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Face and Jaw Surgery

Pain in jaw since TMJ surgery

01/24/2006

Question:

I had TMJ surgery in July and it went very well. In October I developed pain in my lower jaw bone(same side as the surgery). It felt like a toothache so I went to my dentist who put a filling in it. That did not help so he ended up doing root canal. That did not work either so I contacted my jaw surgeon who said the tooth would have to come out. He pulled it out after putting me to sleep so there would be less trauma to the jaw. Still no relief. Now he wants me to see a neuorolgist. Any suggestions as to what might be causing the pain? It happens seveal times a day and the pain is excruciating but with the use of advil I have been able to control it some what. I don`t want to have take so much medicine for pain but I have no choice.

Answer:

Symptoms of this nature are extremely difficult to diagnose without the advantage of a proper clinical and radiographic evaluation.  Head and neck pain sometimes is multifactorial, meaning that there may be more than one triggering factor acting together to cause the pain.  Anything from joint problems, to muscle dysfunction, and nerve-generated pain, to name a few, can be responsible for this scenario.  I think that the idea of seeing a neurologist is a very good one based on what you describe.

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Response by:

Guillermo  E Chacon, DDS Guillermo E Chacon, DDS
Formerly:
Associate Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University