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Referred Pain – It’s a Pain!

March 21, 2022

The bane of the dentist. We want to help you but not harm. We need to know the cause and obviously the site of the pain. Otherwise, we may do unnecessary treatment and not solve the problem.

Pain is a pain to deal with! Its nerves, chemicals and perception.

Pain ache spreading in face

Here’s some reasons why?

Sometimes when the brain gets new pain in an area, it may perceive the source to be where pain was there before. This is not always the site or cause of the new pain.

Pain can be intermittent. The pain stops when you see them! Cracks in teeth can do this. When the crack opens, it hurts and the crack closes together, the pain stops.

Cracked cusp of tooth

The longer the pain, the sensation affects more of the nerve and starts to affects other nerve branches. Where is the epicentre?

The problem may cause avoidance of it and create another painful situation. Wonderful!

People are not always a good witness of what is going. Sometimes they are confused where the pain is and they think we can read their minds. This is understandable as pain can be consuming.

“Is the pain sharp, dull, burning?” These questions are clues for the dentists, but not always helpful to patients who are not sure of the differences- “pain is pain right?”

You may have multiple problems. One pain sensation can mask another and is noticed when the masking pain is treated. “The pain has come back but it’s different.”

Different postures cause pain.

You need to be an Oral Sherlock Holmes!

An example- patient has come in with a sore right jaw joint and sort muscles. She recently had her upper wisdom teeth come through. She was also wearing a retainer appliance after she had her braces removed.

The wisdom tooth was now hitting first and not allowing her teeth to meet. The retainer has a slight rock on the top left tooth causing the right side to move.

All the patient could say my right jaw joint and muscles aches. The bite on the wisdom tooth was adjusted to allow here teeth on both sides to meet. The retainer was adjusted so it wasn’t rocking and fitted down on the teeth properly.

Upper right 2nd molar and wisdom tooth - blue marking paper shows in the way of bite

Next in the series: Referred Pain – It’s a Pain! – Causes

Need an Appointment?

If you’d like to book an appointment with the dentist at Seymour Dental then call us in Dulwich Hill, Sydney on (02) 9564 2397 or
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