Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Difference Between an Ache and a Pain

A year and a half ago I suffered from an inexplicable pain in my mouth. Not a toothache mind you, but who am I to say so when visiting the dentist?
May 2014 be filled with sweet surprises
and no aches nor pains.

Luckily the dentist agreed, there was no obvious reason for the agony I experienced.
X-rays showed the root of the molar in question was fine, I had no cavities either.
Yet, touching the tooth triggered an electric pain, as though the nerves were exposed.

Perhaps the relief of the crown on the molar needed to be reduced?
The dentist on duty took off the downward peaks or stalactites, still, the pain persisted.
The assistant of the DDS suggested my pain could be allergy related.
"Take a Benadryl when you go to bed," she said, "It'll help your sinuses."
The dentist recommended I'd treat the pain like a chronic headache, with pain killers.

Tooth pain or no tooth pain, I nearly bit off a girlfriend's head when she expressed doubt.
"A root canal isn't such a big deal, perhaps you should see another dentist."
I took a Benadryl, slept well, felt relief, the weather changed, and the pain left.

A pattern occurred, whenever I had a cold, 
or sinus trouble, my tooth hurt.

Last month, on Thanksgiving, I caught a bad cold, and the pain in my molar returned with a vengeance. This time the place where jaw and cheek meet was swollen, and extremely painful to the touch. I emailed my DDS, and his assistant suggested I'd see an ENT specialist since they hadn't been able to find something. Someone should take a look, she said.

The ENT doc shone a light in my nostrils, concluded they were a bit white, looked in my throat, but refused to look at the swollen spot. "I'm not a dentist," he said, and prescribed a nasal spray.
He told me I'd feel a difference in a week and that I needed to use the spray for 30 days.
I was reluctant to use the cortisone steroid spray, wouldn't steaming with chamomile do the trick?
But, after looking up Online how the spray could reach the Maxillary sinus through my nostril, I succumbed. The ENT doc was correct, after a week the pain lessened.

After a year and a half, I had a diagnosis, which in effect wasn't that different from what the assistant of the dentist suggested. My ENT doc may not have wanted to look at my tooth, I sure am glad the dental team considered my sinuses to cause the problem, and that they didn't decide for a root canal, especially since I wasn't suffering from a tooth ache, I felt pain.

Hooray for caregivers who have an ear for language, and understand:

There's a difference between an ache and a pain.


This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
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