Identify and Treat Tooth Pain
Most people will experience tooth pain at some point, but that pain can be caused by any number of problems. It may be a very light pain that’s more discomfort than anything else, or it could be excruciating pain that you would do anything to get rid of right away.
There are not just different levels of pain, but different types as well. For some people, their teeth will only hurt when they drink something cold or when they use a particular tooth to bite food. For others, there is a constant throbbing pain that they can’t seem to get rid of. There are reasons for all of these, and we are going to look at some of the most common types of tooth pain and what you need to do to treat them.
First of all, before we talk about the different types of pain you can experience, let’s make it clear that it is important to contact your dentist if the pain persists. If you have tooth pain for more than few days, and especially if the becomes worse, then you need to contact your dentist and set up an appointment as soon as possible. There could be a serious problem that your dentist needs to address, and if the pain hasn’t gone away in few days, then it is likely only going to get worse. It’s better to take care of it as soon as you can instead of waiting it out and hoping it will get better on its own.
The major cause of toothaches is tooth decay. This means that the protective layer around the tooth, known as enamel, has started to wear off and the core of the tooth is rotting.
This creates cavities or holes in the teeth that will only become bigger and bigger over time. The best way to deal with this is to go directly to your dentist. You can look for cavities yourself in the mirror. Just look or any dark spaces in the center of the teeth that are bothering you. Probably the first sign that you have a cavity will be the pain when you bite down on food with that tooth, particularly if the food gets inside of the hole. That means that the food is mashing against the sensitive tooth interior and possibly the root of the tooth, and that can cause incredible pain. Your teeth may also hurt when you drink very cold beverages or eat cold foods when you have a cavity. Be sure to have this problem taken care of right away. Your dentist can cap the teeth and protect the tooth interior, allowing you to eat and drink normally once more.
If tooth decay is allowed to continue, then the teeth can become infected, resulting in greater pain. If the infection spreads and becomes severe enough, then it can require removal of the tooth. Tooth infection pain is one of the worst kinds of toothaches you will ever feel, and it needs to be dealt with immediately. Do not allow it to continue, or the infection could spread further and create larger problems for you.
You may also experience jaw pain from the infected tooth. A serious tooth infection can hurt the surrounding tissue, including the jawbone and gums. Even your sinuses, ears and heart can be affected by severe tooth infections. That’s why it is so important to treat this problem right away.
A tooth infection may not be painful in all instances, so just because your tooth doesn’t hurt, that doesn’t mean you don’t have an infection. When the tooth is infected, the soft tissue may become inflamed and your gums may swell up. Your dentist may need to clean out and file down the interior of the tooth and then seal it so that nothing else can get inside.
Your tooth should be able to function normally after the dentist seals it. The earlier you catch this problem, the faster and easier the dentist will be able to repair it, which is why it is important to visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can find problems with your teeth that you might not have noticed, like the beginnings of an infection or cavity. Before the pain even starts, your dentist can handle the problem with preemptive care, and if your dentist can do that, then it will save you from a lot of excruciating pain.
Handling the Pain
Your dentist may not be able to take care of your underlying problem right away. If you have a cavity or abscess (infection), then the dentist may need to do some cleaning and prep work during the first visit, and then place the cap or filling on the next visit. This means that you will spend some more time in pain with the damaged tooth.
The dentist may prescribe you medication if the pain is severe enough, but the dentist will often recommend that you simply take some aspirin to deal with the pain, when necessary. You may not need to take painkillers throughout the day, but it’s a good idea to have some on hand for when you accidentally bite down on the hurt tooth or the pain just starts shooting out on its own. Most of your tooth pain problems can be solved within two visits, and then you should experience complete tooth pain relief.
If you want to avoid the kinds of tooth pain we have talked about when you need to practice preventative care. That means taking care of your teeth by brushing daily and flossing regularly. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, but it’s even better if you brush after every meal.
You also need to eat a healthy diet, avoiding sodas and other sugary foods and beverages. Eating very hard foods, like popcorn kernels, hard candies, and ice, can damage your teeth and open the way for infection and pain. Try to include some vegetables each day to keep your teeth strong and your enamel protected.
As always, don’t forget to visit your friendly local Newington dentist for regular dental check-ups!