weak, cracked, falling apart molar on the bottom left. 

You know what's coming...Bottom left needs a crown. 

But I was still having a lot of pain and they couldn't do the crown until my bite is right and I'm pain free.  Meanwhile, I was taking prescription strength ibuprofen every six hours and the pain was still breaking through.  It felt like the "top" of a throb in my jaw, under my teeth (upper and lower), traveling up my eustachian tube, in my ear, and into my temple.  It's like someone drilling into your brain, blowing a horn directly into your face, and smacking a gong inside your head.  Not fun.  

I went back a week later and had it adjusted again.  No relief. 

Switched to Aleve this weekend.  It doesn't work as well for this pain, but I had to get off the ibuprofen after more than 3 months on the stuff.

Today, I went to my doctor just to check for an ear infection that could be complicating matters.

After giving him the scoop, he tells me I have Trigeminal Neuralgia.  Basically, I have TMJ.  The jaw joint is the circuit box for the nerves on that side of my face.  All that dental work traumatized my jaw.  Those nerves are not happy.  I'm on meds to help them calm down. 

I got home and looked online.  It confirmed what the doctor said.  I'll be doing a little more research, but I'm so happy just to know that it has a name and it can be treated.  

Hopefully, I'll be smiling again soon.

Blessings to you,

PS.  I like my dentist and she does a really good job.  She's very gentle and precise and is very sensitive to patient pain.  I just have really bad teeth and a small mouth that's hard to work in. 


ManyBlessings said...

Good gracious I'm glad they found it! YIKES that's painful stuff!!

trigeminal neuralgia treatment said...

I really hope that they can help you with the pain... my nan has just developed it too - I came across this new product called the PainShield (from medical silicone valley that is Israel), works a bit like a tens machine - going to give it a try for her.

Kim said...

I've had some interesting dental stuff in the past too...praying you will be better soon.

slb said...

So sorry friend, this is the first time that i heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia, i hope they will be able to treat the main cause of the pain. Can't imagine what you are going thru. I can't stand minor toothache. Be careful with those pain reliever, your body will always build resistance and you will always go a higher dosage..