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OUCH! Climbing the wall with toothache but it keeps moving?

(30 Posts)
minxthemanx Sun 10-Mar-13 11:40:57

Can anyone in the know explain this one? (Am seeing my dentist tomorrow but am perplexed). Have had niggling toothache for just over a week, but couldn't say specifically which tooth - one of the bottom big molars. Much, much worse Friday so made an appointment with my dentist tomorrow. Absolute agony Sat morning, still somewhere under back bottom molars but also in area between nose and top gums. Really painful. Rang NHS emergency dentist - a nurse diagnosed over the phone (!) that I didn't qualify for emergency apt as not severely swollen (silly me for saying 'a bit'), and I'm not taking enough pain killers. So I dutifully upped the painkillers. This morning the pain is shocking - under the TOP molars?! Bottom still aches but not as bad as the top ones. Still tender from nose in face, so I'm assuming sinus problem there. Why would the pain move - infection? Abscess? Will the dentist think I'm barking?

vvviola Sun 10-Mar-13 11:46:50

May not be teeth at all. I had horrible toothache - dentist initially tried to tell me was infected wisdom teeth (they'd been taken out 6 years before!). Eventually diagnosed muscle spasm in jaw (extremely tense time at work, lots of teeth gritting & general tension, plus holding phone between shoulder & chin to talk).

Got some very strong anti-inflammatories which sorted it.

It comes back milder if I'm very stressed - warm compresses & neurofen usually sort it now.

minxthemanx Sun 10-Mar-13 11:50:08

Golly poor you - it's agony! I'm sitting here now not really knowing which tooth hurts most, top or bottom, they're both awful. I'm dreading what the dentist will do tomorrow - I imagine if he taps any tooth I'm going to go through the roof. Am v cross with emergency dentist 'helpline' for not making me an appointment so I've had to go all weekend like it.sad

Sycamoretrees Sun 10-Mar-13 11:57:08

I've had exactly the same over last few weeks, Dentist told me that it's quite common for the pain to move about from top to bottom but never from one side to the other. Apparently on each side the back teeth are all connected to the same set of nerves. The infection (or what evers causing the pain) doesn't move, just where you feel it! The dentist will be able to tell you which tooth is an issue. Good luck, hope it gets sorted quicker than mine.

Sycamoretrees Sun 10-Mar-13 12:01:03

Sorry meant to say I've also found emergency dental access a joke, ended up going to A and E, they couldn't sort the tooth but did give me stronger pain killers and antibiotics. Tooth ache is awful - i've wanted to rip my head off the pains been so bad! Hope you'rw doing ok.

EssieW Sun 10-Mar-13 12:02:38

Definitely get checked out!
Could it be sinus pain? I've had this before and was convinced all my teeth were about to drop out. Dentist did x ray and blocked sinuses was the cause

lockets Sun 10-Mar-13 12:09:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 10-Mar-13 12:12:48

My sinus' are blocked at the moment and my teeth and jaw is really painful, has been for about a week now, so could be that.

minxthemanx Sun 10-Mar-13 16:07:33

Thanks ladies, I've had about 4 bouts of sinusitis this winter, which normally affects my forehead, under the eyes and cheeks, so I'm guessing this is yet again a sinus infection, but further down into the teeth. Tho one tooth today at the top is very, very painful, yet the bottom ones that were agony yesterday are ok. If it is sinus problem, I'm wondering whether to ask to be referred to ENT specialist, as I'm fed up with it and have had 4 different lots of antibiotics which hold it off for a week or two. Don't fancy what the ENT people might do, but I've had constant head/face pain for several months and now horrible toothache. Thanks for your help.

MrsReiver Sun 10-Mar-13 16:13:43

Can't help with the toothache but I would definitely push for an ENT referral. I had similar symptoms, recurrent sinusitis, toothache, an eye infection and was referred to ENT. It turns out I had developed a couple of allergies. I was given nasal sprays and told to avoid certain allergens and I haven't looked back. The relief is incredible!

alarkaspree Sun 10-Mar-13 16:15:55

The toothache can be caused by the sinus infection without there being any actual problem with your teeth. I would forget the dentist and try for the ENT referral.

LadyKinbote Sun 10-Mar-13 16:18:20

I had mysterious toothache once. Never got to the bottom of it but it was eventually resolved by having a tooth out, antibiotics and having my ears syringed! To this day I don't know which of the three actually resolved it.

timidviper Sun 10-Mar-13 16:27:09

I had exactly as vviola did. Excruciating toothache which was all over one side, turned out to be my jaw. To diagnose this the consultant had me open my mouth then put his finger inside my mouth right into the angle of the jaw and pressed back and upwards (I'm sure you could google this under TMJ issues). I nearly hit the roof!

Toothache can appear to move around and can refer from bottom to top or vice versa but usually, in time, localises to one tooth. If it is referring from t-b or b-t it usually is at the same kind of point so directly above or directly below where the problem is IYSWIM.

Good luck. It is horrid

magso Sun 10-Mar-13 17:38:25

I've had tooth pain and facial pain from sinus trouble. Could you take sinutab or similar instead of paracetamol (which sinutab contain as well as a decogestant) and see if that helps? It may not be sinus but if it is it might help. I would still see the dentist tommorrow as he should be able to work out what is causing the pain and what to do next if it isn't your teeth. My dentist has prescibed antibiotics when needed for sinus infection irritating teeth.
I eventually got referred to ENT and had endoscopic surgery (6months ago) to open up my sinuses and although I have had sinus infections since they do clear up after a couple of weeks rather than continuing for ever.Hope you get sorted soon. Hope something gives relief soon!

Worth getting your sinuses checked.

Last time I had an appalling toothache, it then 'moved' to my eyeball and cheek. However, it could be your jaw too - TMJ certainly would be a factor.

Hope you get it sorted out quickly.

minxthemanx Sun 10-Mar-13 17:50:16

magso can I ask you what the endoscopic surgery was like...... was it as hideous as it sounds, or did you have a GA? (please, please, please...) Not that I'm a wimp or anything, but I;ve had sinus problems for so long now that I think the time has come to move away from everlasting antibiotics. Be brutally honest. wink

magso Sun 10-Mar-13 19:32:30

I had a GA, as is usual for this surgery - something to do with airway protection. The biggest problem when you wake is the packing in the nose (to reduce bleeding) which means you can only breath through the mouth. I had septoplasty also due to a deviated septum and removal of some bone and lots of polyps. I think less complex surgery using a ballon to open up the gaps into the sinuses can be done under LA, but may not be available through the NHS. I was referred years ago and dismissed without treatment but recently FESS (functional endoscopic sinus surgery) has taken over from older more destructive surgery and is being done more and more because it works better and is less invasive. I still need antibiotics (twice in nearly 6 months) but it is not as debilitating or painful as before the surgery, and the gunk drains better. I have some nerve irritation - from the septoplasty but it is settling down.

minxthemanx Sun 10-Mar-13 20:08:24

Thanks that's reassuring. The odd thing is that I don;t have much congestion - sometimes a bit of post-nasal drip, but nothing really bunged up. Just this incessant pain in the face and now the teeth. sad

Sycamoretrees Tue 12-Mar-13 23:41:33

How did you get on at the dentist OP? Hope you're doing ok.

differentnameforthis Wed 13-Mar-13 00:39:14

All the nerves in the face are connected, so it may be that you are feeling referred pain too.

differentnameforthis Wed 13-Mar-13 00:41:53

And complain about the emerg helpline. They cannot leave you in pain for 48 hours, regardless of how swollen you are/not or how many painkiller you are taking. Sounds like they wanted to avoid having to do a call out. In which case they have failed in their duty of care.

Guidelines state that patients in pain should be seen within 24 hours.

MrsMorton Wed 13-Mar-13 10:27:38

differentnameforthis dental pain isn't an emergency in many PCTs. This is clearly a cost saving measure but it's not the helpline, it's the PCT who determine this.
There isn't a "call out" any more, it doesn't work like that.

differentnameforthis Wed 13-Mar-13 11:11:15

Every dental practice used to have to make sure that any pt in pain could be seen in 24 hours. Many (with multiple dentists) used to have to their own system, but then there was one that ALL practices that accepted/treated NHS pts had to be part of for their county! Does that not exist anymore?

Goodwordguide Wed 13-Mar-13 11:15:22

I had very similar and it turned out to be nerve spasms in the facial/jaw muscles - it's called tinieblas something I think (sorry, not very helpful)' plus exacerbated by sinisitis. Iwas v tired at the time, lots of grinding teeth, jaw clenching etc. It was agony for ages as it kept getting misdiagnosed

Very string anti-inflammatories sorted it out - I needed to see my GP not my dentist.

MrsMorton Wed 13-Mar-13 11:23:33

No, sadly the new contract took out of hours care away from individual practices and gave it to the PCT. THEY alone are responsible for the commissioning of OOH care. They either do this through employing a dentist at a dental access centre (like wot I do) or by paying dental practices to take patients out of ours. These cases are usually triaged through NHS direct and certainly for our clinic, this is the only way to get an appointment. Whether there are any emergencies or not the financial burden for the PCT is the same. So this weekend we had loooooaaaaaads of patients, when I covered the royal wedding bank holiday we had one. Fixed cost remained.

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