The body is an incredible feat of engineering! If it weren’t a perfect system then evolution would have wiped us out a long time ago. It uses pain to warn us about threats outside our body and it protects you from pain on the inside until it’s too late. Dental pain falls into the second category.
When I talk about this with my patients, I explain that teeth in their natural, healthy, condition are painless. It’s important that we keep them like this.
The analogy I use is that people won’t feel pain from a blocked blood vessel in their heart until the heart attack, and like this, most dental problems are painless until it’s too late and has become a bigger problem.
You won’t feel pain from a blocked blood vessel in your heart until the heart attack. Waiting for dental pain is like this.
The simplest and most inexpensive dentistry is preventative. Regular check ups, hygiene treatments and sometimes small fillings for early decay are the simple things that avoid the more complex dentistry down the line. In cases where a dentist has located a bigger problem, that is not causing pain, it is important to act quickly to limit the damage and maintain that pain free state.
I would be thinking the same thing though. I have had many conversations in public settings, where the sentence goes; ‘I broke my tooth/I lost a filling/my gums are bleeding, but it’s okay cause it doesn’t hurt.” For everyone I’ve met that says it, I’m sure there’s many that think it. In response, while I completely understand that putting stuff off until its urgent is understandable behaviour, unfortunately, I have yet to come across any patient where this approach benefitted them.
Tips for keeping a healthy /pain free mouth
1) Brush twice a day
2) Floss daily (or as close to this as possible)
3) Avoid frequently having sugary or acidic foods /drinks
4) Get a dental check up every 6 months – If everything is healthy then, we can extend the period.
5) Talk to the hygienist – If your not getting the teeth clean enough then they can show you how to improve your technique.
Overall, remember that dental pain is an unnatural state and nobody should ever have to experience it. You should expect to always remain pain free and the best advice I can give is to stay on top of the small stuff!