When a Toothache is Not a Toothache

Most of us in San Luis Obispo have experienced a toothache. At their mildest, toothaches may cause just enough discomfort to get on your nerves and disrupt your concentration, but at their worst, they can be debilitating. Because the pain feels like it’s coming from your tooth, it’s natural to assume that all toothaches are caused by cavities, gum disease or some other tooth-related problem. However, Dr. Michael Colleran would like you to know that not all toothaches are related to your teeth.

Wait, what? Toothaches that have nothing to do with teeth? Yes– as anyone at Michael Colleran, DDS will tell you –it is possible and it does happen. That being said, most toothaches are tooth-related.

How can a toothache not come from your tooth?

Your mouth is a complex organ that contains a number of different types of tissue, nerves, and microorganisms. While run of the mill dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease are responsible for the majority of toothaches, there are many other conditions that can cause localized pain in one of more teeth –and some of them have nothing to do with your teeth. Here are a few examples:

  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ or TMD) [LINK]
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Maxillary sinusitis
  • Shingles
  • Oral herpes

What’s the most important thing to remember? If you experience moderate to severe pain in your mouth, it’s time to visit Dr. Michael Colleran. Lots of pain doesn’t necessarily mean you need emergency dental care, but it’s not worth the risk. We at Michael Colleran, DDS have seen it all and we know how to care for your smile. Dr. Michael Colleran will examine your mouth and help determine the source of the problem, whether or not it’s actually your teeth!

If you are suffering from a toothache and have questions or would like to make an appointment, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Dr. Colleran is a nationally renowned dental author and lecturer and an expert on laser dentistry. He has spoken across the country on laser dentistry and had articles appear in several professional journals. He is also sought after by dental manufacturers as a consultant for product evaluation and research. Dr. Colleran is an instructor for the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry, which teaches LANAP and other laser dental procedures to dentists from across the globe.

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

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