In the last 25 years I have had many people in pain come to my clinic. I have seen pain, I have heard pain, and I have seen tears cried over pain. I have received phone calls in the middle of night because of pain, I have learned a lot about pain, but when I had a toothache myself everything changed. Before I might have thought to myself “Why do the patients complain so much? It can’t be that bad, they shouldn’t cry, they must be cowards, they are exaggerating.”
I am now convinced that if a dentist has never had a toothache, he really can’t be a dentist, or at least not a good one. A toothache is one of the worst pains you can have in your whole body. The nerve endings in your face connected to teeth are very big. If you have an infection or you have an abscess or anything like that and an infection gets serious we are talking about extreme pain. You may take whatever for the pain or even antibiotics but without actually going to a dentist you are only making things worse and prolonging the problem. I don’t know why we often wait until it is unbearable before we go to a doctor, but this only makes it worse. It may start with a superficial infection, but when not cared for this can go all the way to the bone or form an abscess and the pain becomes enormous. It gets to where you feel like your head will explode, you can’t sleep, you can’t get comfortable, you lay down and the blood rushes to your head and it only hurts more. It’s close to your eyes, your ears, your nose and it hurts when you try to see, hear or smell even. You can feel it all the way to your bones and it feels never ending, that is a toothache for you. They say it is like or worse than birth pains. I have always said that to be a good gynecologist you should be a woman with at least one child. That is not to put down men gynecologists but I can’t see how they can really understand what a woman goes through during birth. That’s not to say that a neurosurgeon needs to have a brain problem to be able to understand his work, but I was just making a point about dentists and understanding pain.
The pain can get so bad that the only thing you can do is pull out the tooth, root and all. Thank God for root canals, I can’t even fathom what it must have been like 100 years ago without good anesthesia, good dental tools and techniques.
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