Hi, I'm new to the forum, and relatively new to TN. I've only had it for a couple of months.
It started the usual way, via my teeth, which I have since learned is very common. I had sensitive teeth on my lower right jaw, but I didn't worry about it (although it had got worse recently) until I started getting severe 'electric shocks'. These things were so bad, and struck so randomly, that I was reduced to only managing to drink and eat blood temperature food, which eventually had to be pureed and even then I could only face two meals a day. I went to my dentist, she X-rayed the tooth, but she could see nothing wrong, so she made a best guess that it was a big old filled tooth and we decided to open it up. She announced that it looked fine but it was very close to the filling so she reckoned I had pulpitis. She put a dressing into it and we decided we'd root canal it. I went off and felt hugely relieved, until the Novocaine wore off and bang! the shocks were back.
This was so unusual, and not my normal experience of teeth that have had sedative dressings, that I started to feel uncomfortable with the diagnosis. How could a tooth that had shown no decay on an X-ray be this painful, especially with a sedative dressing in? I went on the internet and found TN. I immediately put an appointment on with my doctors and he came to the same conclusion, without prompting from me.
My problem is this: I am now on Tegretol and working to get the dosage right. I have had marked improvements in symptoms (no more shocks) but I now have a tooth that has been opened up and only has a temporary filling in it. It is VERY sensitive, but I don't know how much to trust this sensation. My doctor was pressuring me to have it root canalled, but he knows NOTHING about teeth, by his own admission. He didn't even know what a root canal was; I had to tell him. I also had to tell him that an amazing amount of people seem to have TN start up (or get worse) after dentistry, and I was frightened of making the situation worse. He seems to have come round to the fact that I have a point but it doesn't help me to feel secure in making a decision. All my problems are in my teeth, not in my face, but the Tegretol is slowly eroding them, so, allegedly, that proves it IS TN, not a tooth problem.
My question is this: How 'fake' are these sensitivity feelings? Personally, going purely on my gut, I think they're completely fake. I think they are part of my TN, but they feel so authentic. I am a dental phobic (I know, the fun just keeps coming) so dentistry is a real ordeal for me, but honestly, that's not why I feel it's a bad idea to continue with this root canal. I want to try pulp capping the tooth, now that we've opened the damn thing up. Does anybody have any advice to offer from experience? Specifically:
1. Is this sensitivity part of my disease?
2. Will pulp capping make things worse? It's the least invasive thing I can think to do. The tooth has been breached now and I have to repair it somehow.
Any advice, anecdotal or otherwise, would be very welcome. My doctor, who is a nice man and at least knows the disease, is frankly less than useless here, and my dentist, also nice, is not much better. So I've come to ask the experts! Anyone....?
P.S. Should just say I am still unable to eat on the right hand side of mouth, at all, and it is super sensitive to temperature (and sweet). Including any change from outdoors to indoors, and vice versa. This is proving very hard to fix, and is one of the things that is making me worry that there's a tooth problem underlying this. I sway from one to the other all the time: 'It's my teeth', 'No, it's the TN.' It's making the anxiety much worse, and therefore making the TN worse. Help!