We use the internet for everything. Shopping, planning trips and more! But one thing you should be wary of is using the internet for diagnosing your medical worries. We often hear our patients mention that they looked to online resources for a dental pain diagnosis – and it’s concerning!
While some of the information online can be helpful, it’s a risk to try and avoid visiting a dentist and relying on self-diagnosing websites to identify potential medical problems.
The most obvious risk of an online dental pain diagnosis is the potential for reading outdated, misleading or outright incorrect information. Without a dental professional, you can’t always be sure what you’re reading is accurate.
This is true even when websites cite their information from other sources. In some cases, those sources are just as suspect as the one you’re reading. In other cases, they could be referring to legitimate scientific journals or studies – but those studies could be outdated.
Unsafe Treatment Recommendations
Because the information is outdated or unreliable, the treatments they suggest are likely to be just as problematic. Many online websites promote “home remedies” that can be ineffective or counterproductive.
For example, many websites promote the use of apple cider vinegar for teeth whitening. While it could potentially whiten teeth slightly, the harsh acids of this liquid is more likely to strip enamel and leave your mouth vulnerable to cavities.
When you attempt to self-diagnose dental pain and treat it without visiting a dentist, you could leave yourself worse-off than when the pain began.
Ignores Your Medical History
“One size fits all” isn’t a concept that applies to any field of medicine. The reality is that each person’s case is unique – symptoms that might lead your dentist to be concerned for your health might be considered benign for another.
Your health history plays a huge role in diagnosis and prognosis. The more generic a medical recommendation is, the less likely it is to apply to you.
It Could Lead to Anxiety Over Small Symptoms
Online self-diagnosing tools typically show you every possible illness or disease related to the symptoms you input. This means something as simple as tooth pain could result in a diagnosis of a cavity or all the way to oral cancer.
The prevalence of online self-diagnosis has led to an increase in patients becoming concerned that they have serious illnesses when it isn’t the case. That anxiety causes stress!
Extreme stress can be just as detrimental to your health as any dental pain you may have been worried about. Increased blood pressure and heart rate are not something to take lightly!
You May Ignore Serious Warning Signs
The biggest risk to self-diagnosing your dental pains is ignoring a warning sign that your dentist would have caught. Your overall health, including your dental health, is one ecosystem. While you may see a dental pain as an isolated issue, it could be a sign of something more serious when it appears in combination with other symptoms.
When you go to your dentist with a concern, they often ask you questions that may seem unrelated or confusing. Often, these questions help them narrow down the potential causes of your dental pain or issue. If your answer triggers a red flag, they may suggest additional tests to look for a more serious cause.
Long-term dental problems, like gum disease, have the potential to cause significant harm to your mouth and your entire body. This is why regular dentist visits are recommended, and why you should always contact your dentist when you have questions!
The Best Source for a Dental Pain Diagnosis? Your Dentist!
An unexpected visit to the dentist may not be your first choice for an afternoon, but your health is worth the time. In many cases, an emergency visit can be scheduled easily, allowing you to get in and out of the dentist without disrupting your day.
Ultimately, this will prevent you from having undue stress, let you catch serious symptoms sooner, and guarantee that your dental health is properly cared for.
Do You Have Dental Pain? Schedule an Appointment!
We can help make sure you and your family are brushing correctly. If you’re concerned or just looking for information, the professionals at Walbridge Dental provide complete family dental care to families in the Millbury community. Contact us online to set up an appointment now or call us at 419-836-1033.
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