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Mystery Pain & Phantom Toothache

Sudden ToothacheThere’s only one good thing about a visibly damaged tooth: here, clearly, is where the pain’s coming from and where our response will be focused.

But complaints of “tooth pain” without a clear source or origin—now, that’s something else entirely.

Say you’ve been good with your hygiene, faithful in your checkups, and you wake up one morning with a vague pain. You can’t see a crack or cavity, but something’s just not right, so you schedule an appointment with our team.

What gives? A morning toothache might not even come from damage. Could be the aftermath of all-night grinding (bruxism). Usually treatable with a simple sleeping appliance.

Sometimes after a new filling or crown, there’s a lingering sensitivity to hot or cold. This should disappear after a few days. If not, perhaps another look is in order.

Almost always, we can detect and correct even microscopic cracks. But (as is the case with the rest of your body) there can be “pain phantoms” which come and go for reasons unknown. If it can’t be located and identified, it can’t be treated. Thankfully, we see very, very few of those.

About Alan Limbird, DDS

Dr. Alan Limbird graduated from the University of California, San Francisco in 1983, in the top 10% of his class. He immediately entered into a residency at Loma Linda University in General Dental Practice. After completing his residency in 1984, he joined a dental practice in Ukiah which he owned and operated for 30 years. At Limbird Dentistry, Dr. Limbird offered his patients the highest quality treatment using state of the art dental technology to create beautiful smiles. Dr. Limbird sold his Ukiah practice in November 2014 and continues to work part-time with the new owners. In April 2017, Dr. Limbird joined Dr. James Hooper’s thriving dental practice in Fort Bragg. Dr. Limbird is excited to be offering dental services to his new patients on the coast. With the new Solea Dental Laser, he can offer an even higher level of care and technology than ever before. Dr. Limbird strives to stay on the cutting edge of dental technology. While working part-time for two years, he filled his free time by attending many dental education courses to fine tune his skills and learn new ones. Recent courses include: Oral Surgery, extractions, bone grafting, implant placement, implant restoration and extensive training with Dental Lasers. These skills will be put to good use in his Fort Bragg office since there are no dental specialists in the area. Dr. Limbird has been using Dental Lasers for over 20 years. Lasers have helped him to provide a higher level of service and excellence to his patients than was previously possible. His most recent technology purchase is the new Solea Carbon Dioxide Dental Laser. With this new laser, Dr. Limbird can prepare and place nearly all of your fillings comfortably and efficiently with NO SHOTS and NO PAIN! No longer do our patients need to fear going to the dentist. Dr. Limbird also has extensive training in Cosmetic Dentistry. He works with only the best dental laboratories and uses the highest quality materials to give you the best smile possible! Dr. Limbird and his wife, Laura, have always loved spending time on the Mendocino Coast. They now live in Mendocino full time and are pleased to be a part of the coastal community.

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