On April 2, my dentist extracted an upper left root canal tooth that broke. She sectioned the molar into sections to make the extraction easier. Since the extraction pain somehow refers to my lower and spikes in the afternoon through the evening. The side of my face feels numb, and I feel pain in my ear. Why is the pain intense in my jaw when the upper tooth was extracted? And why is it lingering weeks after the extraction? I called my dentist, but she is prescribing pain relievers, which do not help. Should I see another dentist before my anxiety gets worse? Thank you. Alana from NY
Although the pain you describe is not unusual after a tooth extraction, it should not linger more than a week. If you have felt pain for three weeks, something is wrong.
Lingering Pain After Tooth Extraction
Pain after tooth extraction can linger for several reasons, but a dry socket or an infection is most likely. Although Dr. Lacy would need to examine and x-ray your extraction site and the area around it, the source of pain might be near the extraction.
- Dry socket – This painful condition results when the blood clot at the extraction site dislodges. Without the blood clot, nerves and bone are exposed, causing intense pain.
- Infection – Bacteria can enter the extraction site and cause inflammation and pain.
Antibiotics for Lingering Pain
If you have an infection, antibiotics will help. Although the extraction was for an upper molar tooth, pain can refer to your lower law. Never pressure can cause you to feel numb.
What to expect – A dentist may begin treatment with a strong antibiotic like clindamycin and follow-up to see if you feel improvement. If you do, you should continue the antibiotic three to four days after all your symptoms are gone. But it would be best to get an examination before treatment.
Get a Second Opinion If Necessary
If you are not comfortable returning to your dentist for an examination, schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist right away. Otherwise, the infection will continue to spread—possibly affecting other teeth and putting them at risk. You can ask about sedation options to help you relax.
You can ask about sedation options to help you relax. Nitrous oxide or oral sedation are two forms of sedation that may work depending on your anxiety level.
This post is sponsored by Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.