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Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

Wisdom Teeth Removal and Autoimmune Disease

Hello Everyone,

I had my wisdom teeth pulled at the end of November and I recently started having throat pain and trouble swallowing. It started in my left but now I am feeling it on my right side. The whole reason I got my wisdom
Teeth removed was because I thought I had reoccurring infections where I felt jaw and ear pain. I am also a teeth grinder and have been using a mouth guard for years. Last night I decided to do a visual and touch inspection and trace where I feel pain. I discovered a bone along the backside of my left tonsil that feels as if it’s about to poke out. I double checked my right tonsil To make sure I wasn’t making it up and sure enough I have a tooth pick like bone along my tonsil. After doing some research I landed on ES.

A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid and hashimotos diseases and it really messed with my esophagus. I now wonder if it’s because the styloid process has been pressing on my vagus nerve. Vagus nerve stimulation has become a big topic for those who have autoimmune diseases. Just curious if anyone has had similar experiences. I also see that ES symptoms overlap a lot with autoimmune symptoms. Palpitations, night sweats, brain fog. I have an appt to see the surgeon who did the wisdom tooth surgery and I already know he’s going to be cynical. Where do I go from here. I saw that there is a surgeon close by - in PHX that several have gone to. Do I go to an ENT? Hope they diagnose me?

Thanks in advance and also thankful to be a part of this community.

Hi Diane. I am new to the group as well having just posted tonight.

I started my ES journey also having my wisdom teeth removed due to similar symptoms.

I have found the best way to get diagnosed is to ask your family doctor to order a 3D CT scan with contrast of the styloid area (the scan will go from your nose to your hyoid bone). The scan needs to read by a radiologist with a special interest in the maximillio-facial area so you might want to check with the radiology department to make sure they have someone on staff with this expertise.

Good luck on your journey.

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Oh and I have Hashimotos as well. Weird! The similarities between many on this site are incredible.

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I didn’t know about a possible link between the vagus nerve & AI diseases, that’s interesting. Lots of members are experiencing symptoms which could possibly be caused by irritation of the vagus nerve by the styloids, like heart arrythmias, stomach issues…
I have symptoms of Sjogrens which started at the same time as the ES symptoms became noticeable, around the same time as I had a tooth re-filled, with constant toothache after that- now I know caused by Trigeminal Neuralgia, nothing to do with the tooth!
A CT scan is the best way to get a diagnosis, but the styloids can also be seen well with a panoramic x-ray, if otherwise you could get your dental surgeon to do one of those?
In the Doctors Info section there’s a list of doctors familiar with ES (the 2017 one is the latest), so have a look & see if there’s any you could get a referral to. Dr Samji in Ca is one of the most experienced doctors if you’re able to travel to see him otherwise.
And the past discussions can be helpful if you want to search for anything, like hashimotos as there’ve been discussions about that- just use the magnifying glass icon top left of the page. (I usually send a welcome message to new members, but you & Headcase have beaten me to it!)
Best wishes & I hope that you get some help soon!

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Thank you for your reply And well wishes!

Hi Diana11 ~

As Jules & Headcase noted, a CT scan w/ styloid protocol is the optimal type of scan to diagnose ES. Some surgeons prefer it to be done w/o contrast. I believe you referenced Dr. Milligan in Phoenix. He has about as much experience w/ ES surgeries as Dr. Samji, it’s just that Dr. Samji’s name has become better known on this forum because so many people have traveled from a distance to see him. Before you ask for a CT scan, I would contact Dr. Milligan’s office to see what he requires in order to assess you as a surgical candidate. Someone posted on here recently that Dr. Milligan is currently booked out to June so that would be the earliest you could see him. Dr. Samji is currently taking ES patients in March & April.

Dr. Samji will reject a CT scan done w/ contrast. Contrast shows all the vascular tissues in the area which is good if you have any vascular compression caused by the styloids or calcified stylohyoid ligaments but contrast prevents getting the best view of the s-h ligaments & styloid processes.

Typically an ENT, dentist or skull-based surgeon (often an ENT) will ultimately diagnose ES but a good radiologist should be able to note it on the written report for the CT scan as well.

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Thank you for your reply Isaiah. My symptoms aren’t so bad that I couldn’t wait until June, at least for now, knock on wood. I just wonder if it will stop growing. It is almost protruding my left tonsil. It feels like it gets sore after I eat and I have noticed that I do have pain behind my eyes. It seems like it had a growth spurt or something. Tomorrow I am going to see my oral surgeon I’m hoping I can get him to order a CT scan so I can schedule with Milligan. I feel like I have a wishbone stuck in my throat.

Someone else wrote they felt the wishbone thing too!! Painful. Search “wishbone” in the magnifying glass. You are in a place here where people understand you! :hugs:

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Thank you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I will do that. It’s creepy I can feel it with my finger. I am Thankful that it’s there because it’s been easy to identify and now I’m here.

Same here. I was thankful for my click in that way. Although one doctor did tell me to try to ignore it. :rage:

Sounds like you have a good plan Diana11. You should contact Dr. Milligan’s ofc ASAP to get on his schedule. That can be done before you have the CT scan. The scan & report can be sent later as long as it’s before the appointment. The only caveat here is some ES docs won’t schedule an appt unless you already have an ES diagnosis. I don’t know if Dr. Milligan is one of those.

Hi everyone!
I was diagnosed with ES this year - I thought it was an impacted wisdom tooth (right side) so had wisdom tooth surgery (which is AWFUL in your 30s!) two months ago- am wondering if the recovery for ES surgery and wisdom tooth surgery is alike.

I think the recovery from surgery does vary quite a bit depending on the surgical techniques, & what nerves etc the styloid processes are compressing- obviously those can get irritated further during surgery.
Swelling can be a problem in the early days- Dr Samji does prescribe steroids for that I think, but sleeping propped up is a good idea. Icing is usually helpful too, so be prepared with a wedge pillow & ice packs! Opening your mouth wide can be uncomfortable & chewing too, so it’s a good idea to get soft foods & smoothie stuff ready as well. Others have found keeping up with a regular schedule of pain meds is best, but you might find they make you constipated, so a remedy for that is a good idea!
There will be ups & downs with recovery, so be prepared for that! Days 3-5 often seem to be the worst, but later on you may have set backs, so try not to panic! As I said, nerves can be irritated with surgery, so you may feel worse initially, or having a weak tongue, lopsided smile & shoulder pain can at times be noticed after surgery. These do settle with time, but nerves can take months to heal properly, some members have found things improve even a year afterwards!
So patience, pain meds & icing are the key things!
Best wishes!

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