There are still no clear answers. He took another x-ray and it *mostly* looks fine. There is one spot that might be a problem area, but it could be the nerve lying in front. It could actually be a tooth grinding problem, but he wasn't convinced. It could be neuralgia - apparently there is a blood vessel wrapped around the trigeminal nerve (or that is how I understood it) and this can sometimes trigger pain. It could be caused by damage done when the tooth that lies in front of this one was removed a few years ago.It could be an infection.
In short, it could be any numbe rof things and unfortunately there is no compelling evidence for any of them. The tooth is still alive, as the 'ice test' proved (I didn't like that very much.....). He could have done a root canal tonight, and would have done so had I asked him to (!) but it was not his preferred cpurse of action - I could end up with a dead tooth and still be in lots of pain if it is due to any of the other reasons....
...so, I have been sent home with some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory painkillers. There is some evidence to suggest that I might have a bit of an infection and that I am also sufferinig from muscle pain. I've been told to use moist heat on the affected area and to massage also. He reckons that by tomorrow I should know if we are taking the right course of action.
If I do need a root canal he says there are things he can do to help support the local anaesthetic, since this failure to work is my biggest fear. Basically I will go to the surgery an hour before the treatment and will be given an elephant dose of paracetamol and ibuprofen.
I am so grateful that he saw me tonight. Now I am just hoping that this is going to work. I am absolutely exhausted - fear and pain grind you down.