Two years ago in july, I lost a cusp on my upper left hand molar. After waiting three weeks, my dentist filled the tooth (i was too afraid to have a crown). The day after the filling, the tooth started to become uncomfortable again (as it was the previous 3 weeks). My dentist told my the nerve might have become inflamed and it could take a month or so to settle down. The discomfort seemed to spread over my entire mouth and I was getting sharp pains in several other teeth that never bothered me before. My teeth also seemed more sensitive to hot and cold. I saw an oral surgeon and 2 other dentists and they all concluded nothing was wrong with the tooth. My dentist told me the pain was caused from my grinding my teeth and he suggested I get a custom made nightguard. I have grinded my teeth all my life and never had pain from it. I kept asking if the tooth that broke could be causing the pain - he said no. I started to wear the night guard.
8 months after the tooth broke, I developed an earache in my left ear and a twinge of pain (almost like a burning sensation) on the left side of my throat. I would not call this a sore throat, the pain would come and go. I went to my pcp twice for this, he said it could be tmj. He referred me to an ent specialist who did a laryngoscopy. The cause of the pain could not be determined.
There were times when the pain would go away for days; other times the pain would be there off and on all day. I have now had the pain in my ear/throat for 15 months. It does not hurt when I eat, swallow or breath. It is very annoying and comes on its own. I still have the discomfort in my mouth, although not quite as bad as when it first happened. The gum around where my tooth cracked hurts from time to time, other teeth in my mouth hurt from time to time. I feel it is worth mentioning that I never had a toothache in my life before this happened, nor have I had ear/throat problems.
My question is this. I am a highly stressed/nervous person and I am now starting to think I have a cancerous tumor causing this pain which these doctors have missed. I can't think of anything else causing it and would appreciate your insight.
Tmj can cause discomfort over an extended period of time.
In terms of the original tooth problem it is quite possible that the nerve
in the tooth is causing the problem. A tooth with a nerve problem
will often refer pain to other teeth, cause headaches and a pain
in the ear region.
If the tooth is pressure sensitive, reacts badly to hot foods and/or
liquids or has a throbbing sensation, then it could well be the source
of your problem
an xray of the tooth will show any abnormal changes in the tooth
including signs of infection.
I would suggest that having the tooth checked again is your best
I agree with what mike said. When nerves get disrupted it can cause havoc for awhile before everything heals. I would not jump to it being tmj if it started with that tooth because all those nerves are connected and when one gets agravated it can cause a chain reaction.