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Dentistry/Pain on left side of mouth when I chew.


QUESTION: I have pain in the left side of my mouth when I chew. It seems to be specific in at least one to two teeth. But some of the pain is general and not specific. I did do something dumb and useded my teeth about a month ago to open a small bottle. Maybe cracked teeth? I also have not been to a dentist in 12 yrs but do the best  I can with dental hygien. I brush for like 3 to 5 minutes. I don't have dental insurance. I don't want to lose teeth. What are my options?

ANSWER: karen...the only thing to do here is get into your dentist for an evaluation appointment. you should get some xrays taken all over your mouth since it has been 12 years in order to see what is taking place throughout your mouth. a good thorough cleaning will be needed as well. as far as your  pain goes, we always ask the patient about what causes pain: is it with cold, hot, chewing, is the pain sharp, is it dull, is it spontaneous, does it radiate, etc. we can  then take your information and look at xrays and come up with answer. it could be decay, it could be a crack, it could be a nerve issue...we cannot tell you anything until we see pictures (xrays) and hear the symptoms and test the tooth. make your call right really need to have your dentist look. i understand you do not have insurance. your dentist should work with you regarding costs...allow you to make payments. or you can try a dental school (they are less expensive). good luck

jeff dalin, dds

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Jeff thank you. It seems that I can get on my husbands dental insurance in about 3 months. But should I go in right away? Its a sharp pain when I chew. I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least pain, it would be a 3. Also my teeth seem to have black lines on them on the top and a bit of gray. Seems like cavities? Does a cavity that causes pain nessarly mean you need a root canal? There is a government run clinic were a live, but they pull teeth instead of doing a root canal. Losing teeth is not an option for me. Does dental insurance have pre-existing? I don't want to go to the clinic and then in 3 months when Im on my husbands insurance not be able to to get the help I need.

So the way I see it I could a. just wait to be get on my husbands dental plan.

Or B. go to  the clinic and see whats going on and then if I need a root canal then see if I can get on a dental discount plan untill I get on my husbands plan and hope that there is no pre-existing.

Or cry and beg for my dad to get a loan so can can take care of my teeth. I thank you for your help in advance.

P.s once tried to see a neurologis with no insurance and no one would see me unlless I had insurance. I live in Dona Anna. One of the poorist countys in america. So I think thats why its so hard to get help if you don't have insurance around here.

since you are saying things are a 3 on a 1-10 scale, then probably not a root canal. those are usually a 9 to a10. i like the plan B idea: get to a clinic for the minimum: get some X-rays and a clinical exam and see what is in there and what might be needed. if there is something big to do, you can hold off until the insurance kicks in. no need to panic at this need to know what is going on, what is needed before any panic can set in, who know...maybe things are in good shape. good luck...get the X-rays and exam appointment.  good luck

jeff dalin, dds


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Jeff Dalin DDS


general dentistry questions with topics ranging from cosmetic dentistry to dentistry for children


Fellowships in American College of Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the International College of Dentists.

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