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Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection?

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Hi! For a week now, I have been having a dull sensation in my lower jaw. It started on my left side, and now has passed on to the right. Overall however, it is the left side. At times, they kind of oscillate to and fro. I am having no real trouble opening and closing my mouth. I also feel a kind of neck stiffness on my left that radiates away to my arm. An occasional dull earache also occurs. I also have four impacted wisdom teeth that I had diagnosed with a dentist last month, one of which was mildly infected; it is the one to my left. I am going back home to India next month after my semester ends to get all the teeth pulled out there itself. I checked for signs for any recurrence of the wisdom tooth infection like bad breath, redness and swelling of the gums and soreness around the tooth, but I feel no pain, especially when I brush and floss gently around that region. I am going to the dentist again on Friday to check it out, but I think it may be a TMJ problem. Also, I was extremely stressed and tensed over the past month. I would also like to add that I had a flu shot in last month as well on my left arm. As I speak, the dullness is concentrated below the ears around the jaw joint. It gets right down to my left collarbone.
Posted Tue, 26 Nov 2013 in Dental Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 1 hour later
Brief Answer: surgical removal of wisdom teeth Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome. Thanks for sharing your concern. I have read your history thoroughly and saw your reports too. Based upon that I could suggest you, that you must get, all third molars extracted(surgically removed). Please understand that apart from causing symptoms like pain,swelling and recurrent infections, they also cause undue pressure on surrounding bones,muscles and nerves. Now the cause for the dullness in your jaw could be the pressure exerted by third molar on the nerves there. once the tooth is extracted,the nerves gets normal.Also wisdom teeth are considered vestigial organ.Therefore there is no harm in getting them extracted. I hope the symptoms should subside upon removal of third molars. In case,If the dullness persists then you can XXXXXXX your oral and maxillofacial surgeon and get the temporo mandibular(TMJ) joint examined. In my view, TMJ surgery should be kept as final approach. Hope it helps. For further query please let me know. Thanks. Take care.
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Follow-up: Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection? 1 hour later
Thank you for your help! As I said, I am getting the teeth removed next month when I come back home to India, as I realize that the academic schedule is too tight for me to have any surgery now. I am actually an undergraduate student in the US, so there are factors that are influencing me. I am getting all of my wisdom teeth removed, that's without doubt, but I can only do it after a month's time in December. Also, I gather that the dullness may caused by the pressure exerted on the neighboring teeth. Do you suggest keeping a clove in that region before I go to sleep? Also, my dentist told me to keep a cautious eye on the tooth that flared up, but said waiting for a month or so isn't a big deal. I am flossing and brushing regularly and also doing saltwater rinses multiple times a day. Could you suggest any other method to keep the discomfort at bay? Also, in the x-ray scan of my teeth, the nerves were marked right below the lower wisdom teeth, and I was told by my first dentist that the teeth are at a significant distance away from the nerve, what he called mandibular nerve. Is teething of wisdom teeth a general cause for dullness in the jaw?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 4 hours later
Brief Answer: nerve compression by third molars Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for your reply. I would answer all your queries one by one. 1.you can very well wait for few months, while maintaining good oral hygiene as you are already following.please continue that. 2.you can use clove oil for few days but please do not use it continuously.It has analgesics effect but upon prolonged usage can cause tissue irritation too.Use it intermittently. 3.As you have mentioned you are in academic mode and cannot get the extraction done now, therefore in case if you find any infection like swelling and pus then you must report to your dentist and take a course of antibiotics and analgesics.This will help overcome your problem for few weeks. As infections caused by erupting wisdom teeth are recurrent in nature,you can take preventive measures like warm saline gargle and rinsing with antiseptic mouthwashes like Hexidine 0.2% for a week. Use it(Intermittently) only for a week and then discontinue it for the next week and so on..Remember it causes staining of teeth upon prolonged usage. 4.Coming to your your last query regarding dullness.It is generally seen that erupting wisdom teeth causes pressure on delicate nerves and hence in reaction there is numbness caused in that area. X rays cannot give 3D view.There fore it has been seen upon surgery that the nerves which were appearing close were actually compressed by wisdom teeth.Therefore you can assume that it is the general cause for dullness in the lower jaw.Of course there are many more reasons too,but the symptoms vary. Hope I have given you detail answer to your query . Please let me know for any further doubts. Wishing you good health. Thanks. Take care.
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Follow-up: Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection? 6 hours later
Thank you very much for your answer! I am doing all the requisite things necessary. As far as diet is concerned, I am having more of vegetables, and have literally given up red meat and processed foods for more than a month. Do you suggest anything that should be had/not be had? I am having raw onions along with my food, as I believe it is a good antiseptic. Also, I don't have to be afraid of antibiotic resistance in case the infection recurs again, right? As I said, I had taken penicillin last month, but had to leave it midway because of my oral candidiasis.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 1 hour later
Brief Answer: oral hygiene maintenance Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for reply. There is no harm in taking any kind of food products,just see that you maintain good oral hygiene. Regular rinsing and flossing will keep you away from infections. The only advise that I can give you is, please maintain hygiene without missing a single day.This will help you a lot. By chance you happen to get oral infection, then do not worry about antibiotic resistance, you can simply give the complete history to the dentist and take a suitable course for three days. This should solve the problem. Candida infection can be taken care of with topical treatment. Hope I have answered your query. Please let me know for further doubts. Thanks. Take care.
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Follow-up: Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection? 25 minutes later
Certainly. As I said I am brushing and flossing multiple times a day, not to mention that saltwater rinsing is a staple now. As I speak, the dullness actually went away for a few hours, and then came back again in exactly the same spot below the ear above the jaw. I am going to the dentist this Friday to check it out, and to remove any possibility of a lurking infection. Also, to provide you with additional information, I checked with my ENT last month to remove any possibility of an ear, nose or throat infection, and he said that although I had enlarged tonsils, there was nothing to worry about. There were no signs of any other infections. I also had my blood test done, and there was nothing abnormal nor was there any reflection of any active infection.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 26 minutes later
Brief Answer: Advised wisdom teeth removal Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for reply. It is very nice that you have got thorough examination done.It is appreciable on your part that you have visited ENT specialist too in this regard. Definitely you can have a clinical evaluation from your dentist too as per your prior appointment. As your taking good care of yourself I hope after wisdom teeth removal,this temporary dullness should also subside. wishing you good health. Please let me know for further query. Thanks. Take care.
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Follow-up: Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection? 7 hours later
Thank you! As a follow up, the dullness is coming and going; it is not persistent at all, but it is significant when it happens, and it radiates down to my neck and lower left collarbone. Also, the lower right side of the jaw is also becoming dull, and I checked for any signs of infection, but there were none. As before, I have little trouble opening and closing my mouth, and I speak and talk normally. The dullness and soreness gets quite heavy at times, and irritating as well. I am going to the dentist on Friday anyways, but are these signs of the continuing wisdom teeth pressurizing on my nerves and jaw as you said before? Also, out of curiosity, with regards, to the upper wisdom teeth, could you tell me as to how far are they buried in the gum tissue? I am feeling a new sensation, and it may be something not related to dental issues, but I am at times feeling like something is poking my right side of the throat, almost towards the right tonsil. It comes and goes, especially when I don't eat or drink for a while. Stomach issues?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 11 hours later
Brief Answer: Numbness due to pressure on nerves Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for reply. In answer to your first question,I would like to say that dullness is caused due to pressure on nerves. In answer to your second question,I can definitely tell you how far teeth are embedded in the bone if I can see the x XXXXXXX x rays shows the amount of bone covering the teeth very clearly. As you are visiting your dentist on Friday,you can ask for simple x rays called as IOPA(Intra oral periapical x ray). The one you have attached here shows overall health of teeth and gums. In relation to your third query I can say that it is not related to wisdom teeth eruption. I would also like to say that please be stress free,and maintain good hygiene as you are doing it.you will be fine soon. Hope it helps. Let me know for further query. Thanks. Take care.
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Follow-up: Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection? 3 hours later
Thank you! I agree that I am a little stressed regarding this entire wisdom teeth episode ever since last month when I visited the first dentist, and I am trying my best to overcome this emotional burden. The second dentist has been very helpful and has calmed me down a lot, and has told me that waiting for the upcoming winter break is not an issue for the teeth to be removed. Since it's only a question of a month's time, I am continuously getting my teeth evaluated and checked almost every week. I shall update you with the second dentist's report when I visit him tomorrow.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Reports awaited. Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for reply. Surely you can send me your reports after visiting to your dentist. Until then do take good care of yourself.Wish you good health. Thanks. Take care.
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Follow-up: Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection? 3 hours later
Indeed. I shall be constantly doing the same. Also, in the x-rays I have included in the report, aren't they sufficient in deciding as to how much the wisdom teeth are covered in gum and bone? As you may notice, I have included the ct scans as well.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 14 hours later
Brief Answer: IOPA required. Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for reply. I have seen your x XXXXXXX reports as well as CT scan reports too.They show overall jaw tissue and teeth.Based on that if I had to say I can say that your teeth are partially erupted and the jaw.Minimal surgical intervention is required to remove them. Further please let me know after visiting your dentist. Thanks. Take care
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Follow-up: Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection? 7 hours later
Okay, so I had a favorable report from the dentist. He said there still wasn't any redness, swelling or inflammation of the wisdom teeth region, and that I could not feel any significant tenderness. He said the wisdom teeth look the way they should after they erupt, without any of the significant symptoms. So that's a relief. However, he told me to be on the watch and keep my teeth as clean as possible. As far as the upper 3rd molars, he said both were well within the gums; however, the right 3rd molar was slightly more down that the left, and hence there is a slight swelling of the gum there. Again, he didn't see any infection or redness. He told me there wasn't anything to worry about at the present moment. I consulted the university practitioner, who said I was having a post nasal drip on the right of my throat, and was given antihistamines for the weekend before I visit the ENT on Monday. Is that a favorable outcome of my overall checkup?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 7 hours later
Brief Answer: Normally erupting teeth Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for reply. It is very nice that there is no infection or inflammation presently.Even I would say please keep a close watch but be stress free. As you know everything is all right. " he said both were well within the gums; however, the right 3rd molar was slightly more down that the left, and hence there is a slight swelling of the gums" The reason for above statement is that, on left side the tooth has erupted little more in comparison to right side.which is quite natural during eruption. Regarding your post nasal drip your ENT specialist is the best person.Please do as he says. Wish you good health. Thanks. Take care.
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Follow-up: Having dull sensation in lower jaw, neck stiffness and ear ache. Is this due to wisdom tooth infection? 16 minutes later
Thank you! Yes, I am having an occasional sniffle so I think my throat is a bit too mucusy...I am having the antihistamines nevertheless till I visit the ENT on Monday. Also, do you recommend keeping a clove in my mouth while I sleep to ward off bacteria?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshumala Singh 35 hours later
Brief Answer: Post dinner brushing helps keep mouth germ free Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for reply. yes you can definitely keep cloves in your mouth while you go to sleep but again I would say please do not make it a habit. you do not have to worry about bacterias in your mouth because,in your history you have mentioned that you brush your teeth before going to bed. If you do not consume food after brushing(after dinner) then you do not have to worry till the next morning ,when you again brush to wash off the the micro organisms. Remember,When there is no food particles in your mouth then bacterias even though present, cannot cause any damage to teeth. Hope I have answered your query. Thanks. Take care.
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