Why your toothache may have nothing to do with your teeth

More people are complaining about tooth pain, but dentists say it may have nothing to do with your teeth.

Crazy as it may seem, several local dentists say they're tracing the toothaches back to the flowers on the trees.

It’s a symptom of springtime. Pollen takes a toll on folks with lifelong allergies as well as newcomers who are experiencing them for the first time.

"We see this every year. We have an influx of people moving into our area. In the past, they may not have had no or mild symptoms," said Dr. Roopen Patel with Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center. "They come down here and they get bombarded with the pollen."

Dr. Patel says newcomers may be accustomed to a short spring, but the Carolinas can have up to three months spring-like weather which means longer exposure to tree pollens.

"When I just got to North Carolina from Mississippi, I was exposed to a different environment. It was an environment I wasn't used to, so I just developed allergies," said Dr. Joshua Miller with Parkway Dentistry.

Other local dentists say they've seen an increase in patients complaining about tooth pain, but many times it turns out the problem is allergies and not their teeth.

Doctor Patel explains.

"A lot of times, since the sinuses sit right above our top layer of teeth, it can refer the pain to the teeth.”

Doctor Miller adds, "the pain can be located anywhere from the canine and radiate throughout your upper jaw and extend to your lower jaw in some cases."

That doesn't mean you shouldn't go see the dentist. Just to be sure.

"If you haven't had a history of allergies, you would definitely warrant a visit to your dentist just to be sure it isn't actual tooth pain. It could also be caused by virus infections and fungus infections too. It's a combination of a lot of things."

 

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