Dentistry/tooth ache


QUESTION: Hi, the area below my nose started to hurt last night and then, when I woke up in the morning, I had a throbbing pain in my top left front tooth. I took some Advil and the throbbing subsided, but the pain continued. I should also mention that I have a wisdom tooth that is at least partially erupted, also on the top left side of my mouth. It hasn't caused me any pain (until possibly now). Throughout the day I've had aches around other teeth in between, but it's been constant in that top left side front tooth. It's sensitive to touch, and to cold or hot foods. The way the wisdom tooth is trying to come in is either pressing on the tooth in front of it a great deal or may even be partially under it. I can't get a good look at it. I have a message in to my regular dentist that they will receive in the morning, but am seeking advice on whether I need to seek more immediate help. It's quite painful and was throbbing again for about 15 minutes tonight. Also seems to be referring pain to other places in my face, ear, etc. Thank you very much for your time. It's much appreciated. It's nice that there are people like you out there to give advice on a Sunday!

ANSWER: Dear Melinda,

The pain and throbbing are signs that you have an infection that is likely coming from one or more of your front teeth.  You will need to see your dentist today.

Wish I could help you sooner.  But today your pain should stop after your see your dentist.

Let me know how everything turns out.

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

QUESTION: Thanks very much for your response. I saw a dentist yesterday afternoon and he gave me a prescription for Clindamycin. Do you think that will take care of it?

Yes. While you are taking the antibiotic.  If I am correct and the infection is coming from an infected tooth nerve, the tooth will need a root canal.  Taking antibiotic alone will not resolve the infection.  Without proper treatment, continuing to take antibiotic will likely cause you to develop resistant organisms that will be more difficult to treat later on.  And often, the infections become more brutal when the antibiotic stops.

Have a dentist check to see if you need a root canal.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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