Left Jaw, Eye, and Head Pain After Wisdom Teeth Extractions

by Angela
(Michigan)

Left Jaw, Eye, and Head Pain After Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Hello,

Around Christmas 2012, a dentist pulled out my wisdom teeth. Around April 2013, I started getting eye pain when reading in environments that weren't brightly lit. I also started getting tooth pain in my back, left teeth.

Around May 2013, it became painful for me to read. Since I had read a lot throughout my life, this was a huge change. I started to have extreme pain in my left eye after reading. When I read, my left eye often shows its blood vessels, and if I do a lot of reading, it gets bloodshot. I also feel headaches after reading.

My pain has continued. I have seen countless optometrists, ophthalmologists, and neurologists, but they couldn't alleviate my symptoms. In late December 2014 I saw a chiropractor for the first time, and I have continued seeing chiropractors. A specific chiropractor who I started seeing in May or April 2015 identified that I have TMJ problem, and he has been doing work on my TMJ regularly. He has also been doing spinal adjustments because my right leg is much shorter than my left leg. Additionally, the chiropractor has been giving me supplements for my eyes, which he thinks have been overworked.

I still have significant left jaw pain. I am also continuing to get the pain in my left eye. Additionally, I feel headaches after reading. Does anyone have useful information on how I can alleviate my symptoms? Is there anyone else who has had similar problems after a wisdom teeth extraction?

Hello Angela,
First an important question. Were the wisdom teeth extracted in the dentist's chair under local anaesthetic?

You don't state when the jaw joint pain began. Can you remember? Did you have any symptoms in the four months before your eye started troubling?

Dr B



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May 19, 2015
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Reply to Dr B's Comment
by: Angela

Hi Dr B,

Yes, I had my wisdom teeth removed while I was in a dentist office chair, and the dentist had injected my gums and mouth with a numbing medicine. The dentist was young and not physically strong, and I remember her doing a lot of yanking as she struggled to pull my back wisdom teeth out. She kept on telling me to open my mouth wide.

I'm not entirely sure when the jaw pain started. I remember that I was in jaw pain even a few days after the wisdom teeth were extracted. It's hard to know the exact time of the jaw pain; I was pretty busy with school at the time, so I didn't pay much attention to the jaw or tooth pain. It was the eye pain that halted my life. I do think that I was in jaw pain around February and March 2013, shortly before the eye pain began around April. I'm pretty sure that the jaw pain was occurring before the eye pain began. At first, I thought the jaw pain was tooth pain; I thought I had a cavity.
However, a dentist did x rays that showed I did not have cavities, and then he unfortunately did a root canal, which did not help relieve the pain. But now the pain is clearly not just tooth pain; it's pain throughout my left jaw, though it feels especially sharp around a particular tooth. I also have pain in a lot of the left part of my neck.

Lately, I also have been getting some minor pain around my right jaw and neck. I think it's probably related to the TMJ.

Please continue to let me know if there are any more details I should provide.

Thank you,
Angela

May 19, 2015
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Severe TMJ pain
by: Angela

Hi Dr B,

Yes, I had my wisdom teeth removed while I was in a dentist office chair, and the dentist had injected my gums and mouth with a numbing medicine. The dentist was young and not physically strong, and I remember her doing a lot of yanking as she struggled to pull my back wisdom teeth out. She kept on telling me to open my mouth wide.

I'm not entirely sure when the jaw pain started. I remember that I was in jaw pain even a few days after the wisdom teeth were extracted. It's hard to know the exact time of the jaw pain; I was pretty busy with school at the time, so I didn't pay much attention to the jaw or tooth pain. It was the eye pain that halted my life. I do think that I was in jaw pain around February and March 2013, shortly before the eye pain began around April. I'm pretty sure that the jaw pain was occurring before the eye pain began. At first, I thought the jaw pain was tooth pain; I thought I had a cavity.
However, a dentist did x rays that showed I did not have cavities, and then he unfortunately did a root canal, which did not help relieve the pain. But now the pain is clearly not just tooth pain; it's pain throughout my left jaw, though it feels especially sharp around a particular tooth. I also have pain in a lot of the left part of my neck.

Lately, I also have been getting some minor pain around my right jaw and neck. I think it's probably related to the TMJ.

Please continue to let me know if there are any more details I should provide.

Thank you,
Angela

Hello Angela,
Oddly, I recommend having your wisdom teeth out under a local anaesthetic, in the dentist's chair, but in your case that seems to be the origin of the problem. It's nice for me to know, but doesn't help you one iota. It's history, buried in concrete.

Press your index finger deep into the pterygoid pocket, find it on the internet, with the pulp of your finger facing outwards towards the cheek. Compare with the less painful side. It's often tender, but in these severe cases, the lateral pterygoid muscle is often red hot. Pressing on it causes very sharp shoot pain that radiates, either into the eye, temple area, or the teeth.

If it's hot there are exercises you can get, and painful cross friction often helps. In short, it needs an evaluation by a professional who knows about such things.

A bite plate sometimes helps.

This is a very painful business, Angela, so don't feel all alone. It sometimes leads to a suicidal condition called trigeminal neuralgia, so find someone who can help you now. I would recommend either your dentist, or a chiropractor who works regularly with the TMJ. Start talking to friends and family; who works with the TMJ. It's going to be tough, so I'm not telling you there are any simple solutions.

Dr B

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