When a patient complains of oral pain, it is important to ask the following:

''Where is the pain?'' ''Describe the pain.'' ''Do you feel the pain anywhere else?'' ''How long has the pain been present?'' ''What brings the pain on?'' ''What makes it better? worse?''

''When you have the pain, do you have any other symptoms?''

Tooth pain may be a symptom of underlying gingival disease. A history of dental procedures and recent dental work should be documented.

Pain in the teeth may sometimes be referred from the chest. Patients with angina may actually complain of pain in their teeth associated with exertion. Careful and thoughtful questioning is indicated.

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