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To think dental pain isn't taken seriously?

(72 Posts)
MrsLouisTomlinson Thu 12-Jan-17 05:55:26

I'm up literally pacing the floors with pain from an infected root canal. I have been to the emergency dentists twice (currently away from home) and now have a second course of antibiotics after the first did nothing. I've been in pain since Friday. It has really ramped up the last 24 hours. I am taking ibuprofen and paracetamol with dihydracodeine in. Neither time would the dentist prescribe me any analgesia as over the counter should cover it. It isn't, I'm crying and pacing and am at my wits end. I don't want to bother A&E and can't face being told I'm in the wrong place or misusing the system and can't/won't be helped. The emergency dentist is costing me 20 quid a pop plus prescriptions so I'm reluctant to go back there, especially given the fact they told me last night they wouldn't prescribe analgesia. Why are they so reluctant? Is there anywhere I can go? Walk in?

Thattimeofyearagain Thu 12-Jan-17 06:12:55

Do you have a dental hospital nearby? You have my full sympathy. Warm compress, Nurofen extra ( its got 12 mf of codeine in), orajel ( it comes in 2 strengths, go for the highest one) flowers

MrsLouisTomlinson Thu 12-Jan-17 06:19:55

There probably is a dental hospital, I'm in London with work. I rang 111 last night and they got me an appointment at an emergency dentists who were really lovely and they prescribed me the second course of antibiotics but although sympathetic to the pain the attitude was over the counter should cover it.

My attitude is slightly coloured by the fact that last month I was admitted to hospital for 4 days for IV antibiotics and a trip to theatre after a wisdom tooth removal resulted in an infection. Despite being told by the dentist at the dental hospital (at home) who consulted with the SHO at the relevant dept in the proper hospital to go to A&E I was treated like I was misusing resources by the triage staff.

blibblibs Thu 12-Jan-17 06:22:30

Oh, i feel your pain. I've been in exactly the same position since Friday too. Dentist intially gave me metronidazole which I took for 4 days with no improvement so I went back and he gave me amoxicillin too which helped after about 36 hours. It's the most awful pain I've ever experienced but I found paracetamol was the only thing helping take the edge off. Solpohdine helped aswell. My face swelled up like a hamster and it's now feeling much better but my lip is still numb. I started a thread about it the other day and got lots of good advice and sympathy if you search for it. I really hope it starts to ease soon because it is just a dreadful position to be in flowers

Thattimeofyearagain Thu 12-Jan-17 06:24:24

That's awfulangry. If your in severe pain it needs to be addressed. I've just finished a course of major dental work & the Orajel was a life saver.

sonyaya Thu 12-Jan-17 06:41:15

I agree. Dental pain is the worst - pericorinitis was the worst pain I've known, worse than when I've broken a limb. But people just expect you to get on with it.

Get well soon

StarlingMurderation Thu 12-Jan-17 06:46:01

There's nothing worse than dental pain because in my experience, otc painkillers don't even touch it.

LuubyLuu Thu 12-Jan-17 06:46:15

I agree, it's not taken seriously.

I have broken a number of bones, torn ligaments, birthed two children without pain relief, and the most pain I've ever been in was a tooth abscess and subsequent root canal. There's something about the pain being so focused and inside your head that it seems to increase the intensity.

Much, much sympathy.

MrsLouisTomlinson Thu 12-Jan-17 06:49:04

Thank you everyone, knowing others agree and I'm not just being a wimp does help. Tiredness is making it worse of course. I'm going to get some orajel and see if that helps. Can't hurt

MrsLouisTomlinson Thu 12-Jan-17 06:50:22

Luubyluu you're right, you can't shake it off because it's there, in your face and it is relentless. I am mildly amused by being able to count my heart rate without having to take my pulse, such is the throbbing in my tooth.

user1471545174 Thu 12-Jan-17 06:51:42

You are not being a wimp flowers. I hope the infection responds soon. Were they concerned that you might be taking too much analgesia?

MrsLouisTomlinson Thu 12-Jan-17 06:55:16

Not really, although they should have been! Luckily I do have a degree of analgesia knowledge so know I can safely take more ibuprofen if needed which has kept me ticking over.

dancinfeet Thu 12-Jan-17 06:57:23

Are the ibuprofen 200mg ones? Boots do a 400mg one over the counter, I found that those, interspaced with paracetamol was the only thing that eased the pain when I had 5 dental abcesses at once (until I could see a dentist)

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 12-Jan-17 06:57:58

My advice is to get the tooth extracted - really . Get the fucker out - call today and get an emergency and throw money at it (my NHS dentist took
Mine IIF for less then £100)

There is very little that can touch the pain but keep on a mix of
Pain killer and anti infaatory

blibblibs Thu 12-Jan-17 07:03:06

I'm booked in to have the tooth out on Tuesday. There is no way I could've had it out until the infection was under control. Apart from not being able to open my mouth enough you would've been peeling me from the ceiling!

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Thu 12-Jan-17 07:04:17

Are you alternating the medication and waking yourself up in the night to top it up?

I.e. Ibuprofen at 8am, codeine at 10, ibuprofen at 12, codeine at 2 etc? I've had way too many abcesses over the years, and the only way I've coped has been to set alarms to wake in the night for a few seconds to top up the meds. That way your never let the levels drop to zero and are always topped up. Makes it easier to cope.

I can't recommend the black Paramol enough - chemist sells it, and is the only thing that helps me. And yes, I have always taken more analgesia than I'm 'supposed' to as well!

MrsLouisTomlinson Thu 12-Jan-17 07:05:02

Dancinfeet, yes they're 200mgs but the maximum dose of ibuprofen is 2400mg so I've taken the occasional extra one on top of the 400 usual dose just to top me up.

Stopfucking, I'm really really reluctant to have the tooth pulled as it's in my smile line and I already have the mirror one on the other side missing due to a filling falling out, taking half of my tooth with it and the rest following not long after. I don't want to look too Jeremy Kyle blush and implants cost a lot more than I can justify spending on my appearance. Extraction really would be a last ditch thing. Even the emergency dentist last night said she wouldn't pull it unless all other options had been exhausted due to its location:

MrsLouisTomlinson Thu 12-Jan-17 07:07:25

Vivienne I haven't slept enough to warrant alarms last night (got about two hours max all in) but yes I'm alternating medication. Having to keep a record on my phone as to what I have taken and when, I have the black paramol and ibuprofen.

Oblomov16 Thu 12-Jan-17 07:07:51

Dental pain is serious. Why do you think I'd but recognised? It is. Dental pain is up there, with passing a kidney stone, as one of the most painful things, for some worse than childbirth.

PurpleMcPants Thu 12-Jan-17 07:09:58

I've got an infected root canal too (suspect it's now an abscess, off to dentist today) and have been so far 4 times to get it redressed and had 4 courses of antibiotics. Still not shifted. I'm on a waiting list to get it out but could still be another month before that happens.
I've got some strong co-codamols that I can take if it gets too much - weirdly they don't seem to touch the pain but just make me woozy enough that I don't care. Strong hot salt-water mouthwashes are revolting but help, and heat packs held against your face are what's got me through the last month. 😭

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Thu 12-Jan-17 07:19:31

Another thing that worked with one tooth was holding cotton wool balls soaked in alcohol (vodka) against the gum and after a few hours, the infection was drawn to the surface. I didn't dare stick a needle in our, but it looked like a massive head on a spot on the front of the gum. It suddenly popped when I was looking at it in the mirror. Utterly revolting, but such sweet instantaneous relief. They drilled into the tooth that morning at the emergency dentist and dressed it. The 2 weeks of antibiotics by had achieved nothing. I still have my tooth, it was a front one too.

Huge sympathies OP, there is no worse pain. And no, they never prescribe anything strong enough.

I may have taken Paramol, transform and a large glass of wine for one.... That helped.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Thu 12-Jan-17 07:19:45


MrsLouisTomlinson Thu 12-Jan-17 07:20:06

Oblamov in my experience having had recurrent dental problems it is always assumed that over the counter analgesia will suffice when a lot of the time it really won't. There is a belief that codeine is useless for dental pain but having had dihydracodeine 30mg previously I know it really helps me. I can't ask for it more than once at the dentist or be insistent about getting it without appearing to be some kind of strung out opiate seeker.

AbsentmindedWoman Thu 12-Jan-17 07:29:49

You need cocodamol prescription strength - 30mg codeine/ 500mg paracetamol. That's my weapon for dental pain (I usually take two tablets once per month when my period starts as get dreadful pain with that too - have a type of endometriosis) and in my experience does bring relief.

I get a slight nausea from codeine but when in severe pain I just don't care, it's worth feeling a bit off colour to get rid of the pain.

It makes me furious the way some doctors or dentists dismiss dental pain. I think I have been lucky having a sympathetic GP years ago the first time I was going through dental pain - he knew what it was like and prescribed a version of the cocodamol so then I knew what worked. Fortunately the doctors at the GP surgery I'm at now listen to me when I say how bad pain is, and actually prescribe something helpful.

Can you go back to your doctor and be very frank and detailed about how much pain you are in? Don't try to be brave, or keep up a facade for the sake of manners - be very explicit. Pain like this literally prevents you from doing anything else.

Oblomov16 Thu 12-Jan-17 07:30:12

Yes OP, but on all the MN threads I've read, it's up there with kidney stones!! grin

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