Whether it’s a constant throbbing pain, a dull ache, or irritation to food or drinks, tooth pain can feel almost impossible to manage. The good news is that you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) live with it. In many cases, correcting the cause of your tooth pain can be a simple and virtually painless procedure that will almost instantly alleviate you from the agony. Plus, getting into the dentist early and receiving prompt treatment can prevent the problem from turning into something more serious and harder to correct.
Read through the most common causes of tooth pain and how they can be treated, then schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine exactly what’s causing your toothache.
Cavities occur when things like bacteria in the mouth, excess sugar, lack of brushing, and other factors begin to erode your tooth, causing permeant damage and decay. Sometimes cavities can be painless; other times, a cavity may cause constant dull pain or sensitivity to food.
Treatment: Dentists look for cavities by searching for soft spots, examining x-rays, or looking for obvious signs of decay in the mouth. Cavities are often corrected by cleaning and filling the area with metal, porcelain, or other material.
Trauma to your tooth can sometimes cause the hard dentine to split, crack, or break off. This can leave nerves and other interior parts of your tooth exposed to bacteria, food, and other particles that can irritate the tooth and create a painful sensation.
Treatment: Your dentist can try to save the tooth by patching fractures with a filling, dental glue, or a veneer. In extreme cases, they may need to perform a root canal, place a crown or cap over the tooth, or extract the tooth altogether.
A tooth can become infected if it has a cavity, fracture, or other tooth damage that is left untreated and the nerve or “pulp” of the tooth is exposed to bacteria and begins to die. The abscess can cause inflammation, often causing extreme pain and sensitivity to the area.
Treatment: Treatment options depend on the extent of the damage and usually involves a combination of the following: draining the abscess, antibiotics, a root canal, placing a cap or crown over the tooth, or tooth extraction. An untreated tooth infection can lead to serious, sometimes deadly, health issues.
Crowns and fillings are designed to patch fractured, decayed, and damaged areas of your tooth in order to protect the inner parts of your tooth from bacteria and substances that can cause infections or irritations. If the crown or filling becomes damaged from either excessive wear and tear, age, or other trauma, it may no longer be protecting the area and can lead to tooth pain.
Treatment: Loose or damaged fillings, caps, or crowns can usually be repaired or replaced quite easily, especially if caught early.
All of us go through the “teething” phase as babies and children, and many of us go through this painful process again as teenagers or young adults when our third molars, or wisdom teeth, begin to come in. While some molars can come in without problems, some can become impacted (coming in from the wrong direction) or create serious pain in the gums, mouth, and jaw.
Treatment: Most patients complaining of pain from incoming wisdom teeth will have them removed. In normal cases, this can just mean pulling the tooth. If the tooth is impacted or if there are factors that complicate the removal, you may need to undergo surgical extraction.
If you are experiencing pain in your tooth or mouth, don’t wait to have it treated. Untreated issues with the teeth can quickly grow into larger problems with more extensive and costly procedures. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with our Long Island dentists to discuss your treatment options and stop suffering through tooth pain.
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