If Your Teeth Hurt, Don’t Wait! Find Out Why

When we experience tooth pain, whether sharp, dull, throbbing, occasional, or constant, we immediately wish for relief. You may turn to a pain-relieving medication or you may simply try to continue with your day enduring the pain. If left unaddressed, many causes of tooth pain can develop into a painful, long-term dental problem. If you are experiencing tooth pain, we recommend you seek long-term solutions. You deserve relief!

An important part of solving tooth pain is diagnosing the cause of the pain. Most causes of tooth pain require an x-ray and an intraoral photo to diagnose, while other sources of pain may be quickly identifiable Once the cause of your tooth pain is identified, you and your dentist can work together to resolve your dental problem with an effective, targeted, comfortable treatment.

Gum Recession

Some patients, in fact, brush their gums too hard, which can lead to gum recession.

Tooth pain can be caused by either the gums or the tooth itself. Gum recession increases the chances of a patient developing tooth sensitivity. If you think this might apply to you, we recommend changing to a softer-bristled brush and focusing on brushing and flossing regularly. If the discomfort doesn’t subside, then consult with your dentist.

Gum Infection

Unfortunately, tooth or gum soreness, can be a sign of gum infection. Gum infections occur when bacteria infiltrates and irritates the gums. Gum infections are relatively common among adults over thirty. If you think you have a gum infection, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahmed. If she determines you do have a gum infection, you may need to start a regimen of antibiotics and oral rinses.

If patients are experiencing pressure or swelling around their tooth, or have a bad taste in their mouth, this can be a sign of an infection. Patients who are experiencing a fever, a headache and pain that has lasted for over a day, should call their dentist to schedule an appointment.

If left untreated, a gum infection may develop further, contributing to additional painful issues, such as a tooth abscess.

Tooth Abscess

An abscess refers to a tooth condition where the tooth pulp or the tissue inside the tooth becomes infected. The infection eventually builds in the tooth to the point where it can drain at the root of the tooth, creating pressure. An abscess can expand from the tooth pulp to create an infection in the bone itself.

It may be necessary to perform a root canal to remove the patient’s inflamed or infected tooth tissue and prevent the infection from spreading. Old Town Smiles is proud to offer their patients a variety of comforting options to root canal patients, guaranteeing the procedure is relaxing and pain-free. Once the infection has been removed, patients can return to their usual daily routine, with the help of regular dental hygiene and maintenance.

The tooth pulp may alternatively be inflamed, but not yet infected. The inflammation may not have reached other areas of the mouth. Your dentist may be able to remove any cause of decay and place a filling and or crown, which can allow the rest of the tooth pulp to recover.

Tooth Decay

The acids from sugar and starch in our diet can stick to our teeth and slowly wear away the surface of our teeth, also known as tooth enamel.

Tooth decay refers to erosion or cavity formation of the teeth. Soft spots, sensitive spots, or holes can form in the teeth. The tooth may become sensitive to temperature, or feel pain when food or liquids come in contact with it. It is important to address tooth decay early. Otherwise, tooth decay may get to the point where eating becomes painful and a root canal may become necessary to address the pain and return the tooth to healthy function.

A diet that is low in sugar will help prevent decay.

Regular brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash will greatly reduce your chances of developing tooth decay. By just taking a few minutes every day, you will be saving yourself from what may potentially be a lot of time, money and discomfort down the road. Too much starch and sugar in your diet is a recipe for dental disaster.

Compromised Filling

If a filling is compromised, it runs the risk of fracturing, resulting in severe tooth pain.

If you have pain or sensitivity in a tooth which already has a filling for a previous cavity, your filling may have cracked, or decay may have developed beneath the existing filling. We advise patients who think their filling has been compromised to call our office as soon as possible and speak with our helpful staff about scheduling a check-up with Dr. Ahmed.

Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth refer to teeth that do not have adequate space in the oral cavity, putting pressure on the bone and surrounding teeth. This most commonly occurs in a patient’s wisdom teeth, the teeth furthest back in a patient’s mouth.

Wisdom teeth may or may not break through the gums, but can still become impacted. The pressure created by impacted teeth can make it more likely for bacteria getting stuck between the teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum infection.

The discomfort and complications that impacted teeth can pose for patients is part of the reason why dentists recommend their patients get their wisdom teeth removed at a younger age, if possible.

Cracked Tooth

A tooth can crack as a result of trauma during physical activity, pressure from an impacted tooth, or from biting into something that is too hard for the tooth to handle. Patients with cracked teeth can experience pain when chewing or drinking, or sensitivity to temperatures. Your dentist’s recommended solution will depend on the size and severity of the tooth fracture.

Throbbing or Dull Pain

Many patients feel frustrated by the throbbing or dull pain they may feel intermittently, or chronically. Tooth or jaw pain can be a result of frequent tooth grinding, whether from stress or frequent chewing. Patients can speak to their dentist about solutions for their habitual grinding, like the use of a mouth guard for patients who grind their teeth in their sleep. Occasionally, throbbing in the upper teeth or jaw can also be a sign of a sinus infection, a non-dental issue, that patients will still likely want to address to find relief from the discomfort.

Teeth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a common issue many adults face. When the teeth are exposed to extreme hot, cold, sweet, or spicy food or beverages, the teeth may ache, sting, or tingle. Some patients, unfortunately, are genetically predisposed to have more sensitive tooth enamel than others. Tooth sensitivity can also be a result of diminishing tooth enamel or gum recession. Sensitivity can become so great that some people cannot enjoy most food or drinks without pain. Patients can find relief from their tooth sensitivity by brushing with toothpaste designed specifically to address sensitivity. Patients can also help strengthen their enamel by rinsing regularly with a fluoride mouthwash.

Factors like genetics, stress, health conditions or poor dental hygiene can all contribute to painful issues with our gums and teeth. Thankfully, regular dental hygiene and routine trips to your dentist are two major ways you can prevent and control these uncomfortable situations so that you can enjoy your best dental health for years to come.

If you are experiencing tooth or gum pain, a bad taste in your mouth, or a fever that has lasted for more than a day, call Old Town Smiles to find out the source of your discomfort. You can find relief!

Patients who address their pain early on have a better chance of avoiding long-term damage, less cost and achieving a good result Tooth pain, if left untreated, can, unfortunately, lead to more painful and distracting dental issues that have to be addressed with a more involved treatment plan and could be more costly.

Pain relief doesn’t have to be painful. While dental work to address tooth pain may be anxiety-inducing for many patients, we specialize in keeping our patients comfortable during their dental work. Our wide menu of sedation and pain-relief options have helped thousands of patients receive their dental procedures without pain or anxiety so that they can get back to their daily lives, free of tooth pain! We advise patients to call us as soon as they experience tooth pain so that we can relieve your pain with long lasting solutions that are right for you.

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