How is toothache diagonised?

April 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Toothache, Toothache Causes

If you are experiencing toothache, you should visit your dentist. Toothache is treatable but only if the dentist is able to find out what the problem is. Diagnosis includes identifying the location of the toothache. It can be difficult to know which one is affected as the nerves in the teeth sometimes give the brain the wrong message.

The dentist will begin by asking some specific questions about the toothache, including what types of foods make the pain worse, whether your tooth is more sensitive at high temperatures. The dentist will also examines the patient’s mouth for signs of swelling, redness, and obvious tooth damage.

The presence of pus may indicate an abscess or gum disease. Then the dentist will flush the sore area with warm water to dislodge any food particles and to test for sensitivity to heat. After that the dentist may dry the area with gauze to determine sensitivity to touch and pressure. The dentist may probe tooth crevices and the edges of fillings with a sharp instrument, looking for areas of tooth decay.

Finally, the dentist is likely to recommend x rays to highlight evidence of decay between teeth, a cracked or impacted tooth, or a disorder of the underlying bone. If the pain from your toothache is severe painkillers can be prescribed.

Here are some examples of the diagnostic procedures performed

Diagnostic services include initial exams for new patients who wish to establish a dental relationship and periodic exams for those patients have seen on a regular basis. Both initial and periodic exams include such things as a medical history review, a screening for oral cancer, screening for periodontal disease and a recording of any existing cavities or other problems.

There have been substantial advances in dental x-rays, x-rays can now provide a clear, accurate picture to help the dentist diagnose the problem. With the x-rays on the computer screen or x-ray film, the Dentist is able to diagnose such potential problems as decay, infection and bone loss.

Intraoral Photographs
By taking intraoral (inside the mouth) photographs of the patient’s teeth, the dentist is able to see the teeth in greater detail, aiding in the diagnostic process. The dentist can show the pictures to the patients on the computer screen, thereby allowing them to co-diagnose any dental problems and better understand any solutions or alternatives.


Study models, also known as diagnostic casts, are impressions of a patient’s teeth. By having models to refer to, the doctor can diagnose such problems as an uneven bite. With the models in hand he is then able to establish the best course of treatment and is able to show the patient what will be done. Finally, the doctor has the original condition of the mouth to refer back to once treatment is underway

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One Comment on "How is toothache diagonised?"

  1. Anthony Wilson on Tue, 29th Jun 2010 5:51 pm 

    Dental Problems can be costly and painful so always keep your dental health in check.“:

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