Why dental treatment is needed even if you don’t have pain

Why dental treatment is needed even if you don’t have pain

Q: I was told by a doctor during a routine tooth cleaning and check up that I have a severe infection which requires the tooth to be removed. Why would I not have pain?

A: Ok, so here is a list of all the dental problems that are serious, but cause no pain (unless you ignore treating them and they become acute problems):

  • Cavities, tooth decay.
  • Abscesses
  • Periodontal disease; bone loss.
  • Orthodontic problems
  • Malocclusion (poor bite)
  • Teeth that need root canal treatment
  • Failing dental implants
  • Cracked teeth
  • Oral Cancer
  • Bone resorption where you are missing teeth
  • Rotting of teeth under bridges and crowns (recurrent decay)
  • Failing root canals
  • Fractures posts and/or implants
  • Fractures fillings and crowns.
  • Dental infections vegetating around heart valves.
  • Impacted teeth
  • Internal and external resorption of teeth and roots
  • Genetic disease that affects tooth enamel formation
  • Tooth erosion and wearing  away of enamel

Basically, EVERYTHING. However, as I mentioned above, if you ignore these problems when diagnosed by your doctor, they will result in acute pain, swelling, sinus perforation, tooth loss and possible spreading of the infection into the face and brain.

And, taking an antibiotic will not cure anything. Much like an infected splinter. You can’t just take antibiotics without removing the source of the infection; ie. the splinter itself.

Back in the days of the Sony Walkman, track suits and when Cher was trying to turn back time, I pulled many an all-night-er caring for in-patients admitted to the hospital back in my residency days at Beth Israel and Mt. Sanai Medical Center in Manhattan. Some of these patients were in critical condition just for ignoring a simple cavity that progressed to a dangerous infection.

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