Yeah .. it could help. At least you could submit tickets when there is something up that you can't fix.
One thing you might try, as a further test as to where the problem might be (DNS for the host server, etc.?) is to try to connect directly to the MySQL host with a browser.
On the DreamHost system that will present you with an apache authentication screen, and the MySQL user/pass will drop you into phpMyAdmin for that host (from which you can manipulate the database).
You might also try this, just to see if you can reach the database "by hook or crook".
One other DreamHoster (besides me) has tested his database since you reported trouble, and our databases are fine ... most likely on a different server/cluster.