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Severe pain in mouth

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My wife is having severe pain in the lower left side of her mouth (29, non-smoker). The pain comes in waves (sometimes throbbing, sometimes sharp) and resonates to the back of her head. At its worse, the pain is unbearable. She cannot pinpoint exactly which tooth the pain is coming from. Her dentist performed several test (hot/cold sensitivity, pressure, x-rays) and cannot find any problems (we were there today). She gets very little relief from over the counter meds (Ultram seems to be helping). She finds temporary but immediate relief when she swishes with PerioMed or chlorohexidine gluconate rinse. The relief is instantaneous but only lasts 1-2 minutes. Her dentist is at a loss and suggested that we see her oral surgeon (see below) or a neurologist.

I should also mention that she had her 4 wisdom teeth removed about 7 weeks ago and suffered 2 dry sockets. We saw oral surgeon today as well- he took more x rays and did not see a problem either. He opened the site of her dry socket to see if there was any infection or bone spurs- and found nothing.
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replied May 10th, 2008
Experienced User
Hi lajevardi,

I'm sorry to hear that your wife is having such terrible pain. You said your dentist did several tests, and if there was no reaction to those I would guess (and it is only a guess; I am by no means a professional) that it's not a tooth causing the problem.

You mentioned that she had her sidom teeth removed awhile ago. When I had mine removed, earlier this year, one of the concerns that I was told about had to do with the nerve in the jaw bone. I was told that removing the teeth on the bottom can bump the nerve, possibly causing pain and/or numbness.

Is there a possibility that one of the nerves on that side was damaged, and that's what's causing the pain? This would make sense with her not being able to pinpoint a tooth location and the pain radiating back into the head. I don't know how mouthwashes would help with this (unless the nerve is exposed somewhere and the mouthwash has some kind of topical numbing agent that I'm not aware of, so it numbs for a few seconds, relieving the pain).

Obviously, this is all just a guess, but it might be something to look into.

The only other thing I could suggest would be the possibility of a tooth 'dying' indicating the need for a root canal, but you said that she'd already had the hot/cold sensitivity test, which is the main one for testing for that.

Good luck; keep us posted.
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replied October 21st, 2012
severe pain
Do you have an update on your wife? My boyfriend seems to be suffering the same thing... we were in the er yesterday...cat scan for a bleed in the brain, blood work...all showed nothing. pain meds from hospital are not helping. will have to see neurolgist ...
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replied January 23rd, 2013
I have the same exact symptons. It radiates on the left lower side of my jaw, up to my ear, across to my eye.. and several teeth feel sensitive at times.. but mostly such a sharp intense surge of pain. I grab the side of my face for relief. the best answer I can find is trigeminal neuralgia ...it all fits my symptons but i dont really see any answers how to fix it.. doe anyone have an update?? thanks prayers are with you all..
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replied January 23rd, 2013
I have the same exact symptons. It radiates on the left lower side of my jaw, up to my ear, across to my eye.. and several teeth feel sensitive at times.. but mostly such a sharp intense surge of pain. I grab the side of my face for relief. the best answer I can find is trigeminal neuralgia ...it all fits my symptons but i dont really see any answers how to fix it.. doe anyone have an update?? thanks prayers are with you all..
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replied October 24th, 2012
I've had the same problem since march! My drs have said it may be something I just have to deal with Sad still seeing my dentist and he occasionally gives me different advice. All of which doesn't work. How is your wife now?
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replied March 29th, 2013
Pain
I have the same thing on my right side. Severe pain that randomly comes and goes. Sometimes it feels like its one or more teeth (top, bottom or both) sometimes it feels more in the joint or the cheek or even my neck. The dentist has done fillings and a root canal but the pain is still there. It's worse at night and hits very quickly. Oragel or numbing agents don't help and painkillers don't work on it. The dentist wants to keep doing root canals and my dr is referring me to a neurologist. Did anyone find out what it is???
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replied January 16th, 2014
Throbbing pain on my left side of face, mouth, and head
I have the same symptoms and the pains since to worsening in the month of January. I know this because January 2013, I visited the dentist and the ENT (ear, nose and throat) and neither could figure out the problem. Today, I am experience the symptoms again. Have anyone find the answer to this mysterious illness?
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