A minority of people are still putting off their dental care because of COVID fears. Unfortunately, I'm seeing an increase in severe dental problems when they do return to the dental office.
Believe it or not, several kinds of facial pain can start in your mouth with your gums or teeth. Most start with infections, though some can be from pathology.
Dental decay or cavities which grow large enough to reach the dental pulp of your tooth, where your tooth's nerve resides, create an abscess. This is often the first time that you will feel pain from a dental cavity. An abscess is a localized infection. Sometimes your immune system can’t keep the infection right around your tooth and as a result, your face or neck will swell. This creates additional pain—pain that is often hard to control.
Infection of your gums (which support your teeth) can also lead to face and mouth pain. Gingivitiis (the earliest stage of gum disease) and periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) are both “infections” and affect 75% of the population. Pain levels can range from soreness or tender areas to severe pain.
The solution to avoiding most dental pain is simple—finding and addressing problems before they are so far gone that they cause you pain! See your dentist regularly for a dental check-up and cleaning. Discuss with your dentist how often you should have dental x-rays to check for cavities in areas we can’t see. If your dentist finds a problem, treat it sooner rather than waiting. If you wait “until it hurts”, you may find yourself going through some miserable days where nothing seems to touch the pain you have—and no one wants that!
You can learn more about dental decay and gum disease in the patient education section of my website located at www.drjrobb.com
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees children and adults at her practice located at 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. Call 440-960-1940. Dr. Robb is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb