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FAQ:  Pain: Teeth - Molars


Posterior Crown Related Pain

Question:
Lupus - toothache pain
I recently had a filling put in. Since the procedure, I have had a severe toothache. I have a mild case of Lupus so I waited a week (while taking an anti-inflammatory and extra strength tylenol) and then went in to see my dentist.

He was concerned that the bite was not quite right and adjusted it. He advised me to continue taking tylenol and to come back in a week if the pain was still a problem. Now, four days later, the sharp pain I was having when I bit down is gone but my tooth still aches and is hurting more. Also, my jaw hurts a lot and is very, very stiff.

I have had some problems in the past with persistent jaw pain after dental work as well as tooth pain. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that I have Lupus. What steps can I take in the future to mitigate this post procedure pain? ...Visitor from PA

Answer:
There are several steps you can take to avoid pain after future fillings. First, preload your system with Advil. Take the maximum dose for 24 hours prior to any dentistry.

Next, have your bite adjusted the next day after the anesthetic has worn off completely. Waiting a week to adjust your bite was too long. By that time, the tooth was really, really inflamed and could require a very long time before it feels comfortable to chew on it again. Maybe weeks.

Finally, it might be wise to have the dentist adjust the tooth "out of occlusion" from the very start. This is often done when placing crowns on teeth or doing a root canal. Don't worry, the tooth will erupt back into full contact within a few weeks.

One final note: Be sure you don't have a latent TMJ/TMD problem. Ask your dentist to be screened for this problem. Sometimes patients are asymptomatic until they have a filling done or their teeth cleaned. Then it triggers clenching with muscle spasms and all heck can break loose.

Editorial Staff

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