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Anyone get root canal (either before or after ME onset)?

Discussion in 'Home adaptations, mobility and personal care' started by Viola, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Viola

    Viola Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone had had root canal treatment? Did you end up having to remove the tooth anyway? Or did it cause any problems?

    I have a tooth that is giving me problems for over a year. It is a molar on the bottom jaw.

    I usually can't chew on one side of my mouth because of it as it is too painful. The tooth is not infected so it only hurts when I chew on it.

    The dentist is reluctant to remove the tooth as he said the filling in it was not deep and the tooth looks in ok condition. He can do removal, but it might cause movement and potential issues in the teeth around it.

    He said root canal might be an option. This is a big job and I would have to pay for it (hundreds of Euro) and might end up getting it out anyway.

    The dentist thinks some of the problems might have stemmed from me grinding my teeth at night, as the surface of this tooth is worn very flat. I have gotten a night-guard recently to try to stop damage from this. I've only worn this a few nights so far as I keep forgetting to put it in! Anyway I will have to leave it somewhere more obvious so I remember it. I think it might be too late though for the tooth that hurts me.

    I was at the dentist a few weeks ago and decided not to remove the tooth yet, but now I am beginning to change my mind as it is annoying me. I think I had gotten out of the habot of chewing on that side of my mouth so forgotten how painful it was when I did. He put de-sensitising agent on the tooth, which helped slightly, but I think I am back to how it was before that already.

    I wonder if root canal should be the way to go, but I have never had it and wonder if it is worth the effort and cost? I can normally get a non-adrenaline anaesthetic from this dentist so I am not overly concerned about the anaesthetic, though as this is a molar the procedure might be more difficult than it would be for other teeth.

    I had another tooth removed a few years ago, so I don't want to start a slippery slope of removing teeth, but at the same time it might have to be done. The other tooth had a deep filling, was inclined to get infected, and was a middle one so it was a bit different to remove that one as it was living on borrowed time anyway.

    Some people are dead-set against root canals as they think the tooth can end up harbouring infections. I don't know whether this is nonsense or not, or if it would apply to my case where the tooth doesn't appear to be infected to start off with.

    Anyway sorry for the essay. Thanks for any replies.
  2. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    All I can say is if you remove a molar you will lose, obviously, the ability to use it to chew with. I have no molars on one side, this means I can only chew one one side, the other one, and the wear on that side is increased.

    It also means that you are likely to increase any wear/decay on the side the molar is removed from, as cleaning teeth with gaps properly is more difficult - contrary to what you would think.

    IMO if it's saveable, try and save it. If it becomes too annoying then by all means remove it - I tried with the last upper molar on that side but because others had been removed it was too unstable to keep.

    Maybe not much help, after reading it back - sorry.
  3. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    A root canal kills the tooth and eventually the tooth will completely shatter. It typically just delays removal, often by years, sometimes longer. I would get it filled and start taking Vitamin K2 (MK4). Only caveat, do you still have your wisdom teeth and are they unerupted. If the answer to both is yes K2 will cause a problem. That said if you can fill and take a few weeks of K2 it should eliminate the pain and likely save the tooth.
    Wonko, Luther Blissett and Viola like this.
  4. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    If it is still in good condition and repairable it is definitely worth it.

    Had 3 root canals (actually 4, one had to be redone several years later). Don't regret any of them.

    Didn't have it done on one molar that was causing trouble, left it too late, lost that tooth, and do regret it. That side of the mouth is far less use for chewing.

    Root canals are expensive, but the only alternatives are losing the tooth (including the pain along the way), and then either living with a hole in your mouth, or getting an artificial implant, which is more expensive than a root canal and not problem free.

    The only teeth not worth spending much time and money on are the wisdom teeth. Had all mine out, and don't regret it.

    Definitely use the night time mouth guard. I didn't for years (didn't know it was a problem and didn't have one) and regret it. Losing the top surface off your teeth opens them up to infection, and more root canals.

    One of the main pieces of advice I would give to new patients is to protect your teeth. Much cheaper and less painful than waiting until they are in trouble.

    Also, check out interdental brushes. Wish they had invented them 50 years ago.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  5. Viola

    Viola Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Thanks guys for all the feedback. It has been very helpful. I will see how I get on for the next week or so with the mouth guard (I only got it a week ago). I'd say it is probably too far gone to help with this particular tooth but that might help save my others.

    I am inclined to try the root-canal if the pain continues, as the tooth is otherwise in good condition. I will need to check the price of this as it might be very expensive.

    I think some of my wisdom teeth are errupted (or whatever it is called) and some not. I must ask the dentist the next time I am in.

    I must try the K2 anyway as I am a bit worried about my bones in general due to lack of exercise.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
    Wonko likes this.
  6. erin

    erin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    After having ME, I gradually started to have pain in my jaw and my teeth in general. This made minor dental work very painful too. Its like any pain is magnified in the mouth area.

    I was in tears on waking up every morning with jaw pain. It gradually disappeared over the years. While I had this terrible pain I used CBD oil, rubbed it on my gums. This helped to reduce the pain.
    Viola and Wonko like this.
  7. Liv aka Mrs Sowester

    Liv aka Mrs Sowester Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I've had a couple of root fillings for well over a decade and haven't lost those teeth since. It's worth it and not as awful a procedure as people make out.
    Recovering from an extraction is much, much harder in my experience.
  8. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I have root canal on 3 of my teeth. I've made x-rays and the teeth are ok (other than that they don't have nerves), but I recently started to feel one of them as a foreign body. It's the one which first had root canal, in 1994. So, generally it's a bad idea to take this decision yourself. Leave it to your dentist. I similarly had such pain while chewing on one of my teeth and it was exactly one of these which don't have nerves, so the pain probably came from the gum, I'm not sure (but I was feeling it like it's from the tooth). I went to the dentist and he opened the tooth and made me some procedures, and the pain still persisted. He told me that it's probably a trauma (I was also grinding my teeth at night, sometimes) and he couldn't do anything. The pain persisted about one or two months, and then disappeared by itself.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
    erin, Subtropical Island and Viola like this.
  9. Graham

    Graham Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    My wife had a couple of these a while back, and they gave her a lot of trouble/infection/inflammation. Eventually she had to have them removed. The dentist at the time was a highly respected and caring one, and he said that he had been reading up a lot about them as a result of her troubles, and had found that a small minority of people just couldn't take them, but he couldn't find out why.
    That's not much help, is it?
    Viola and Liv aka Mrs Sowester like this.
  10. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    The K2 will eliminate the pain (except when biting which is physical agitation like jabbing your arm with a fork), but won't easily fix them unless you can take it daily at a high enough dose and with Vitamin A & D. But wisdom teeth not erupted won't work well with K2.
    I suggest getting a filling, taking K2 (MK4 1mg) only for a couple weeks and see what happens. It should work fine because the filling keeps food away from the nerve and the K2 will eliminate the pain. This won't rebuild anything but it should keep the wisdom teeth at bay. If the filling or tooth is at an odd angle this may not work but barring unusual complications it should.
    In the future you can get the wisdom teeth removed or erupted then taking K2 with A and D should help your body long term.
  11. Trails

    Trails Established Member (Voting Rights)

    rural New Hampshire
    I had my first and only root canal a few months before the onslaught of most of my symptoms. I have no reason to believe that the former precipitated the latter.
    Subtropical Island likes this.
  12. Subtropical Island

    Subtropical Island Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I have a lot of trouble with my teeth, especially since ME/CFS (ETA: tho I can't say that this means anything for any other PwME).
    I went to three separate new dentists (first to be closer to where I live, second because I was still in pain and we hadn't completed her whole plan but I was away for a few months and this guy was highly recommended, third because it got worse after his fillings, back to the first who decided to give me a crown, for what she called a cracked tooth based on pain alone, which still feels foreign and hurts to chew on) and finally went back to my first dentist who was reluctant to even give me an x-ray with all the dentists I'd tried over the past 6 months. He looked at my old X-rays and said that he wouldn't have recommended doing anything to that tooth as it had a very high nerve (the second new dentist told me the nerve was nowhere near there but then caused me a lot of pain so maybe a different angle of x-ray? Or butt covering?). When he finally agreed to take an x-ray just of that one area he found nothing to worry about and recommended we don't do anything. My other teeth have finally settled down but the crown is still uncomfortable. He did file it to be a better bite and that helped some. In a year I will have another x-ray to check if anything has changed.
    So, after a lot of shopping around and some very impressive dentists who hurt more than they helped, I recommend doing the least your dentist recommends. If they think you need it then ok but if they think you might not need to then don't. As my old and preferred dentist says: if you can see something that needs to be fixed then fix it but if you're not sure, if there's no objective evidence, then best not.

    ME/CFS (eta: or something) has made irritating nerves a lot more of a pain than it used to be.

    Edit simplified to: I have always had a good pain tolerance

    But since I got ME/CFS every procedure takes many months to recover and not be tender. So, if it's related, there's a chance it might just take 4 times as long to ease up as a 'normal' person. ETA: so waiting a bit and looking for signs of a problem, rather than basing a decision purely on pain might not be a bad choice. I regret that crown, and regretted it from the moment she began to hack away at my healthy tooth.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    healthforall and Viola like this.
  13. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I've had 2 root canals done since becoming ill with ME.

    No problems so far.
  14. Samuel

    Samuel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    What are some factors one might consider / look up / ask doctor about for a bedridden-except-bathroom pwme in deciding whether to get a root canal?

    I have heard that they can maybe increase infections. Or maybe have formaldehyde. Or maybe make a tooth crack. Or some stuff about cavitations. Or more time for the procedure.

    But I have no hard facts or even common sense immunocompromised etc. comments that I can't put together into a logical equation.

    One doctor once said she was against root canals but IDK why.
    Louie41 and Kitty like this.
  15. Daisybell

    Daisybell Moderator Staff Member

    New Zealand
    I’ve had two root canals. The first one resulted in the tooth cracking in half and having to be removed a couple of months after the dental work. The second one I had done more recently and had a crown as well. Expensive - but no problems with it! I am very sensitive to the Adrenalin in the injection and so my dentist avoids that.
  16. oldtimer

    oldtimer Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Melbourne Australia
    I've had 10 over 30 years, all after ME onset. Every tooth crowned (most twice over my lifetime) or veneered, and one implant. No problems. In hindsight I wish I have got dentures and bought a Lamborghini instead. Seriously.
  17. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    I have had several root canal treatments over the years. As I understood it, it was because there was infection deep inside the tooth which I needed antibiotics to clear first, then the tooth was excavated, or whatever they call it and the tooth filled or rebuilt or whatever.

    I have also had several teeth removed that were beyond saving. I think now, at my ripe old age and with my ME quite severe, I would just go straight for extraction so I could be sure of having no further problems with that tooth, but when younger it can be quite nice to still have most of your teeth if you can cope with the lengthy treatment that might require several visits.
  18. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Root canals are done because the pulp inside the tooth is infected, usually with bacteria. They're best done sooner rather than later, as it gives the best chance of saving the tooth and it's easier to get rid of the infection.

    I've had numerous ones. I think they're actually less unpleasant than having a big filling or a crown, it's just that they sound horrible!

    I'd recommend adrenaline-free anaesthetic for ME patients. It's very hard for the dentist to get the injections done without any of the liquid leaking into the mouth, and ingesting it can cause low blood pressure, trembling, and fainting. Without adrenaline (which is added to help stop the lidocaine migrating away from the tooth), the anaesthesia isn't quite as profound and it may need topping up, but it's better than passing out and/or shaking like a leaf for ages afterwards.
  19. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I had a root canal and crown done in my mid-30's. So many of my molars had large fillings that I was pleased to have one less filling, thanks to the crown. Unfortunately, the root canal was not entirely successful, so it had to be redone... by drilling through the new crown and putting a filling in it. Arrrrg!:banghead:

    The filling in the crown is much smaller than the filling in the original tooth... but still.

    I always assumed that a tooth becomes infected due to a cavity penetrating from above but, apparently, you can have a crack in the root itself and bacteria can get in that way, too.

    I have a another tooth which occasionally gets sensitive - particularly to cold or sugar. I always assume it's only going to get worse and require a root canal, but then it goes away. This may have something to do with stuff getting under the gums and exposing the roots. Brushing the area carefully may clear this up.

    When you need a root canal, the pain may be intermittent at first, but it will only become worse. It's best to go to your dentist sooner rather than later, because you don't want the pain to become unbearable on a weekend when your regular dentist may not be available. (This happened to me with another infected tooth.)
    Kitty, Sean and Samuel like this.
  20. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Also because the longer you leave it the more of the tooth is damaged, which makes it weaker, and there is only so much a dentist can repair.

    I recently had to get an old root canal tooth removed due to it splitting near the gum, which is not repairable.

    Unfortunately I cannot afford crowns, even the basic root canal stuff has emptied my savings, and I only got them done because my father paid for it. The public dental system in Australia has been absolutely gutted by governments over the last 30 years, and barely exists anymore.

    Long term dental health is one of my biggest concerns.
    Samuel, Trish, Kitty and 1 other person like this.

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