Saturday, August 6, 2011

Handling Pain and Fear

Pain can be considered a major cause of dental problems and
gum disease. If you are afraid of pain and associate visits to
the dentist or hygienist with a painful experience, you probably
will not be visiting your dentist office often enough.
Missing your regular check-ups will lead you to neglect your
teeth and gums, and can result in the onset of gum disease.
Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience.
It is caused by the stimulation of sensory nerve endings,
which the mouth has an abundance of. Every person perceives
pain differently. Social, cultural, and ethnic differences
affect how different people react to pain. Pain can be
an intense experience, and even if there is no actual physical
reason for it, the person feels the pain as if it is real.
Is pain always present when there is gum disease? No,
not always. Pain is not present when your gums are inflamed, bleeding, or swollen. However, any problems that
cause pain in the mouth may also contribute to gum disease.
For example, disease can become a secondary problem if
you have pericoronitis (swollen gums around the wisdom
teeth). The tissue can become inflamed as a result of the
crowding, and bacteria lodged in one area can spread to
adjacent tissue. An abscess—an area in the gum filled with
pus—may be painful. If your mouth is sore because of temporomandibular
disorder, then the surrounding tissue can
also be affected, leaving you with raw, swollen gums.
Neuralgia in the facial area may leave you uncomfortable
and may induce you not to practice proper dental hygiene
home care. A burning tongue may leave you irritated and
discourage you from nurturing your oral cavity, resulting in
gum disease. So any discomfort in your mouth may lead
you to gum disease.

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