Understanding: Symptoms And Underlying Oral Health Issues

You might have heard something along the lines of “don’t just treat the symptom!” before. Maybe you have heard someone say that when you take a pain reliever for an oral health issue, such as a toothache, you’re just covering up or masking the problem. While you certainly don’t want to do the wrong thing for your smile, you may also feel it necessary to admit you don’t really understand what this means. If you’re finding a way to make pain go away, isn’t that a good thing? Give our Ankeny, IA team a second of your time, so we can clarify the details here, as you become much more equipped to fully care for and rescue your grin, when necessary!

What’s A Symptom?

This is very important! When it comes to your oral health or anything else, remember that a symptom is a sign of something that’s happening. It’s a message. It’s your signal. It’s a representation or side effect of the root cause of that concern. For instance, we remind you that if you have a cavity, then pain may be a symptom. If you have gingivitis, then the swelling may be a symptom.

What’s An Underlying Concern?

Now, as we just began to explain, there’s a difference between a symptom and what you may frequently hear referred to as an underlying concern, when we’re discussing your oral health. Remember, the symptom is that change that lets you know something is wrong (it could be swelling, redness, pain, tenderness, bad breath). The root cause is that smile issue that is leading to the development of those symptoms. As mentioned, it’s the discomfort caused by the cracked tooth or the headache caused by the TMJ disorder.

Which Do I Treat?

We always remind patients to treat the cause. When you treat the symptom, you may temporarily feel better but you’re not solving anything. When you treat the underlying concern, you’re resolving both the problem and the symptoms. So, if you have a cavity, don’t continue to only take pain relievers to temporarily make the pain go away. Instead, come in for the filling that will remove the decay, restore your oral health, and will allow the pain to stop. Remember, scheduling a checkup and agreeing to the restorative care that matches the issue is all it takes!

Come In To Repair Your Oral Health

Let us know when you are dealing with symptoms of a potential oral health problem, so you may come in for a checkup, receive an accurate, professional diagnosis, and then set up required care for improvement. Visit us for a dental checkup in Ankeny, IA by contacting Dental Impressions to schedule a visit at (515) 965-0230.