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The Phoenix
31-08-2005, 02:30
Before anybody suggests it, I am making an appointment to see the dentist as soon as I can. However, I'd like to have some idea of what sort of situation I'm in before I see the dentist, thus the thread.

This morning, at work, I noticed one of my teeth (a lower molar) hurt. I'm not quite sure how to describe the pain, other than feeling a bit like something was poking or rubbing uncomfortably at the inside of the tooth. I rinsed my mouth vigerously with water, which seemed to fix the problem.

Now that I'm home, with access to my nice bathroom mirror, I've discovered that the sealent (the protective coating the dentist put on each of my molars when I was a kid) is missing from the tooth that hurt. Also there are two very small dots that appear to be holes on the tooth.

Now, I've never had a cavity, so I'm not sure what one looks like, but I assume that this is one. However, since I've rinsed my mouth out, the tooth has stopped hurting and I can eat in complete comfort. From what I've heard about cavities, I'd always assumed they were coupled with constant pain, but prehaps not.

Now, if this is a cavity, it would appear I've caught it in the early stages. Is it possible for the dentist to simply clean it out and seal it up, or is he going to have to drill out my tooth, killing the (I think) completely healthy nerve and then give me a filling?

Thanks all,

-Phoenix

Xinithorp
31-08-2005, 05:55
If you can see it that easily, it's probably not in the early stage. I'm not a dentist (but I play one on TV!) but what I've had weren't noticed until the x-rays were taken. Most cavities caught early are so small that they need to be detected with x-rays.

The purpose of drilling is to eliminate the bacteria and "contaminated" part of the tooth. There are only certain circumstances where drilling isn't necessary. Another thing: getting a tooth drilled does not automatically result in a dead nerve. Dentists try to avoid the nerve as much as possible because freezing does not do a damn thing for it.
You have to go far to reach the nerve though, so don't be too worried there.
If you don't drill you end up with bacteria inside the tooth continuously eating away.

Now, that said, some dentists (including my own, thankfully) have started using an Ozone treatment for cavities. What they do is nuke the area with Ozone (Oł I believe) which is a poisonous gas. No worries though as you'd need to take in an awful lot for anything to happen. But it kills all the bacteria on the tooth and in the cavity, which allows the dentist to fill it with no problems.

First time I got a filling I was scared outta my mind. It's not the most exciting thing in the world, but it's alright. You'll just have a numb lip for the day.


I suggest you keep brushing real good as that should help discourage bacterial behaviour and make the work load for the dentist (and you, in turn) a little easier.

Spamus Eatus
31-08-2005, 07:42
Phoenix

I'm going to put up some questions for you to answer for me. You can PM me if you want to keep things confidential. I'll get an answer to you.

How long ago did the pain start?

Where does it seem to come from?

What seems to set the tooth off?
Hot/Cold/Sweets/Pressure/Chewing

How long does the pain last?
Less or more then 30 seconds (give or take)

Does it seem to hurt at night or when you are resting?

I can get back to you fairly soon if you answer the questions for me. Now since I can't get in your mouth and take a look or get any radiographs, this would be an incomplete diagnosis, and may not be what is going on. But I'll do what I can and get some answers to you.

The rinsing with water and feeling better is a bit odd. You may have had something lodged in your gums, but if the tooth still bothers you a bit I would rule that one out.

The Phoenix
01-09-2005, 00:51
Thanks Spamus, in answer to your quetions:

How long ago did the pain start?

I first noticed it yesterday (the day I wrote my original post) morning.

Where does it seem to come from?

It feels like it was coming from the tooth itself, but I'm not 100% sure, as I have little experience feeling things with my teeth. It deffinately felt different than having something caught in my gum. I suppose the pain felt like it was coming from the center of the tooth, but it's hard to say for sure (again, not used to feeling anything with my teeth).

What seems to set the tooth off?
Hot/Cold/Sweets/Pressure/Chewing

It only hurt yesterday morning, after rinsing my mouth out vigerously with water the pain stopped. My mouth had that sort of morning-slimey-unbrushed feel before I rinsed my mouth out. When it was hurting, the pain seemed to sharpen if I took a drink of Mountain Dew, which is part of the reason I suspect it may be a cavity.

How long does the pain last?
Less or more then 30 seconds (give or take)

Arround 30 mintues to an hour, until I rinsed my mouth out. It's felt fine since then.

Does it seem to hurt at night or when you are resting?

No, havn't felt it since yesterday.

I can get back to you fairly soon if you answer the questions for me. Now since I can't get in your mouth and take a look or get any radiographs, this would be an incomplete diagnosis, and may not be what is going on. But I'll do what I can and get some answers to you.

The rinsing with water and feeling better is a bit odd. You may have had something lodged in your gums, but if the tooth still bothers you a bit I would rule that one out.

I agree that it is a bit odd, I'd have dismissed it as nothing if I couldn't see a tiny, pinprick sized hole (or what looks like a hole) on the top of my tooth.

Thanks again,

-Phoenix

Spamus Eatus
01-09-2005, 02:44
Well, it sounds like you have a cavity of one size or another, probabally in an earlyish stage. From the symptoms you described, it seems like it is a reasonably small one. On the other hand, it might not be. Teeth are wierd like that. I couldn't tell you for sure since I can't take a look.

The pinpricks are likely cavities. One thing to note is that the size on the outside of the tooth dosen't mean the cavity is that size. The decay usually starts small at the enamel and then can mushroom out when it hits dentin. I would suggest you go see your dentist. If you're nervous about getting a filling and are curious as to what is going on, here's a handy link. I could tell you myself, but I don't feel like typing quite that much.

Linkage (http://health.howstuffworks.com/cavity.htm)

So go! Go now! Before that cavity gets bigger and it REALLY starts to hurt. (I've seen it, believe me)