Root canal/ pulling teeth...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Sacajawea2, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    Hi All,

    I went to the dentist yesterday and will be going back in on Monday for a wisdom tooth extraction...ouch. It's gotta come out...and the nerve is exposed so he was amazed at how I've been able to walk around like that. I've spent the last six weeks eating soup and mashed potatoes and sometimes unable to talk much or anything w/o vicodin. I also have TMJ which has started bothering me lately (stress induced, grinding teeth, clenching jaw).

    I also learned on the other side of my mouth where I cracked a tooth three weeks ago, I will need a root canal. I've never had one (nor a tooth pulled) and am very nervous.

    What are your thoughts, experiences and any advice? I can't afford a big flare and am worried how this will affect me, especially since the tooth that needs the root canal has a very very old filling in it.

    The wisdom tooth comes out Monday morning and I go back later on in the month for the rest of the work (root canal and a filling).

    I hate the thought of my teeth getting worked on, mercury, etc...but I'm limited in what my insurance covers.

    Any advice, please let me know what has worked/not worked for you.



  2. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    Actually I have had both done since I developed FM, the extraction shouldn't be much trouble unless it is impacted and in fact you will probably feel better once you get that bad boy out of there.

    As far as the root canal, I have a small mouth (my husband said that can't be true), and having my mouth open for that long period of time was hard. Especially with the TMJ (I have that as well). Ask your dentist if he can put on one of the thingy bobbers that hold your mouth open so you don't have to.

    And let Vicodin be your friend, don't be! It really does help if you can alternate between the Vicodin and Motrin. IE; take Vicodin wait 4 hours take Motrin, repeat!

    DO NOT drink with a straw, or use could end up with a dry socket. You can eat soft foods until you feel like tackling something more fun:)

    Ahhh, SJ better you than me!!!!!

    Oh, ask for a long acting Novocaine and don't be shy to ask for a non-mercury filling, let the dentist know you are sensitive. That might make a difference.

    Blessing my friend!
  3. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    I have had both root canals and teeth pulled since coming down with ME/CFS and I have never had any problems from either procedure.
  4. zeowa

    zeowa New Member

    Hi Sacajawea2,

    My wisdom teeth came out after massive infection over 10 yrs ago, but under "twilight sedation" I really did not have as bad an experience as I thought I would. It was thought they were impacted (all 4), but the surgery only took about 5 minutes. I chose not to do general anesthetic because I'd seen so many other people use it for the extraction and end up sobbing and vomiting and I wanted no part of that. The twilight is a benzo concoction I think and, while I was technically awake, I remembered nothing after counting down a few numbers and was very relaxed and happy (even singing the Teletubbies' song--?!) for the rest of the day.

    A few years ago, several into my CFS diagnosis, I needed a root canal. I went to great lengths to work with a dentist who used something other than gutta percha to fill the root, and had a gold crown placed afterward. I knew nothing about the severity of root canals or just that they really are a traumatic (physically speaking) procedure after which you should not plan to have dinner out (a tough thing to do with CFS anyway) and expect no immediate effects. I developed a minor infection afterward, but it cleared up with a few days of antibiotics.

    I've since had another 4 root canals and had them all done the "normal" way. I think there is a physical cost in terms of whatever type of post-exertional fatigue you normally get after activity/procedures/stress, but I think it is most important to have a root canal done as soon as possible after your tooth has died since infection and health in general are affected when blood is no longer going to this area. To clarify: I think treating an infection quickly and effectively is most important for long-term health.

    Root canals suck! They take a very long time and there is considerable discomfort (they really must drill quite deeply into the tooth and the filing takes what feels like forever), but, now that I know to really rest afterward and what to expect, they are no worse than any other thing that might cause a flare. Also, once it's done, and done well, you don't really have to worry about it again! I had one done recently for a tooth that was causing me health problems for a good 10 months (I see this now in retrospect) and really wish it'd been picked up on sooner.

    As far as the mercury and materials go: I have had amalgam removed in order to have a root canal but a rubber dam is used and I've had no ill effects. Generally, I don't think many dentists (at least not where I am) would use amalgam with the root canaled tooth. Also, I totally agree with the poster who said to ask for your preferred 'Novocaine' (with or without epinephrine-epi makes it last longer). Generally, I found a lot of my bad dental experiences were caused by epi that I didn't know I was getting (couldn't figure out why I got so nervous during all of my dental procedures!), but I do ask for the epi stuff for root canals because the tooth and gum are really riled up during and after and it's best, imo, to not create pain pathways and other neuroloops that won't be helpful down the road. Using advil or an anti-inflammatory for several days afterward (as was recommended to me) is very important--I no longer consider it optional--it's less about pain than inflammation.

    Sorry for the lengthy story but I had a lot to share on this topic! Good luck and try for a dentist/endodontist who really will take your preferences seriously.
  5. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    Oh you all, thank you...I'm on Keflex right now. I had to have my doc fax an "okay" for the extraction (other health issues) so tomorrow morning a very painful wisdom tooth comes out.

    I can't even remember the type of meds, but will print this out. I'm nervous about tomorrow but more worried about the root canal.

    TMJ is fairly painful right now. A few years ago it was so bad I had to have muscle relaxers just for the it's not that bad right now.

    I have a small mouth too, Deb, lol...will print this info out and use it to the full. I hope like you Tiger that I don't have any problems after. My wisdom tooth is small so they don't anticipate problems but I just hope it goes smoothly and no problems after.


  6. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    This is one of my big problems right now.
    I had two teeth pulled last yr and am still having problems. They damaged the nerve that runs up face. healing was also a problem.

    My dentist finally figured out how to get me numb not using epherine. Im trying to decide to pull all my teeth and go false.

    take pain meds and something to relax before hand.
  7. nink

    nink New Member

    I second the following things that other poster have mentioned.

    My dentist is completely mercury-free. He uses a rubber dam and even has special air cleaners to protect the pt, his staff, and him from mercury in the air.

    I have to rest for at least one day after any major dental procedure. The worst pain is usually in my TMJ area, where the injections usually go and because I usually have to keep my mouth open wide.

    Do ask for the device that goes into your mouth on the side opposite where the dentist is working that keeps your mouth open without you having to do it.

    I don't' tolerate epinephrine, so have to have local anesthesia without it.

    I'd love to try IV sedation but am taking so many meds that I doubt my dentist would try it on me. Plus I don't have anyone to drive me home afterwards.

    The most useful thing I have discovered is to use nitrous gas freely. It keeps my entire body from tensing up during the procedure. I use it just until I begin to feel woozy; if I could tolerate the wooziness, I would keep breathing it in. They put it on me as soon as I sit in the chair, so I have some in my system before the dentist even steps into the room!

    The discomfort after a root canal (and I have had several) is so much less than the pain I went through before it that I feel relief.

    I just found out I have severe Vitamin D insufficiency. I have to wonder if that is one of the reasons my teeth have just had one (expensive) problem after another. I envy anyone with any type of dental insurance, although when I did have it my dentist's treatment was well beyond the "usual and customary" costs the insurance would allow. Every little bit of coverage helped, but I dropped it when my dentist stopped accepting that particular insurance company.
  8. zeowa

    zeowa New Member

    Definitely take a med to help with muscle relaxation (if possible). I too have a very small mouth (the irony of this always get me!) and the bony growths in the bottom of my mouth (can't think of the name) which make even biting down on an x-ray thingy really really miserable. Truthfully though, I think anyone having root canal is going to have a fair amount of discomfort and just plain achy-mouth from having it open so long (though they usually use like a little mouth jack to keep it open so you don't have to). A lot depends on where the tooth is and what your particular roots look like--so many variables...

    Another thing I thought of was that there are chemicals involved. As a person with MCS, I was very worried about this (there are times when everything is "irrigated" with bleach or peroxide derivatives). One thing that helped me (long before I'd ever heard of Ashok Gupta's theories) was just accepting that I would be smelling chemicals and have some exposure to them (the dentist will keep them from being swallowed and it is pretty localized to inside the tooth) and that it would be OK. Since I've had so many, I've had some time to practice this thinking, and it has really helped.

    The best thing you can do for yourself (imo) is to use what meds can help you and expect that this is an operation and relax knowing that it is what it is and you have no reason to be relaxed about it. All you can do is the best you can and rest as much as possible afterward!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/09/2009]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/09/2009]
  9. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    The problem with pulling all of your teeth is that over time your gums will shrink were the teeth used to be. This makes it very hard to get dentures to fit properly, which in turn, makes it very hard being able to eat. Foods that appear relatively soft and easy to eat for most people, become almost impossible for denture wearers to eat. This is one of the leading causes of some seniors becoming malnurished over time.

    If your teeth are in relatively good shape, I would seriously consider keeping them.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/09/2009]
  10. nanannan

    nanannan New Member

    It is interesting to me that you chose this name - I have read a great deal about her as the Shoshone guide to the Lewis and Clarke expedition.
  11. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    Well, the wisdom tooth came out with no problems. I had a latex free procedure but the gas used had an awful fruity smell that bothered me.

    Now on to the root far they are scheduled for August 24 (at least one, perhaps two). I found out my insurace will only cover silver crowns...yuck. But I'm grateful to at least have some coverage.

    I will have more ammo to work with to help this go smoothly..didn't know about a lot of these things to help out so thank you! I like my dentist. He works with a lot of children so is much more gentle than my last one (a nightmare experience that kept me away).

    So healing fine and the before pain was soooooooooooo much worse than the after discomfort!


    Nana..your name is interesting as well! I chose this name because I so admired Sacajawea and have read a lot about her as well...since I was a teenager she's fascinated me!
  12. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I'm not fond of dental appts. Who is? My dentist is very gentle. That's the first step.
    If you are experiencing pain right now, you will be amazed at how your pain will subside once you get your teeth getten care of. Exposed roots are the worst! Very painful!
    Get numbed up, get gas if you need to, to relax, you shouldn't feel a thing except a little pressure.

    I had THE worst pain EVER. I literally couldn't drink ANY water with a full BLOWN scream. Had to hold a towel over my tooth and drink through a towel, still barely helped, I had pain up to my eyeball. Had to have an emergency root canal. the minute he did it, I felt relief.
    tooth pain is one of the worst.

    Bite the bullet, get it done. I always tell myself, Im being a big girl and getting it done! I have a cracked tooth in a molar that know I need to take care of. should have before it got to this point where I'm not having pain. dumb me.

    You'll be fine!!....and happy that you got it done!
    Just tell your dr. that you have more pain than most and to please be gentle, numb you up good!


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