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Jaw pain radiating to ear after getting filling. Swelling. Pain medication not helping. What is this?

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I had 3 fillings a week ago all on left side. I have severe pain in jaw and radiates into my ear. I called him and he said he gave me a lot of anesthesia and it sounded like muscle and prescribed a muscle relaxer. It did not help and taking ib 800 mg helps temporarily. It is horrible pain, no swelling just jaw, ear pain that will not go away. He said he did not get close to roots. Also, my tooth did not hurt prior to filling. I have been putting warm compresses but it's not working. What is this and I have my daughters wedding in one week and need this to stop hurting now. I took pain meds and still can feel the jaw pain. What do I do???? What can I take to get this healed? I have had filling before and never ever had jaw pain after like this. It hurts from the time I wake up to bed. I can sleep but wake up throbbing. I will call him today but I feel maybe infection? What are the signs? Or he tore some nerves with the anesthesia needle. It's hard to open mouth without it hurting. Going side to side hurts as well.
Posted Wed, 5 Sep 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 51 minutes later
Hi, I am sorry that you are experiencing so much pain especially so close to your daughter's wedding.

Severe pain in the mouth and jaw can be caused by a broken tooth, exposed nerves, infection of the tooth or gum. In addition there can be a disorder of the tempromandibular joint which is interpreted as tooth pain.The tempro-mandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the skull.
TMJ syndrome can occur as a result of increased muscle tension, degenerative joint disease such as arthritis or as a result of XXXXXXX derangement of the joint itself.
Normally a person may have symptoms such as painful involving the chewing muscles which is worse when chewing and goes towards the ears and jaw, ear popping, locking of the jaw when trying to open it and head or neck ache, teeth clenching, a bite that feels uncomfortable, increasing pain as the day progresses.

This condition is only diagnosed after blood tests are done to rule out other conditions such as infection (full blood count), muslce disease (creatine and creatine kinase), gout, joint disease (calcium). In some persons an xray may also be done.
In most persons the symptoms resolve with or without treatment. Treatment may involve pain medication such as ibruprofen, cataflam, use of muscle relaxants and application of moist heat and massage of the muscles.

I only went through that because it is one of the possible causes of jaw pain but in light of your history I think it would be best to rule a cause related to the teeth and gums first.
Infection would normally present with severe pain ( which you have), fever,pain when chewing, foul or bad taste in the mouth, bitter taste in the mouth and redness in the gums.You may also have swelling on the side involved, sensitivity to heat.
The gums will appear swollen, warm and red and there may be bleeding.

Nerve pain would present in a similar fashion with pain on chewing and sensitvity to heat or cold.

I agree with you that you should speak to your dentist, I expect that he would call you in for a full examination of the mouth to rule out infection or trauma to the nerves.
If he rules out the above then tempromandibular joint syndrome should be considered which would require a visit to your GP.

I hope this infomation is helpful and that you feel better soon. Enjoy your daughter's wedding, I hope it comes off without a hitch. Feel free to ask any additional questions
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