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FAQ:  Pain - Gum and Mouth

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About a year 1/2 ago, my top teeth were extracted, and soon after my 3 back bottom teeth on each side. The dentist that did this lied to me - whereby I had seven healthy front top teeth at the time, and before he pulled them I asked him if there was any way at all we could save them, even with a top partial, he told me no that top partials were not an option because they didn't stay in. I feel badly because I trusted him. Two months after my teeth were taken out, I found out that saving teeth is the preference and top partials are an option! I have been in constant pain since and progressively getting worse, primarily on my top. I kept going back to the dentist that pulled them and he kept saying I shouldn't be in pain. He then sent me to an acupunturist who didn't help. Needless to say, since then I have seen a periodontist, a general dentist, an ENT, 2 Allergists, and a neurologist. No one can find anything wrong. I am frustrated because it is too painful to wear my top plate, I cannot eat and sleeping is difficult. Right now the front of my gums swell and the point where the piece of skin that attaches to the gums on the top front is very sensitive/sore and the pain goes from there back to the roof of my mouth and the middle of the roof of my mouth swells as well. Even if I gently press my tongue on the front of the roof of my mouth, I get a pain shooting up my face. I have been referred to "another" dentist to be evaluated for TMD. The periodontist I saw said he can't find anything wrong and the general dentist he referred me to, just shook his head and said I shouldn't be feeling any pain there. I was so messed up over Christmas that I was in the ER 3 times. They concluded my neck was spasming causing my left arm numbness and headaches. The neurologist gave me a muscle relaxer which has relaxed the spasms in my neck and on the left side of my face, but I still have a lot of pain in my mouth, too much to wear my top plate and it's getting difficult to eat even soft foods with my gums -in the last six weeks I've lost 15 lbs and still loosing. I am soo tired of being patranized and being told I shouldn't be in pain. I am 36, well educated, in otherwise excellent health, and at the end of my rope. I'm not sure where to turn. ...Visitor from MT

You have the simplest of problems, believe it or not. Due to the fact that you lost your back teeth, you have also lost the basic support of your jaws and you jaw joints. Your jaw joints are now, most likely, in compression with your skull bone. This is what causes all of your pain.

Your jaw "bangs" on your skull bone and brain over 5,000 times a day because you have lost the support of your teeth. It's that simple! Until you find someone that is knowledgeable and can adjust your jaw function and position, your pain will not go away. You may need implants or other measures to get you back on track. Dentures and partials will most likely not be a solution for you, because they are not stable enough.

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