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Ktgrok

should I go to urgent care / Minute Clinic?

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So I posted on here the other day about pain that started Thanksgiving morning. At first I thought TMJ, then sinus or ear, then tooth. Positive there is a tooth component, as hot/cold makes it hurt badly. If I sit and do nothing and don't eat/drink and take advil I'm okay(ish). And if I chew on the other side, etc I'm okay(ish). But there is a dull ache on that whole side of my head at this point...especially in my ear. And my nose was stuffy on that side, I have had postnasal drip, etc. I'm wondering if I have both a tooth issue and an ear infection. And wondering if it is worth going to the Minute Clinic at walgreens to have them check my ear. 

Also wondering if they would prescribe antibiotics for the tooth issue if they don't see anything wrong with the ear? At this point I'll be calling around to find a dentist on Monday but who knows when I'll get in. DH is home today and tomorrow so could easily to to the Minute Clinic. But not sure if they will just look at me and say "you have a tooth ache, we are not a dentist, go home". 

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Go and get some abx for your ear. Sometimes 24 hours with meds can make a big difference - your tooth may not still be hurting by Monday. (ETA thinking along the lines of the pain radiating to your jaw from an ear infection)

Hoping it’s an easy remedy! Tooth pain is awful. 

Edited by Seasider too
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Had a tooth problem that caused ear pain like yours, went to the clinic to rule out an ear infection, wasted $2 (or whatever the co-pay for that was).   The could do nothing for me. But at least it ruled out an infection?

fwiw, 3 Tylenol max gel caps were the only thing that ever relieved tooth pain - and Tylenol has never worked for anything else in my life.  I’m so sorry you’re feeling this kind of pain ❤️

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Just go ahead and go in.  

If you explain that you are calling a dentist on Monday, but obviously can't get a hold of one now, and you are just looking for something that will hopefully help in the mean time, maybe you can get a short course of antibiotics and MAYBE even a short course of some stronger pain meds.  I have been able to get like 3 days of pain meds from urgent care in holiday dental situations like that.  Now, that was pre-opiod crisis, but since antibiotics are not opiods, you might still be able to get some amoxicillin or something.   

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So, I planned to go after decorating the tree with the kids, but then the kids were melting down, it took forever, and by the time I got food into kids with low blood sugar the place was closed. I'm going to go tomorrow at some point, need to see when they open and if I can make an appointment online. 

I do have some vicodin in the medicine cabinet I can take if I need it tonight. Right now it is uncomfortable but I haven't had a dose of advil since this morning due to trying to keep my stomach from reacting - I don't do well on too many NSAIDS. I figured I'd rather take it before bed so I can sleep. 

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If you go to the walk in clinic, and they look in your ear and say no infection, ask them if they can actually SEE your eardrum.  A family member had similar symptoms and part of the issue seemed to be due to impacted earwax pressing on the eardrum and thus onto facial nerves.  Once it was removed, the pain and pressure decreased dramatically (doc did think there was also infection and prescribed abx). Weird I know, but just throwing it out there.

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5 minutes ago, sheryl said:

So, Katie, can you call your dentist?  Does s/he have an emergency contact number?

I don't actually have a dentist right now. My old one messed up multiple root canals on myself and my husband (fixed by endodontist) and on top of that messed up billing to the tune of an extra 1K, so I need to find a new one. I won't go back there. And I have new dental insurance as of a month ago, so I don't think they are even on there anymore anyway. Ill have to call around monday to find someone. 

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You know Katie, I'd call a dentist to get in.  I "think" they can prescribe antibiotics, no?  But, if it's not a tooth problem, I see what you're saying.  I'd go with the most likely culprit.  How long have you had post nasal drip?  I used to get that every fall and just like clock work I'd go in and they'd prescribe an antibiotic for me because the drip "collects" in the back of the throat and germs "grow" requiring an antibiotic. 

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12 minutes ago, sheryl said:

You know Katie, I'd call a dentist to get in.  I "think" they can prescribe antibiotics, no?  But, if it's not a tooth problem, I see what you're saying.  I'd go with the most likely culprit.  How long have you had post nasal drip?  I used to get that every fall and just like clock work I'd go in and they'd prescribe an antibiotic for me because the drip "collects" in the back of the throat and germs "grow" requiring an antibiotic. 

I'll definitely call a dentist on Monday, but until then I figured the urgent care place could tide me over, and at least let me know if there is also an ear/sinus thing going on. And if I can't get a dental appointment for a few days I'd feel better if I were already on antibiotics in the meantime. 

I did check and Minute Clinic has a section on their website that says they do see people with tooth pain so hopefully they can do something. 

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You don't have to wait to call a new dentist.  You can probably even call the endodontist you saw before. Call, report emergency pain, describe it, they'll recognize you need a root canal and call in antibiotics and probably painkillers too.

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There should be several emergency dental services in your area, you might try calling around tomorrow and see if they can fit you in immediately. I once had a dental emergency on a Sunday right before I was supposed to leave on an International trip, and I was able to see someone the same day.

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So, reading, I'm finding that a sinus infection can cause temperature sensitivity in upper molars, due to inflammation of the nerve of the tooth from the sinus cavity pressing on it. So, temperatures sensitivity doesn't rule out this being a sinus thing rather than a tooth thing. Which means i'm back to  is this a sinus thing causing tooth pain, a tooth thing causing referred sinus/ear pain, or both? I mean, I KNOW there is sinus pain and ear pain, but not sure why. There has been a virus going through my house, and I was feeling a bit stuffy for days before this, DH said I was snoring, etc but I have issues off and on and was ignoring it. So totally possible it morphed into a sinus infection, I suppose. I used to get them chronically, years ago, and got tooth pain with them but not sensitivity. But, I had less sensitive teeth in general then, so ? I've been avoiding infections since then by being vigilant with Sudafed at first signs of congestion but now that I'm on ADHD meds I don't want to take the Sudafed on top of that, so maybe that is what happened. 

I think my plan is to go to the minute clinic tomorrow and let them check ear, sinuses, etc. If I do have obvious signs of an ear/sinus infection I'll take antibiotics and see what happens. If not, I'll try to find an emergency dentist. Does that seem reasonable?

And either way, I'll go ahead and find a dentist since I need some other stuff done anyway. 

Oh, and no swelling of the gums, redness, etc. Not that that rules out an access of the tooth, but still good I guess. 

For now, I took an old Vicodin (left over from previous dental work, oddly enough) and feel much better, although still a lot of pressure in my sinus area on that side. 

 

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That sounds like a good plan. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. 😞 Any other kind of pain I can manage to "distance" myself from, but when it's in my face there's no escaping it. I hope it's "just" a sinus infection that's quickly knocked out by antibiotics.

 

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FWIW -- I had an abscess of an upper molar a few months ago. There was zero chance of mistaking it for a sinus infection. The tooth itself was absolutely throbbing, with radiating pain to the teeth on each side. I couldn't bite down even as lightly as possible without excruciating pain. I had no sinus symptoms. My jaw/that side of my face became very visibly swollen within a few hours of serious symptom onset. My dentist has an assistant on call for after hours/weekend emergencies (mine started on a Friday afternoon, after the dentist had closed). She called me in a prescription for clindamycin and had me start with a double dose. I had some hydrocodone but it was worthless. Rotating ibuprofen and acetaminophen worked much better. Icing that side of my face also helped.

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I think with the new info, I’m going to predict infection in the sinuses and/or ear. I have a history of sinus infections and I had a doctor tell me that at the first sign of congestion, start taking Sudafed or it would most likely turn into infection (for *me*). IOW, for me to not ‘wait and see’ how bad it’s getting before starting them. (I hate taking them bc they make me shaky so I tend to delay) So, I bet with your history, delaying those Sudafed and having congestion just made it all turn into infection. And I most definitely have upper molar pain when I have a sinus infection. 

Hope you get some relief today!

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3 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

FWIW -- I had an abscess of an upper molar a few months ago. There was zero chance of mistaking it for a sinus infection. The tooth itself was absolutely throbbing, with radiating pain to the teeth on each side. I couldn't bite down even as lightly as possible without excruciating pain. I had no sinus symptoms. My jaw/that side of my face became very visibly swollen within a few hours of serious symptom onset. My dentist has an assistant on call for after hours/weekend emergencies (mine started on a Friday afternoon, after the dentist had closed). She called me in a prescription for clindamycin and had me start with a double dose. I had some hydrocodone but it was worthless. Rotating ibuprofen and acetaminophen worked much better. Icing that side of my face also helped.

 

This is a good point. A dying nerve in a tooth is relentless. You couldn’t keep the pain away without serious meds. I remember telling the endodontist I’d rather go through labor again than experience that pain. And like a kid with a 104 fever, it always seems to start on a Friday night 🙄 (has happened to me twice now).

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2 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

This is a good point. A dying nerve in a tooth is relentless. You couldn’t keep the pain away without serious meds. I remember telling the endodontist I’d rather go through labor again than experience that pain. And like a kid with a 104 fever, it always seems to start on a Friday night 🙄 (has happened to me twice now).

Mine was way worse than labor, and worse than any post-surgical pain I've had (two c-sections and a hysterectomy).

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3 hours ago, Seasider too said:

A dying nerve in a tooth is relentless. You couldn’t keep the pain away without serious meds. I remember telling the endodontist I’d rather go through labor again than experience that pain.

Just to play totally devil's advocate, I had that happen (ended up getting a root canal same day, etc.) and the only clue I had was it hurt a little if the wind blew on it or something was cold. I'm hypo-responsive for pain, very unusual. The dentist actually sent me home and then called me back because it bugged him so much. They called the poor endodontist and got it done straight away, because it really needed to be taken care of immediately. 

So I don't know @Ktgrok's sensory system, but it is possibly to have serious pain and not realize it or experience it only in vague, unhelpful terms.

But in her case, let's hope it's a nice, riddable sinus infection. :smile:

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18 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I've had a couple wicked sinus infections that felt similar to what you are describing, plus like somebody punched me in the side of my face.  I hope you feel better soon!

yes - that is what it feels like. 

3 hours ago, Seasider too said:

 

This is a good point. A dying nerve in a tooth is relentless. You couldn’t keep the pain away without serious meds. I remember telling the endodontist I’d rather go through labor again than experience that pain. And like a kid with a 104 fever, it always seems to start on a Friday night 🙄 (has happened to me twice now).

 

3 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

Mine was way worse than labor, and worse than any post-surgical pain I've had (two c-sections and a hysterectomy).

Good points - when I did have an infected tooth nothing helped the pain, and it was indeed worse than labor. 

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And now I have gross thick yellow post nasal drip. Blech. At minute clinic, waiting to be seen. 

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I went to the dentist for what I thought I was a tooth ache (it felt like the only way for relief was to lose the tooth), but it turned out to be a sinus infection.

Dd just finished antibiotics for a sinus infection which led to a double ear infection and possibly strep throat.  The minute clinic said it was just a cold.  After she got worse instead of better, her dr diagnosed her with a sinus infection.

Hope you are feeling better after starting antibiotics.

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I'm much much better! Still some congestion and a tiny bit of tooth sensitivity but not much at all. Going to try to keep hitting the congestion with a steroid nasal spray and hope it stays better!

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