Ask Dr. D: Questions about Tooth Pain


Dear Dr. Diesburg:

I have tooth pain from this tooth that’s been bothering me, on the right side in the back. I think it’s the top, but it might be the bottom. It’s sore when I chew on things and when I eat cold things. It’s been like this for four days now. Should I come in? Do you think it’s something that can be fixed?

Dan in Yamhill

Dear Dan:

Tooth pain can happen for a variety of reasons. Before I ever look at your mouth, I’ll need to know: 1. Is the pain spontaneous (does it start bothering you for no apparent reason)? 2. Does it wake you up at night? and 3. When it gets cold or hot, does the sensation go away after the temperature change goes away? 4. When you bite down on something hard, do you get a fast, shooting pain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will probably need treatment.

The treatment we choose will be based on your responses and some simple, non-invasive diagnostic tests we perform at our clinic. It is possible for your symptoms to get better slowly or to get worse on their own, but either way, you will need to have your tooth looked at to make the right decision. On a side note, this season has seen a lot of sinus issues from infections and colds. If your teeth hurt and you have a cold or infection, your mouth may hurt as a result of inflammation.

Best regards,

Dr. Diesburg

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