Dental Questions and Answers

Readers, if you have non-emergency questions, please post them under "Comments" at the bottom of this page. I will try my best to answer them.

Question: Why do I have tooth pain when bite on tin foil or metal 
Answer: It is a galvanic reaction between 2 different metals. In this case, metal in an amalgam filling reacts with the foil or metal spoon generates mild currents flowing between tooth and tinfoil results in irritation to the nerve inside the tooth.

Occasionally,  patient with two difference metal fillings, e.g., gold in one tooth and amalgam filling in the opposing tooth when bringing them together also experiences a galvanic reaction.

Question: If the permanent crown came out, can I re-attach the crown with superglue?

: No. Here are the reasons:
  1. Superglue (cyanoacrylate) does not provide strong bond
  2. Superglue may compromise the margin of the crown
  3. When you re-attach the crown, you may not place it correctly in its place
  4. Health hazard
Question: Why I have a toothache during the flight?

Answer: The cause of the pain is due to a change in air pressure in the infected root canals as the plane increases in altitude. The tooth needs to be assessed by a dentist as soon as possible.  Even though, the tooth is asymptomatic prior to the flight.

Question: I have pain and swelling on my tooth, what should I do while waiting for my dental appointment?

For pain relief regimen;
Alternate every 3-4 hours between:
  • Ibuprofen 400 milligrams (2 Advil tablets) and
  • Acetaminophen 1000 milligrams (2 Extra-Strength Tylenol tablets) 
Do not exceed eight extra-strength Tylenol tablets (4000 milligrams acetaminophen) per day.

For the patient with a history of peptic ulcers or liver disease, do not take these drugs combination.

For swelling
  1. Rinse with a hot saline solution to hasten drainage of pus and relieve pain for approximately 2 minutes every 2-3 hours.

    How to make hot saline solution
    Dissolve the salt (½-teaspoon) in 8 ounces of as hot water as you can tolerate.  
  2. Take Oleuropein (olive leaf extract)

Question: Why does my lower lip/tongue numb after dental procedure
that does not involve surgery?

 Answer: This condition is called "Paresthesia". Paresthesia, in this case, caused by an injury to the nerves to the lower lip and tongue during anesthetic injection. The recovering process may take up to six months depends on the level of severity of the injury.

Question: When I chew food or yawn, I hear a clicking sound.  What should I do?

Answer: You may need to have an occlusal adjustment. One of the most common causes is the loss of an occlusal guidance or uneven teeth due to malocclusion, grinding teeth at night, or accidentally chipped part of your tooth.  Consult with the dentist who used "computerized occlusal analysis" about re-establish the occlusal guidance and adjust your occlusion.

Question: I have few teeth left in my lower jaw, will it be better to remove all my teeth and have the dentures instead?

Answer: Only if the teeth have dental problems (severe gum disease, large cavity, or failed root canal treatment that can not be saved),  it is better to keep your teeth.  The dentist can use those few teeth to anchor a partial denture, especially in a lower jaw where the dental arch is narrow created less support to the denture.

Question: What keep dentures stay in place without dental adhesive?

Dentures remain in place by suction with an excellent seal around the denture border in a wet environment.  The denture has a better seal with large surface coverage that is the reason an upper denture tends to remain in place better than a lower denture.  Once the seal breaks, the denture dislodge.


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