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Dentistry/pain that comes and goes


Hello, Dr.Finnk

I am an 80+ year old white male, in good health.
In recent months, I'm experiencing "uncomfortable" sensations in my upper gum, near the left end of the row of teeth, and in the right end of the row of teeth.
I use the word " uncomfortable" deliberately, because it is just that and not pain. I realize that two people will have different thresholds as to what constitutes "pain", but I don't consider my issue to be pain.
What intrigues me is the fact that these sensations come and go,i.e., some days they last all day, but not continuously, sometimes they appear briefly, disappear, then come back, and so forth.
Other days, as in recent days, there is no hint at all of any discomfort.
What does all this mean? I'm of the opinion that what I'm experiencing is loss of bone and/or muscle material,in other words, these are symptoms of aging.
Should I be concerned?

Your opinion please.



Dear Chris,

These could be symptoms of aging, just like the random aches and pains I get throughout the day (I'm approaching 70).

However, it may also be true that one of more of your teeth are becoming infected, as some tooth infections present in the ways you describe.  You could wait and see, but waiting might mean more bone loss in your jaws due to the growth of infection, which can be painless.  And if infection, it can spread to other parts of your body through the blood and lymphatic systems.

I advise that you see your dentist and tell him/her about this.  Let your professional provide an evaluation.


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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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