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  • FIRST POST
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 22nd Oct 17, 7:38 PM
    • 42Posts
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    Saffythecat
    Dental woes - any advice?
    • #1
    • 22nd Oct 17, 7:38 PM
    Dental woes - any advice? 22nd Oct 17 at 7:38 PM
    Hello, I joined this forum after reading some amazingly helpful posts from dentists. I am really hoping someone would be kind enough to help me.

    I’ve been going through a spate of dental woes, largely caused by clenching/grinding my teeth at night due to stress. I now have a night guard which I wear religiously. I lost a lower molar over the summer after a long saga - broken filling, replacement filling, root canal which didn’t settle, finally extraction - and have had issues with the “matching” tooth on the right, plus the one above it since June. My dentist has done multiple x-rays and exams, but could see nothing wrong with either tooth. They were “quiet” for a bit, but the lower tooth started up again a few weeks back. Again, she said there was nothing wrong and that I needed no treatment. Last week the toothache was so severe I ended up seeing one of her colleagues as she was on holiday - he could also see nothing but recommended I have a root canal as the issues have been rumblimg on for so long. This is booked for next week. In the interim the upper tooth has become really painful, and I am worried that it also needs RCT. (My understanding from reading posts here is that this will need referral to a specialist.)

    My dentist is very kind and patient, which is really important to me as I am very nervous. However I can’t understand how I have gone from her recommending no treatment a fortnight ago to suddenly needing a root canal based on this other dentist. Should I be thinking of changing dentist? I am really scared I am going to end up losing another tooth after the failed root canal in the summer.

    As background I am female, early 40s, and take good care of my teeth, have always attended six monthly checks, and until earlier this year had had no treatment for years. I am an NHS patient in a mainly private surgery, in Scotland - I know this has a bearing on costs. Because I am such a nervous patient I can find it quite difficult to articulate myself to the dentist (stupid, because I am a lecturer so talk for a living!) and I really appreciate that she gives me time and patience.

    Thanks for reading if you did!
Page 1
    • brook2jack
    • By brook2jack 22nd Oct 17, 9:27 PM
    • 4,126 Posts
    • 3,782 Thanks
    brook2jack
    • #2
    • 22nd Oct 17, 9:27 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Oct 17, 9:27 PM
    Clenching and grinding can be incredibly destructive. It can kill off and split teeth that have never had fillings or any problems.

    The cracked and painful teeth are often just a by product of what is causing the grinding and clenching. Most often it is stress related. Wearing a bite guard at night will most often protect the teeth but some people clench and grind during the day as well and may need to wear the appliance at points during the day.

    Quite often it is a good idea to look at the causes of stress in your life and work out the best way of relieving those stresses eg yoga, meditation , cbt etc. Some people may find they need medication for a short time . Addressing your stress will address the root cause of your problems.

    Tooth damage due to grinding and clenching can be very difficult to diagnose, can be very difficult to stop and can be very difficult to treat. Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the body, the stresses placed on a tooth when grinding is enormous and anything used to repair that damage will never be as strong as the tooth.
    Last edited by brook2jack; 22-10-2017 at 9:35 PM.
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 22nd Oct 17, 9:44 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    • #3
    • 22nd Oct 17, 9:44 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Oct 17, 9:44 PM
    Thanks for your reply. I!!!8217;m clenching and grinding because my partner was made redundant last year and things at home are very difficult. He actually has a second interview for a very suitable post this week, so hopefully if the situation changes the clenching and grinding will stop - i!!!8217;ve never done it until now. It doesn!!!8217;t help, of course, that I am so worried about my teeth! I don!!!8217;t think I am doing it during the day, and actually make a conscious effort to put the tip of my tongue between my teeth when i!!!8217;m watching TV, reading etc at home, or marking at work.
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 5th Nov 17, 10:51 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    • #4
    • 5th Nov 17, 10:51 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Nov 17, 10:51 PM
    Just to update, I had the lower molar RCT on Friday. It was 90 minutes in the chair, which included a break where it transpired one of the nerves hadn!!!8217;t numbed and she thought she!!!8217;d have to abort and dress the tooth then go again another day. Injecting right into it sorted it though, and the only other issue was when she was leaning on my hair, which was agony! The rubber dam was used and she showed me the x-ray at the end and said she was pleased with it.

    Yesterday it was really sore, even with paracetamol plus ibuprofen, and the upper tooth too - the Dentist said she thinks the upper tooth is fine and just having referred pain from the lower - but today it feels slightly better. I!!!8217;ve only had ibuprofen and it!!!8217;s not been too bad. One of the nerves was so inflamed it was actually bleeding, so I assume it will take a wee while to settle down? (I have a review appointment at the beginning of next month but can ring in if things get worse, they have emergency slots each day.)
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 11th Nov 17, 10:23 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    • #5
    • 11th Nov 17, 10:23 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Nov 17, 10:23 PM
    I!!!8217;m kind of using this thread as a toothache diary,but if anyone has any advice I would love to hear it.

    The lower molar which had the RCT has been up and down. The upper tooth is really sore. I rang in on Thursday and am going to see the dentist on Tuesday. She says the root canal can take a few weeks to settle as it was so badly inflamed. I don!!!8217;t believe the upper tooth is referred pain and suspect it needs RCT too, which I think is going to mean referral. I can borrow money from my mum if need be, but god, I just want a break from toothache.
    • Toothsmith
    • By Toothsmith 13th Nov 17, 7:38 AM
    • 8,828 Posts
    • 10,504 Thanks
    Toothsmith
    • #6
    • 13th Nov 17, 7:38 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Nov 17, 7:38 AM
    Have you been made a bite-guard for the grinding issue?
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 13th Nov 17, 1:52 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    • #7
    • 13th Nov 17, 1:52 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Nov 17, 1:52 PM
    Hi, Toothsmith, yes, I have a bite guard (via the dentist) which I am wearing religiously every single night.
    • Toothsmith
    • By Toothsmith 13th Nov 17, 2:59 PM
    • 8,828 Posts
    • 10,504 Thanks
    Toothsmith
    • #8
    • 13th Nov 17, 2:59 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Nov 17, 2:59 PM
    That!!!8217;s good.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 14th Nov 17, 11:02 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    • #9
    • 14th Nov 17, 11:02 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Nov 17, 11:02 PM
    So, today I went back to the dentist. She said the root canal tooth looked good on exam and x-ray, and should settle down. She examined the upper tooth and pinpointed a super-sensitive area with her air huffer thing, which was a kind of little pit I could feel with my tongue on the cheek side, so she put a filling in there - previously she had used a desensitising varnish on it. I!!!8217;ve to go back in three weeks.

    She said that if the upper tooth needs root canal she would do it, but that the canals look narrow on the x-ray so it may need referred to a specialist. There is a dentist in the surgery who is mid-way through a PhD who she said she can bring in if need be (I assume this is to become an endontist?). I!!!8217;ve seen him previously when my own dentist has been on holiday and while he is really lovely, I am very nervous about having someone I don!!!8217;t know treat me, but I suppose it would be even worse if I am referred out.

    Anyway, I was brave and had the injection even though I wasn!!!8217;t expecting it, so go me! (The dental nurse still had to hold my hand, though. I am actually pathetic.)
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 16th Nov 17, 9:40 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    Gosh, the root canal tooth is so, so painful today. The dentist said it wouldn't be "linear", but surely this can't be right...?
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 16th Nov 17, 10:14 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    Round the tooth is really hot and swollen now. It is more painful than before I had the treatment. Argh.
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 29th Dec 17, 11:24 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    Just coming back to this thread to say I have been referred to a specialist endodontist for re-treatment of the lower tooth and root canal on the upper tooth. I have a consultation next Friday - super-quick as my dentist just did the referral yesterday but did mark it urgent as I am in a lot of pain - and really, really hope it can be done quickly and these issues put to bed.
    • missile
    • By missile 30th Dec 17, 12:05 AM
    • 9,378 Posts
    • 4,651 Thanks
    missile
    ... Anyway, I was brave and had the injection even though I wasn!!!8217;t expecting it, so go me! (The dental nurse still had to hold my hand, though. I am actually pathetic.)
    Originally posted by Saffythecat
    Don't feel pathetic. I too am terrified of the dentist. I have an appointment for an implant on the 19th. Hope the nurse will hold my hand. She may have to tie me to the chair
    Last edited by missile; 30-12-2017 at 12:07 AM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 30th Dec 17, 12:28 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    @missile I can actually tolerate the treatment okay, it!!!8217;s just the injections I am terrified of. I hope your appointment goes well!
    • Saffythecat
    • By Saffythecat 9th Jan 18, 8:37 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Saffythecat
    Updating to say I had the consultation with the endodontist last week and the first part of the root canal done today on the upper tooth. Two hours in the chair. Bravery level - low, but he said I did really well. Three more appointments to go...!
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