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FAQ:  Jaw Pain

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Jaw Pain Ask The Dentist Richard Winter Question:
Air / Gas Bubble under my tooth?: I recently started seeing a new dentist.

2 months ago he did a filling on the lower right and when I left my jawbone and gland/neck hurt for about a week. He said it was unrelated. It hurt where he injected me. Then two weeks ago I went in and had a temp crown put on.

He injected me four times. After leaving office I had same pain as on other side only ten times worse. It is unbearable. If I let ibuprofen wear off I cannot open my mouth and it gives me earache and headache and I can't turn my head.
Dentist says unrelated. I went to my MD yesterday, who did a CatScan and said there was an air/gas bubble under the tooth. I called dentist and he said never heard of such a thing but whatever it is unrelated to any thing he did. ...Visitor from MN

I am sorry you are having problems. First of all it is not out of the question to have trismus or muscle spasm after anesthetic injections. We use a needle that is penetrating muscle, and can cause trauma, localized bleeding or irritation.

That being said, it is not something you should experience everytime you go to the dentist. Four injections can cause muscle ache, tenderness and difficulty opening for a few days, but should go away rather quickly.

As far as the CAT scan is concerned, I don't think an air bubble was found under the tooth as the tooth root is surrounded by bone. This medullary and cortical bone is simply not capable of allowing an air sac to form as it is dense.

You may have a lesion or pathology under the tooth from pus, infection or a granuloma or cyst that may appear to be a "sac" but it most certainly wouldn't be an air sac. I would ask your physician for a copy of the radiology report and have them explain it in more detail.

You should follow up with an oral surgeon to evaluate any pathology as they are very familiar with infections that involve spaces in the head and neck.

They may refer you to an endodontist to evaluate any pathology associated with a single tooth. Lastly, if you keep having a negative experience with your dentist, get a second opinion or another dentist. I wish you luck.

Wisconsin Reconstructive Implant Dentistry
Wisconsin Prosthodontics
Richard Winter, DDS MAGD
Winter Dental Associates
Hampton Dental Associates
5323 W. Hampton Avenue
Milwaukee Wisconsin WI 53218
(414) 464-9021

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