What causes tooth pain?
A toothache or tooth pain can be caused by an irritation to the nerve in the root of your tooth. Common issues related to tooth pain include an infection of the tooth (abscess), tooth decay, or injury to the tooth.
Decay in almost all cases will only continue to progress, further compromising and weakening a tooth. Typically caries (cavities) will not hurt until they infect the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. At this point, typically more involved and expensive dentistry could be indicated.
You may be experiencing a high bite (or hyperocclusion) following restorative dentistry, or if your bite changes. Your bite will not correct on its own, and you will need to have your bite checked and occlusion adjusted.
Progression of Decay Video:
- Inflamed nerve (pulpitis)
Endodontic Abscess video:
Root sensitivity can be caused by gum recession. You may experience tooth pain caused by hot, cold, air, sweets, or acidic foods and drinks due to an exposed root surface. It is important to note that gum recession involves not only your gums pulling away from your tooth, but more importantly, is secondary to bone loss underneath. This bone loss is caused typically by an inflammatory response to things like dental plaque, tarter, aggressive brushing, traumatic bite, or moving/shifting teeth. Recession may require soft tissue grafting in order to prevent further damage to the gums and surrounding bone tissue. (link to soft tissue grafting)
You may experience pain while chewing (pressure sensitivity), have hot or cold sensitivity (which may linger), have bleeding, swelling, or throbbing. Pain may travel through your jaw, and into your ear as well.
How can you prevent a toothache?
At Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry, we believe in prevention. By detecting infections, failing restorations or broken teeth, we can help you achieve your best oral health and prevent a troublesome toothache. This includes coming in for dental cleanings and examinations, having a healthy diet, and home care.
Solutions to toothaches include:
- Bite adjustments (high bite) – also known as an equilibration. Equilibrations can be limited to one tooth, multiple teeth or all of your teeth to correct bite issues.
- Desensitizer application
- Root Surface Filling
- Gum Grafting (recession)
- Root Canal (pulpitis or abscess): If an abscess is present, or the nerve is experiencing an irreversible inflammation (irreversible pulpitis) your tooth may require a root canal.
- Retreatment of Previous Root Canal (abscess)
- Apicoectomy (abscess)
Find tooth pain relief
Given the wide variety of tooth pain, it’s important to work with Dr. Lepore to perform an examination in order to diagnose the issue, and develop a treatment plan that best meet your oral health needs. Tooth pain is a signal that something is wrong, and waiting on treatment can result in further issues.