- 47-yr old female near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
- Injured Dec 30, 2009 by Carbocaine injection into nerve (lower bottom gum behind molars) while getting fillings.
- Immediately felt shocking pain, then, left untreated, more symptoms began to build over the following days and weeks
- Health prior to injury: Excellent.
- Health following injury: Poor.
- Present-day: Fair but slowly improving
- Prognosis for recovery: unknown
Please talk to you doctor before taking any medication, very important for them to know your complete medical history.
Drugs prescribed and tried: (individually, over the course of 4 years)
- Clonazepan 5 mg. (prescribed March, 2010,) as needed to control the burn (side effects- sleepiness). This is a benzodiazepene so read up on side effects and addictive properties before taking. This is an off-label use; Klonopin is usually used for anxiety. But if used topically, letting it dissolve on your tongue, it also helps reduce burning by relaxing the nerves. It does not cure the burning, just offers temporary relief.
- Nortriptilene 10 mg. (stopped after 6 weeks due to side effects- dizziness, almost fainted twice and had never fainted before this)
- Mobic- 10 mg for inflamation, took it for 4 weeks. Stronger, yet easier on the stomach than Advil, but I can't say it made much difference for this particular injury.
- Neurontin (only for a week- then Dr. switched me to Tegretol)- popular for nerve injuries. Google and discuss with your Dr. the side effects and lawsuits before taking.
- Tegretol (only for 2 weeks- didn't help)- an anti-seizure med, I'm told it's sometimes used for Trigeminal Neuralgia (which I didn't have) Just another example of doctors having no clue what will work, and trying different things. Keep asking for something else when a drug doesn't work for you or causes other problems.
- Lyrica (only for 4 days- side effects made me feel too stoned to even drive)
- Hydrocodone/Vicodin or oxycodone/Percocet- 5 to 7.5/325mg - began taking daily 1-2x after root canals in March 2010, also helped with deep, penetrating cheek pain, throbbing teeth, wicked head pain and migraines. Did not help with tongue. I always split in half to lower the dosage for less sleepiness. Taken as needed for pain when nothing else helps. This does not offer a cure, just aids temporarily by blocking pain signals to the brain. Be aware of the addictive properties and potential for liver damage in large quantities and/or over long periods of time. Always stick to the prescribed amount - do not abuse! This is a serious drug on the controlled substance list and closely monitored by the government.
- Cymbalta- 30mg 1-2x/day works for nerve pain by dialing it down to more tolerable levels, also helps with accompanying depression; however the side effects are significant. This did seem to help, but I had to stop taking after about 2 months...hypersensitivity to side effects.
- Topical Lidocaine- apply to tongue to stop burning temporarily.
- Ear drops -antipyrine/benzocaine drops- to help with ear pain/throbbing; only mildly effective and messy to use.
- Elavil - aka Amitryptilene, an anti-depressant also supposed to help with nerve pain. I do think it may have helped but, even when taking the lowest dosage (10mg), split in half, I could not tolerate the side effects. Quit after 3 weeks.
Acetyl L-carnitine 400 mg with Alpha Lipoic Acid 200 mg- took for approx 6 weeks
St. John's Wort sublingual (approx 3 weeks)- Read up on cautions on this one; supposed to help with depression but does not play nicely with other meds.
Arnica sublingual (for 1 week)- typically used for any bruising/injury.
Traumeel and Lymphomyocote, 13 drops/day mixed together with 1/4 cup juice, for 3 weeks- supposed to help the body overcome any trauma; hard to say if this really helped or not
NerveFix- found at The Vitamin Shoppe (took til I finished the box)
"Cold" laser applied inside and outside mouth, approx 8 treatments
Acupuncture with electrodes attached to needles all over my body- approx 9 sessions, helped with the chronic headaches but not much else and it's not covered by insurance
B vitamins (currently taking methylcobalamin B-12, 10,000 mg/day)- taken sublingually more effective (let dissolve under the tongue)
C vitamins (2000 mg/day, most days for 2 weeks), fish oil pill (occasionally for 4 weeks)
warm salt water rinses
Biotene dry mouth rinse
"Magic mouthwash" - dentists always tell you to use this combination of household items, I found it a waste of time
Cranio-facial massage - if you can find a therapist who specializes in this, it seemed to help but since it's not covered by insurance and costs around $70/hr, I only tried twice.
Physical Therapy- My orofacial pain doctor sent me to a PT who worked inside my mouth pushing against the cheek with a tongue depresser (very painful) and tried exercises to stretch the opening wider, as well as loosen the neck muscles, and a TENS unit (electrical stimulation). Ice packs applied afterward.
Heat: using a medical glove, filled with water, knotted at the top (like a water balloon) heated in microwave then held against the cheek. Only thing is you are not supposed to hold it there yourself, so if you don't have a spouse or anyone who'll do it for you (as I didn't) it is recommended you lie your face down on it.
Favorite go-to fixes for the burning:
Benzocaine or Oragel, berry or pina colada flavored chewing gum, rinsing mouth with Biotene, Bee M.D. Organic Honey drops, Hall's Breezes mouth moisture drops in lemon-raspberry
Cooling foods for the burning tongue: peanut butter on a spoon, bananas, warm hot chocolate with marshmallows, weak warm herbal tea with lots of honey, rice, rice pudding, cold cheese
Bad foods for the burning: coffee, mint, spicy foods
Ibuprophen (Advil) - for inflammation of the nerve, have stopped and started throughout recovery process, because too much isn't good for your liver. For a short time I took 800 mg/day
Ultimate 10 Probiotic- 13 billion organisms, (occasionally) recommended by a friend to cleanse the liver of all the medications