Just Do It – Burning Mouth Syndrome

Dental Procedure

© Can Stock Photo / LoveVision

The day I have feared for so long has arrived.

I recently lost a crown on a lower molar that had a root canal so many years ago I don’t even remember which dentist or endodontist did it. However, he did not do it well and now I am looking at having to undergo a second root canal on it before my present dentist will put a new crown on it. In order to take advantage of the dental insurance we have through my husband’s job, that root canal will have to happen this year.

I know many of you out there lack that luxury and I am sorry. Even with insurance, the temporary crown was not covered and cost over $500. I know there are families out there who do not have that to spare, and their decision might have been to continue to suffer and end up with a tooth extraction eventually. But beyond the cost element, for those of us who suffer from Burning Mouth Syndrome, we know there will be yet another price to pay.

Dental work can cause flare-ups of our burning that can last weeks, months, or even years.

What is a flare-up? It is when something raises your pain cycle from beginning to end and sometimes to a level that the medicines and coping strategies simply can’t handle. I experienced one when I had root canals on two molars about five years ago and it seemed to last forever until gradually, my regimen worked again and I was able to get back to my normal level of pain.

Do I have any choice?

Not really. If I let this go, I may end up with infection and abscess, extraction of the tooth, and then whatever they would come up with to keep my upper molar from growing down to the point that I would lose it, too. They might recommend an implant, which is something I have avoided so far. The root canal is by far the lesser of two evils, but I fear dental work of any kind at this point since this episode of BMS began with the replacement of two old crowns on my front teeth over ten years ago.

What will I do?

I will control the aspects that I can. I will do my best to schedule this after the holidays so my family will be impacted as little as possible for everything that is lining up before us, (Thanksgiving, my 60th birthday celebration, Christmas!), and then continue this process into the new year as they build a new tooth and a new crown on top of the new root canal. 2019 is looking a bit challenging, but I keep thinking,

“You have done this before, and you will likely have to do it again, so just do it.” Apologies to Nike. 🙂

Wish me luck, and feel free to ask any questions you may have. I can’t promise to be able to answer everything, but do check out the BMS Support Groups on Facebook and the Burning Mouth Support website, too!

November 5 UPDATE!

Very good news. The Endodontist was empathetic, listened, and did a 360 X-ray that revealed that although the root canal was not ideal, the shadowing that the regular X-rays hinted at was not concerning to him. He opted for a conservative option and so even though I will still need to get a new crown made, I will not have to endure a second root canal procedure.

Will I still flare? Maybe. There will be no pain injections so from previous experience I am guessing that I may get a few days of escalation, but nothing near what I would have gotten with a root canal procedure.

Feeling lucky.

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