Self-Diagnosing With the Internet Can Hurt You More Than You Think

How many of us have woken up with a stuffy nose or a toothache and instead of calling our doctor or Austin dentist, we check the internet for a diagnosis and a home remedy to avoid paying for medicine or possible surgery? Websites are popping up all over the internet for these specific reasons, allowing people to self-diagnose instead of getting the real help they need.

Many of the medical sites on the Internet, like, have physicians involved and offer solid medical information. Others, like the dental website that launched about a month ago called, are a problem because the site owners simply aren’t doctors or dentists. Even if you match the pain you feel in your tooth to a simple cavity via the internet, you might be facing even worse problems such as tooth decay and require a root canal from your local Austin dentist anyway. Waiting and going along with a self diagnosis rather than seeking immediate treatment can be detrimental to your health and could cost you a lot more to fix rather than scheduling an appointment today.

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Unfortunately, self-diagnosing a possible condition using the internet can even be worse than trying to self-diagnose by other means, such as using a medical textbook or journal. The e-Toothache site offers home remedies to basically educate their readers on how to take care of their pain until they can afford to see a licensed professional, however some of the website’s remedies are sketchy at best. Their basic remedy for a toothache calls for salt, warm water, and hydrogen peroxide. Though hydrogen peroxide can be helpful with tooth whitening and plenty of non-mouth related uses such as bleaching hair and cleaning bacteria off your counter, hydrogen peroxide could damage any tissue around the toothache if it is accompanied by a wound. There is no solid evidence that hydrogen peroxide can help pain in the mouth, however according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), ingesting hydrogen peroxide can cause severe burns in the throat and stomach and induce vomiting. This warning label is not apparent on e-Toothache, and might cause its readers undue pain.

Taking the information from a home remedy website as gospel instead of seeing your doctor or dentist is bad for your health. Most times these remedy sites are misleading and might actually be geared toward other things, such as housing ads. While exploring the e-Toothache site, it became obvious that it was full of Google ads in the margins, along with Adchoices and Twitter buttons for other advertising purposes. Looking into the site further, it is owned and operated not by a dentist, but by a Web developer. The website is used as a hub for all of these ads, but has no reputable information on it, none at least that can be backed up by any health studies.

Instead of risking your mouth with self-diagnosing and home remedies, contact Dr. Dan Matthews at our Austin dental office to schedule an exam or even to ask your questions, because talking to a real dentist can save your teeth and your money in the long run.

Dan Matthews DDS
Dan Matthews Dan Matthews DDS The Park at Eanes Creek,
4407 Bee Cave Road
Building 2, Suite 221
Austin, Texas, 78746
(512) 452-2273
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