If left untreated, orthodontic problems can result in tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and earaches, as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems.
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Sometimes orofacial pain may be difficult to diagnose if its origin is not localized in one area.
"Your dentist will try to diagnose the pain source by conducting tests to rule out a cracked tooth, the need for root canal, gum disease, clenching or tooth grinding," says Dr. Bastian. These factors can cause discomfort in the facial region but can be easily addressed."
Orofacial pain that lasts longer than 10 days to two weeks or is not related to a specific stressful event, such as a car accident, may signal a more serious problem requiring additional tests.
Updated: November 2008
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