Monday, February 2, 2009

Intermittent Toothache Symptoms

Last month we got a call from a lady named Stacey who was suffering from an intermittent and annoying toothache. The pain did not appear to have any definite pattern or cause. Sometimes her tooth would ache while she drank anything cold or hot. At other times, she would feel intense pain while chewing foods, although the constituency of the food (hard or soft) did not appear to matter. Then, at other times, she would eat an entire meal with no symptoms of a toothache at all. She decided to call us when she felt a dull, throbbing pain in the side of her mouth during the workday, making her irritable and causing her to have difficulty focusing on her job.

It may surprise you to learn that what Stacey experienced is not unusual. Many people assume that a toothache is just that---a tooth that aches with intense, chronic pain all the time. This is not always the case. Many people suffer from intermittent toothache symptoms that linger for hours, and then disappear as suddenly as they came. If this happens to you, you may find it hard to function in even the simplest areas of life, because you never know when the next round of pain is going to begin.

Toothache symptoms should be taken seriously, no matter how mild they may be at times, and no matter how irregularly they appear to come and go. This is because toothaches almost always originate deep within the tooth and indicate that something is wrong with the root itself. This is common with people who had silver-mercury fillings years ago, which have since fallen out undetected. By the time decay sets in to the point that toothache symptoms begin to felt, a root canal is often the only course of action. If left untreated, a dying root can become abscessed, and create an even worse condition.

In the case of Stacey, the culprit was an old silver-mercury filling that had fallen out of one of her teeth. Our intraoral camera showed very clearly where this had reopened the
cavity and allowed infection to set into the root pocket. Even though the symptoms of her toothache were relatively mild and sporadic, the intermittent severity was deceptive. When a tooth root dies, it may not hurt significantly until the very last, and at that point, a severe infection or abscess is usually well underway.

Fortunately, this was not the case with Stacey. We had detected the problem soon enough to treat her with a simple root canal and dental crown. She has since reported all pain has left her mouth, and the new implant is not even noticeable in comparison to her natural teeth.

If you are a persona like Stacey who suffers from intermittent
toothache symptoms, please call our office as soon as possible. Waiting until the last minute can result in very severe complications. Proactive, early treatment will deal with both the cause and the symptoms with much less pain and cost to you in the long run.

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