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Dentistry/PDL widening or infection


I hope you can help me. I had a root canal therapy on #18 about 10 years ago, which was successful. I started experiencing pain when biting, sensitivity to cold and hot about a week ago. The X-ray showed a radiolucency on both #18 and #19, other teeth also had less pronounced RL on the root apices. I grind my teeth and clench all the time and have not got a nightguard yet (in process). Does it sound to you like an infection or widening of PDL? If it is widening of PDL, what solution would you offer besides wearing a nightguard in the meantime (anti-inflammatory?). Thank you!

Hi Khrystsina,

A previously treated tooth (#18) would not cause hot/cold sensitivity if there is a re-infection.

Grinding your teeth can cause widened PDL's in multiple teeth, but not a periapical radiolucency with pain on biting.  I would first have an endodontist (root canal specialist) check the health of the tooth #19 since the radiolucency is in the area.

To answer your question specifically; stress is the number one cause of grinding/clenching.  If there are any stress decompression techniques that you can incorporate into your daily life (yoga, working out, etc) that will help decrease the amount you grind.   Try to stay aware of your grinding throughout the day:  take deep breaths; relax all your facial muscles, etc.

The nightguard is going to be the most important to take the stress off the teeth; if you're grinding during the day, I would wear it when you can during the day when you don't have to talk/communicate.

Hope this helps,
KG Amin, DMD

Austin Center for Endodontics (Root Canal Specialists)
Austin Center for Endodontics  


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Ketan Amin, DMD


Graduating from Harvard School of Dental Medicine, I received a broad understanding of both medicine and dentistry. I continued my training at New York University, as a dental specialist in endodontics, which concerns root canal therapy, related surgeries, as well as diagnosing and managing various forms of pain occurring in the head and neck


Dentistry; Specialist in Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy).

American Association of Endodontics American Dental Association American Academy of OroFacial Pain

Harvard School of Dental Medicine-Doctorate in Dental Medicine (DMD) New York University College of Dentistry-Certificate, Endodontics

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