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Root Canals

Mystery pain



In May I started having pain in my upper left far back molars (2). I went to my dentist who recommended crowns since the two molars were filled with, well, fillings! The process of prepping the two teeth took about three hours. While waiting for the permanent crown, I had loads of pain and was on Advil every four hours. My dentist was concerned, but said that once the permanent crowns were in there, I would be fine. She took x-rays and also viewed the area, and said it did not look like a root canal issue. The permanent crowns were put in. She did, however, eventually send me to a very experienced endodontist. He said I did not need a root canal--what I had was severe tmj. He pressed and pushed and also took x-rays, and was certain of the diagnosis. I had a bite thing made for me at the dentist. But, although I know I have tmj pain (cheek, jaw, joint) I also still have sensitivity to cold drinks and I still seem to have pain in my back molar. I`m taking Advil just once a day, but, the pain seems to be worse after I exercise (play tennis. Does this make sense? What else can I be doing? Are we sure I don`t need a root canal? Thank you for your help!


It is not possible to determine what is going on based on just your description. I can tell you that symptoms can change and that new developments can require a reevaluation. If your cold sensitivity has not resolved, I would recommend a re-evaluation by your endodontist.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University