(I’m going to use tic douloureux either as a band name or my next user name.)
So I have been having severe left sided facial pain for about five days now. It felt like broken glass had embedded itself in my face and eventually it reached a point where I considered going to the ER. But I’ve been managing it with around-the-clock Alleve and generic acetaminophen, with some occasional ethanol to help me stay asleep.
I began to worry that I had developed trigeminal neuralgia. The area affected corresponded pretty well with the territory of the mandibular branch. Reading up on it, the prognosis isn’t that great. While it’s initially treatable with medications, eventually it becomes resistant to meds and you have to get surgery, and even with surgery, it can recur.
Yesterday, though, my face began to swell up. As ﾐA彡 would put it, it looks like I’m storing nuts in my cheek for the winter.
I guess this really started a few months ago, when I started having problems with my backmost left lower molar. It was exquisitely painful to the touch and very sensitive to both hot and cold. I could’ve sworn it was a cavity, but I saw a dentist and she even x-rayed it and didn’t see any cavities, so she diagnosed me with dentin hypersensitivity and recommended using a toothpaste containing potassium nitrate.
It actually helped for a while, but then it came back with a vengeance five days ago, quickly spreading to the rest of my face.
I also had problems with salivary duct stones before, back when I was in med school, and I saw an ENT who extracted one that happened to be at the opening underneath my tongue.
So I’m thinking this might be what it is. It accounts for the broken glass sensation and it accounts for the swelling. I’m hoping I can get it to pass, but so far, no luck.