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Mouth Diseases

Intense pain in roof of mouth and zygomatics

03/01/2010

Question:

Yesterday, I ate a few bites of sandwich and about 2-3min later, the whole roof of my mouth was felt extremely tight, aching and throbbing. It felt like a burning pressure of everything being forcefully pulled in, to the point that I thought the roof of my mouth would collapse. The pain radiated out equally and bilaterally to the bottoms of my zygomatic bones. The pain lasted about 45 minutes. On a pain scale of 1-10, I would say this was the about a 9-10. I have never felt anything like this before. I tried just laying very still and putting pressure on my cheek bones and breathing through it the first time. After about 15 minutes I took 3 Naproxen (200mg?) which did not help. Drinking water did not help or hurt. When the pain was fully subsided, I had a light headache. There was/is no redness, no sores, no temperature change in my mouth. No pain in my throat or tongue.

This happened again later in the day, when I tried to eat again. But it was unaffected by fruit juice. It seems to be dose dependent. When I drank a sip of diet coke, I could feel the pain starting, so I stopped drinking. I figured maybe this had to do with the acidity- or maybe even a little acid reflux being agitated by the acidity- so I took a few tums, but that didn`t seem to help. (I don`t normally get heartburn or acid reflux, but I was out drinking the night before and thought that may influence reflux.)

It happened again today when I tried to eat a little bread, it was so painful that I took a 5/500 Vicodin. It unfortunately didn`t kick in quick enough for the worst of the pain, but the pain subsided faster. Just a few minutes ago, I thought maybe it had more to do with acidic foods, so I tried yogurt, and that was met with minimal pain, then one slice of sashimi, immediately after which I could feel the pain starting again so I did not continue eating. I believe that I would have had the full blown pain if I had not taken the vicodin earlier, as I have had pain in my cheekbones for almost 45 minutes now.

When researching, I could really only find forums of people experiencing the same thing and claiming it to be burning mouth syndrome, sinus problems, GERD, malnutrition or undiagnosed by many doctors. But in medical resources, I found few similarities between my condition and the ones that other posters wrote about. I am 27yo F, light seasonal allergies, no hx of stomach problems or reflux. I have a healthy diet. The only other significant thing that I had done differently in the days before was drink alcohol 2 nights in a row (~6drinks/night.) I have no history of nerve problems. I doubt this is infectious, but I last traveled to western africa for 3 weeks returning mid-January. No one in my immediate family has experienced anything like this. Father has some reflux, but it is well controlled and he knows his trigger foods.

Any help or direction you can give would be appreciated.

Answer:

Without examining you, it would be impossible to say exactly what this is. If you are concerned, you should make an appointment to see an oral pathologist for evaluation.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University