Pain in the Tooth

So I went to the dentist last week. The last time I went was only 7 months ago, just before I left Japan but about 2 months ago I had a couple of episodes where something got caught in my teeth in the back and it hurt pretty bad. It would pop out and feel better but then a week or so later something would get in there again. Finally it happened once where it hurt a lot and when I brush in the area there was a lot of blood. My toothbrush came out completely red. I though maybe a filling and fallen out or something so I made a quick dentist appointment.

He checked it out and claimed basically there was nothing wrong, just something stuck in my gums. He gave me some antibiotics to calm down the inflammation and said to come back in a week for a checkup. Whatever was in there popped out later that day and everything was soon back to normal.

I went to the checkup and he said everything was pretty good except that tooth had some deep gaps around it. I guess the way it works nowadays is the dentist has a little prob he sticks between your teeth and your gums and he sees how many millimeters the probe goes in. The further it goes in the worse. I don’t know what’s *good* but he said mine were not too bad except for that one tooth which was at 5~6mm. All the rest were below 3. My dentist in Japan had done the same measurements although he didn’t give me details on the results.

Anyway, we made a schedule for cleaning and 3 weeks later, last week, I was there for the hygienist. He had that hypersonic vibrating pick and everything was fine until he hit that tooth. The dentist had suggested before that it would probably need to be numbed. The hygienist got out the needle and shot me up. No luck. Add some more. No luck. One more time. Again no luck.

The thing is it hurt REALLY BAD!!! Now, I have had this kind of pain before. I don’t know if I’m right but I feel like my teeth are in general sensitive to vibration. I’ve had the same pain in the same teeth for years. I’ve really got to wonder though of the hygienist or the dentist even actually understands the pain. It’s not like the poking pain I feel when he’s digging around in my mouth and sometimes digs a little too deep. That sucks but it’s like getting poked with a needle.

No, the pain I feel when that vibrating needle touches my back molars feels like someone took a 3 inch nail, the kind you build houses with. Put it in a fire until it was RED HOT and then JAMMED IT DOWN THE CENTER OF MY TOOTH about 1 to 1.5 inches deep. This is not the kind of pain I can personally shrug off. This is the kind of pain that would make Jack Bauer talk. Were talking torture level of pain.

by the way, I have some small idea of what torture feels like. When I was in high school I had an ingrown fingernail that wouldn’t heal on its own and my finger got pretty sore. We went to the doctor and he attempted to numb up my finger. He put the needle in the base of my finger, where it attaches to my hand. A few minutes later he tests, the nail is still super painful. So, he injects again near the top joint of my finger. A few minutes later tests reveal … still painful. Finally he injects just under the nail. Few minutes later still painful. So, he says sorry, that’s all he can do, he’s going to have to work on it like that. So, he slices my fingernail lengthwise and then pulls out the smaller of the two halves with pliers. My body practically levitated off the bed from the pain it hurt so bad. That’s when I knew why supposedly pulling fingernails is a serious form of torture. I’ve had the experience 🙁

Well, this tooth pain is on that level. It’s not a pain I can endure and yet I don’t know what to do. I’m not willing to go back to that dentist. His suggestion was to come back and we’d work just on that tooth which he claims just needs to be cleaned and it will be better but the thing is, how can I trust him to make it not hurt if he couldn’t get it right the first time?

Note that I tried nitrous-oxide once and it did no good. It’s supposed to make you not care. All it did though was make me almost pass out. At no time did I stop caring.

What I really want to know is what are my options? My tooth feels fine currently although just remembering the pain seriously hurts. Are there different anesthetics I could recommend? Is there some other way to clean the tooth that doesn’t require the hypersonic vibrating needle? I’ve been looking on the net but so far I haven’t found any good answers. If general anesthesia was an option I’d pay for it but as far as I can tell it’s not sadly.

  • Dental hospital

    In the UK, you can get referred to a dental hospital (or the dental wing of a normal hospital) for some things.

    When I was pretty young I had to get 4 teeth out at once because there wasn’t really room in my mouth for them.

    I cant remember if it was because I was young, or because I refused to have injections (I really didn’t like needles in my mouth). But I know of other people getting sent there because of things like that too.

    Maybe your dentist would be able to do something like that for you?

  • If the problem is in your gums, or the interface between your teeth and gums, you need a Periodontist, not a Dentist. But overall, it seems to me that you just need a better Dentist.

  • Try sensodyne toothpaste.

    My mom used to have this receding gum problem and it would make her teeth very sensitive. After just four days it went away. Her dentist says it’s got anti-bacterial properties or something. Normally you try to hold the toothpaste in your mouth as long as possible too.

    It’s a different problem from yours of course but meanwhile it may keep the area clean and infection free until you find a better solution to your problems.

  • ouch

    dude. i couldnt even read that entire thing. GROSS.

    I’m gonna go floss right now.

  • gregc

    They have to us the right anesthetic, there are many out there, some work better then others. Plus they have to get the nerve with the needle as the infection or bad tooth is pushing on that nerve. You need an oral surgeon and if your in Japan and back in the US please don’t mess with this. You can get infections in your mouth that could kill you if your over seas and the Dentist and you do not communicate well.

    the rating scale 3 is not bad 5 or 6 you do not want to go past that, or you will end up sometime losing that tooth. Good luc

  • jisoon

    Dear Gregg…

    I think it is your nerve under the tooth.

    I don’t know how your nerve happened to be cropped out and get touched?! Though I had the same problem once.

    In my case, I lost my filling and I left it bare for weeks being lazy. Then my tooth started to decay of course…. -.-;

    After having that decayed tooth treated, I almost had no tooth left around that spot. And the pain was exactly what you explained >.< I know what the hell is.... *nodding* My dentist said there is nothing he can do except killing the sprig of peripheral nervous system around that tooth. That is what I had him done to kill the pain. However according to him, if it is was just the case that gums around that tooth is rubbed off, he could have just add some tooth material around it to seal?!/cover the gums. Then you wont feel that soaring feeling again.... Anyways...just wanted to be some of references. Take care 🙂

  • badger

    the salt water has just halved my pain. thank YOU

  • jsmith

    i feel like i get that same stinking thing!! its just a pain it the rear, not to mention annoying. i have it going on currentntly, and im trying to figure out if it it coensiding with being sick…like a sinus thing or what. its only my top teeth, mostly in the back. but any sudden shake of my head, or jumping or tilting my head back…sends SHOOTING nerve like pain thru there! is yous constant? ive had this a few times before, but i cant remember if it was when i was sick! what the heck!