Even if you take incredible care of your teeth, chances are, you’ll probably experience tooth pain or sensitivity sometime in your life. There are many possible culprits, from cavities to issues that aren’t even related to your teeth. Not only does tooth pain make it difficult to eat, concentrate or even get through the day, but it could also indicate a serious oral health concern. Whether your pain is mild or severe, you shouldn’t ignore the symptoms.
Treatment options vary depending on the cause of your teeth sensitivity. When you make an appointment at Green Hills Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Forgosh will complete a thorough evaluation, make a specific diagnosis, and offer an individualized treatment that will not only target your pain but also address any underlying issue that could be to blame.
Tooth Pain Symptoms and What They Point To
Pain is a generalized term that can describe a variety of symptoms. What we refer to as tooth pain and sensitivity may actually be a more specific symptom. Depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing, Dr. Forgosh may be able to better determine what the underlying issue is. Some of the most common tooth pain symptoms experienced include:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods: Although this symptom doesn’t always suggest a serious issue, it may point to minor decay, a loose filling, gum recession, or even a root canal problem.
- Sharp pain when biting down: Probably the most noticeable type of pain, this symptom may indicate an abscess, a cracked tooth, or a loose filling.
- Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods: If discomfort lasts for more than 30 seconds after eating hot or cold foods, it could indicate a serious concern like irreversible pulp damage, needing a root canal or extraction.
- Constant pain or pressure: This symptom is often accompanied by gum swelling or sensitivity to touch. If you’re experiencing this symptom, you may have an abscessed tooth caused by infection.
- A dull ache in the upper teeth or jaw: If you experience pain in your jaw, it could point to bruxism, when you grind or clench your teeth. It may also be an indication that you have TMJ disorder. It is also important to differentiate this symptom from a sinus infection or allergy related sinusitis.
What Causes Tooth Pain and Discomfort?
Visiting your dentist will help you find the cause of your tooth pain plus a treatment option. Many patients attempt treating their tooth pain with over-the-counter medications. While this process may help in the short term, finding the cause is essential to effective long-term treatment. Here are some of the most common causes of tooth pain and some remedies that may be effective:
- Cavities: Early cavities usually don’t cause sensitivity, but as the tooth decay penetrates the tooth’s enamel and underlying dentin, it can lead to tooth pain and sensitivity. Cavities, when caught before they become severe, are most often treated with fillings.
- Gingival recession: This issue exposes the root surface of a tooth and can cause fleeting (if significant) sensitivity to cold. This can be treated with a fluoride varnish, bonding, or a gingival graft.
- Pulpal damage: Deep decay or trauma that affects the nerve in the center (pulp) of the tooth tends to cause lingering sensitivity, especially to heat, and spontaneous pain that can wake you from a sound sleep. This type of pulpal inflammation is irreversible and will need either a root canal or extraction to remove the source of the pain.
- Cracked teeth: Cracked teeth are associated with pain on chewing, especially on release rather than closing. These situations require a full coverage restoration (crown).
- Gum disease: Also called gingivitis, this condition can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth where food, debris and bacteria can collect, causing tooth pain. This problem may require specialized treatment if it’s not addressed by your dentist.
Although there are also non-dental causes for tooth pain, your first line of defense to prevent serious oral health developments is to visit your dentist soon after the painful symptoms begin.
Let Dr. Forgosh Address Your Tooth Pain and Sensitivity
These are just a few of the causes of tooth pain. Dr. Forgosh uses a combination of your symptoms (what you feel), signs (what he can see), and the history of the problem to develop a proper diagnosis. He will discuss the problem with you and help you decide the best course of treatment.
If you’re experiencing any kind of tooth pain, make your appointment at Green Hills Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today.