A toothache is one of the worst forms of pain you can experience. Unfortunately, when it comes to your teeth, if you don’t seek care when something goes wrong, it will only get worse.
This is because deep beneath the hard outer shell of your tooth lies a “pulp” consisting of connective tissue, blood vessels, immune cells, and nerves. When bacteria are allowed to enter the hard outer shell, whether it is due to receding gums, decay or a cavity, the inner part of the tooth becomes vulnerable.
The longer pain is ignored, the worse it’ll become as the decay gets deeper and closer to the nerves. This can lead to dead tissue accumulation and infection. So, whether you have a cavity or some form of damage to your tooth, the chances are that eventually, you will develop some pain, which will get worse if the damage is not repaired. If you want to avoid this scary scenario, when you are suffering from tooth pain, it’s time to call the dentist.
What causes tooth pain?
In most cases, if your pain is not permanent and tends to come when you are eating, drinking, or if you have something hot or cold, you are suffering from tooth “sensitivity.”
This is often caused when you have receding gums, which can leave your teeth more exposed but can also be a result of exposed dentin that lies beneath your protective tooth enamel. The good news is with sensitivity, it can be treated at home and is also not serious despite the discomfort it causes.
When pain is very sharp and persists, then you could have a cavity, tooth decay or the pulp in your tooth has been damaged. If you have lost a filling or have a cracked or broken tooth, then you might also experience pain.
What should I do if I experience tooth pain?
As soon as you begin to experience tooth pain, it’s time to visit our office. We will perform a diagnosis to determine what is causing the pain. We might decide to take an x-ray if we suspect something is happening below the tooth’s surface.
Signs of decay, damage and cavities are common issues we might find during the exam. Once we determine what is wrong, we will provide a treatment plan to help stop the pain and restore your tooth.
What is the treatment for tooth pain?
The treatment we recommend will vary based on the cause of your pain. A common treatment for tooth sensitivity is simply changing your toothpaste to a sensitive formula.
However, if there is damage to the tooth, you will require some form of restorative treatment.
If we detect a cavity, cracks or damage, often a filling will do the trick. If things have progressed and your tooth pulp is affected, you will require a root canal. This treatment clears away the infection and then fills and seals your tooth with a special compound.
Depending on the amount of damage to your tooth, we might recommend covering your tooth with a crown to help maintain your tooth’s integrity and protect it from infection or breakage.
Can tooth pain be an emergency?
If your pain is excruciating and persists, you should let us know you require an emergency appointment. We understand that pain and dental emergencies can happen at the drop of a hat, so we offer same-day emergency appointments and extended office hours for your convenience.
Signs of a dental emergency include:
- Pain combined with a loose tooth
- Pain that is radiating into your gums
- Numbness in your tooth
- Bleeding gums
- Swelling that is noticeable along your outer jawline
- A growth along your gums
- Exceedingly bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
- A sore on your gums at the site of the pain
These symptoms are common signs of a more serious issue, including root canal infections, dental abscess, severe fractures, or loose fillings that have allowed bacteria and decay to enter the site, to name a few possibilities.
Dental Pain Should Never be Ignored
Not to sound repetitive, but as mentioned, things can only get worse if you ignore dental pain. Emergency dental care will get you the attention you need to avoid tooth loss, control inflammation to reduce pain, and provide a quick solution to stop an infection.
Although it might not seem like a dental issue can put your overall health at risk, in the case of an abscess, it can cause severe health issues, including sepsis. If left to spread, sepsis can be deadly if not detected soon enough - that’s pretty scary.
How can I avoid dental pain?
Avoiding dental pain not caused by an injury or damaged tooth is easier than you might think. It all begins with a strict dental regime that will keep your mouth and teeth as healthy as possible.
To avoid decay, you should be brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. With proper oral hygiene at home, you can then enjoy easy dental checkups twice a year, where basic professional cleaning can be performed along with a quick checkup to look for issues.
The key is cutting off possible issues caused by tooth decay, enamel erosion, and poor gum health, so you are less prone to cavities. We can also look for other potential issues that can lead to tooth damage and gum issues, such as teeth grinding.
Last but not least, if you live an active lifestyle, you can protect your teeth with a mouthguard to reduce the risk of injury. It’s all about being proactive with your dental care, so issues that lead to pain don’t have a chance to take place.
For more information about what to do if you are suffering from tooth pain, call Guelph Family Dentistry at 888-588-1691 or contact us here.