Oral Health Advice

I am 23 and have never had a cavity until a few months ago. My dentist put in a filling. For the last several weeks, I have had pain. During the day, I am fine. But when I lie down at night, it really hurts. What is wrong?

It sounds to me like there might be an infection. You may need to see an endodontist – a specialist who treats nerve infection in teeth – to have the tooth evaluated. There is the possibility that the original cavity contaminated the pulp. Or when the decay was removed, the pulp was exposed, allowing a bacterium to be introduced that is now growing in the tooth pulp. The nerve and blood vessel are now compromised, resulting in pain. If these are the findings, a root canal will need to be completed.

It is important to note that if the condition is not treated, the infection will build up so much that it will seek a way to drain, which would probably be through your supporting bone and gums.

You do not want this to happen, as a domino event will begin: The bone will become damaged and will need to be treated by a periodontist who rebuilds the bone loss with regeneration materials. Act quickly to avoid any further physical and financial discomfort.

“I just received some really exciting news – I am pregnant. But, I need a bundle of dental procedures completed. My concern is how best to have treatment so it will not affect the baby.”

Congratulations! You are about to experience the most wonderful time in your life. Since all pregnancies are divided into three trimesters and each phase has different guidelines, it’s important that you consult your obstetrician about the dental work you need.

Every pregnancy is different, although a common denominator is the hormonal changes that occur. The mouth seems to become susceptible during this time, so additional attention should be given to proper oral hygiene. It may even warrant an additional visit to your dentist.

Vitamins will be prescribed, so if you are taking any other medications, an educated and informative dialogue should take place with all of your healthcare professionals. You may be advised to avoid or suspend some medications, such as antibiotics, pain relievers and local anesthetics during this time.

If you are going to breastfeed, discussions with your pediatrician about medications that you can take should continue. Health and happiness to all.

Dr. Kessler’s office is located at 7400 N. Kendall Dr., directly across Dadeland Mall and he may be reached at 305-670- 3800 or online at Lkgums@aol.com or www.WeSaveSmiles.com.

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