Tooth pain

Hi everyone,
Things have moved quickly, and my surgery was scheduled today for April 1. I’m looking forward to some relief, as my pain - particularly at the back base of my skull on the left side - had been raging for the past couple weeks. I don’t know why it’s flared up so much, and am hoping the surgery helps (along with ear pain, and other places in my head on the left). Just waiting on insurance authorization. Have a pre-op appt scheduled with Dr. Patel.

BTW, he seems to prefer oral, rather than exterior. Is prefer the latter, as I don’t care about the scar, and I understand recovery time is less. He says it’s actually easier for him to get at the styloid through the mouth, since it’s closer to where he be going in. Also, I’m a singer, and worry about the time it might take to get back singing with the oral route! I’ll do whatever gives him the best chance of success, though. I’d appreciate any feedback and sharing of experiences.

I’m having some big pain in a right lower molar. I’m concerned that it may be sure to ES, rather than a crack. 5 years ago, before I was diagnosed with ES, I had a molar extracted on my left side (both my styloids are long) that I now think didn’t need to be.

Here’s the critical info that might differentiate the cause between ES and a cracked tooth: temperature (esp. cold) sensitivity, and also Tylenol helps relieve the pain. If, for example, pain caused by ES would NOT be inside by cold, then it’s probably a cracked tooth. I’m looking for a quick answer, since it hurts! Thanks!

I can’t say for definite about whether or not your tooth is cracked, but ES can cause Trigeminal Neuralgia. The Trigeminal Nerve has 3 branches; one goes to the lower jaw, one to the upper jaw, & one to the forehead & temple. So it could be that the ES is causing your tooth pain- I had this a lot in one particular molar, & had treatment I didn’t need. I had some cold sensitivity, but it wasn’t helped with ibuprofen etc. Sorry can’t be more helpful!
AS for singing & surgery, intraoral is usually a slightly longer recovery- you can search the discussions for intraoral recovery- & also if you google recovery from tonsillectomy as an adult, it’ll give you an idea of what to expect, as they’re similar surgeries, and the tonsil often has to be removed to get to the styloid anyway. But I don’t think you’d be able to get back to singing quickly with external either, as you still need to heal internally. but can’t say for definite, as everyone’s experience with surgery is different…
Lots of operations are being cancelled/ postponed because of the virus, so surprised that you’re scheduled now. I hope that it goes well, best wishes for a speedy recovery, let us know how you get on when you can!

Hi dtcolbert,

As far as intraoral surgery goes, it does take longer to recover from intraoral than external surgery, & throat pain is definitely worse post op. That said, it should not affect your vocal cords or vocal quality once you’re healed. Questions about your voice post op should be addressed to Dr. Patel before you’re on the operating table though. I would also confirm w/ him that he’s planning to remove the styloid back to the skull base & if he plans to remove the stylohyoid ligament as well if it has any calcification on it.

As far as tooth pain goes, both a cracked tooth & tooth pain caused by an irritated trigeminal nerve can be cold sensitive, so it’s hard to know for sure the cause of your current problem. Sometimes nerve pain does respond to Tylenol or Advil (I’ve had nerve pain relief from Advil in the past). I’m not a doctor, but because I had tooth pain w/ my ES that was related to an irritated trigeminal nerve, I’d guess that’s what’s causing your current problem.

I’ll post a picture of the location of the trigeminal nerve below so you can see why it can cause headache, tooth, eye, nose, ear, cheek & jaw pain.

When is your ES surgery scheduled? I hope you can have it in the not too distant future in spite of the challenges COVID19 is causing.


Great diagrams Isaiah!

I want to chime in and say that I had terrible tooth pain before my surgery - last molar on the top left. My dentist was the first one to understand that the pain could be caused by ES and he told me to hold off. The pain went away about 3 months or so post op of external surgery. I will now always trust him on what ever work he suggests.

Take care and be safe.


I definitely had some tooth pain that resolved after my first ES surgery, but I’m not sure that anyone except your dentist can really advise you on this one. It is possibly due to ES but possibly not also. I’m so surprised you have April surgical date. What medical center is this? I believe is staying optimistic, but I would also be preparing for possible postponement. I wish you all the best.


My surgery was postponed the day after it was scheduled.

So sorry you have to wait. Although at this point the risk of going into the hospital far exceeds the pain of waiting…

1 Like

My surgery was postponed just after insurance approved it. I’m not sure I would have had it done during this time anyway. I’ll pray that everyone that needs it gets it soon.


I agree that it’s sad you have to wait but also much safer. I hope/pray your pain is tolerable up to the moment you are finally able to have surgery.

buddysmom ~

I’m also sorry your surgery was postponed. I hope/pray your pain also remains tolerable up to the time you finally have surgery.

It’s so frustrating having surgery postponed, especialy when you’re in alot of pain, & you’ve got yourself all prepared for it, but definitely the right call right now. Thinking of you both :pray:

Welcome buddysmom! You have found a good place here! Hugs and prayers.

Well I have good news. I was supposed to have had my surgery yesterday which was rescheduled to the 27th several weeks ago. I assumed it was going to get it pushed out yet again but got the news it is on for the 27th. Doc is starting surgeries again in 2 weeks! Luckily he works out of a stand alone surgery center and I feel a little bit safer there.
As for tooth pain, I have one on my upper left. I also have alot of left ear pain and below the tooth from the stylus. I have had hyper-sensitive teeth for many years. I think from so much dental work back in my late teens. I have about 8+ root canals over the years. I know I have some cracks and need a couple crowns in a few but holding off on the $$$. Ill let you all know if that tooth pain goes away after surgery.


That’s good news! Not too long to wait!