Tooth pain is more than a minor inconvenience— it’s an indication that something is wrong. It can indicate dental issues like decay, fracture, or infection. While tooth pain often resolves on its own, these issues sometimes require professional dental treatments, such as a root canal, a dental crown, or a tooth extraction. Regardless of the severity or suspected cause, it’s important to have your tooth pain investigated by a dentist to ensure quick relief and proper treatment.
Types & Causes of Tooth Pain
Tooth pain may be caused directly by an issue with your tooth, or it could be the result of radiant pain—a type of pain that originates somewhere else in the body but is instead felt in the tooth. This is a common symptom of sinus and ear infections, but it can also be related to larger health issues such as heart or circulatory system conditions.
When it comes to pain directly related to the teeth, here are some of the most common causes.
This is one of the most common reasons for dental pain. It’s the result of bacteria wearing away at enamel. When too much bacteria is left in the mouth as a result of inadequate hygiene, it becomes plaque and over time, that plaque can cause decay in the teeth.
Tooth decay is generally easy to treat with proper dental cleaning and fillings. Antibiotics are often prescribed to prevent or treat infection.
An abscess occurs when the inner part of your tooth, called the pulp, begins to die. The pulp contains blood vessels, tissue, and nerves; when that dies, it creates a pocket for bacteria to grow and causes an abscess.
Treatment for an abscessed tooth includes antibiotics, cleaning and draining of the abscess, and in some cases, a root canal to treat any cracks in the tooth. In severe cases, a dental implant may be needed.
Pain can occur for as long as two weeks after your treatment if you’ve recently had wisdom teeth or another tooth extracted. The pain can be alleviated by adhering to a soft food diet, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and applying ice to the affected area.
Wisdom Tooth Eruption
As wisdom teeth erupt, it can cause intense pain in the gumline as the tooth breaks through. That’s particularly true when the tooth is growing in at the wrong angle.
When wisdom teeth begin to grow in the wrong direction, treatment is necessary. Your dentist will schedule a tooth extraction to remove the teeth and treat the pain.
Grinding or Clenching
Grinding and clenching, known clinically as bruxism, creates pressure in your mouth and has the potential to damage your teeth, increase sensitivity, and even discolour your smile. It’s often the result of stress, but it can also occur due to genetics, overdeveloped jaw muscles, or medication side effects.
If your tooth pain is determined to be the result of bruxism, your dentist will fit you with a mouthguard to keep your teeth from nighttime grinding.
If you have a filling that’s been damaged, it can lead to unexpected pain. In most cases, filling damage occurs from daily use through chewing, biting, or grinding.
Damaged fillings can be treated easily by fitting a dental crown over the filling or, if necessary, replacing the filling altogether.
An infection in the gums, known as gingivitis, can occur from poor oral hygiene, poor diet, or smoking and alcohol use. It can also be the result of genetics or long-term health conditions such as diabetes.
In most cases, gingivitis can be treated by improving hygiene habits and professional dental
cleaning. In some cases, you may require antibiotics to treat the infection.
Common Dental Procedures for Tooth Pain
While most dental pain resolves on its own over time, your dentist may recommend several treatments or procedures, depending on the nature of the pain. These may include:
During a root canal, a dentist removes infected pulp and nerves from inside the tooth. This procedure is used to treat damaged and diseased teeth, helping to relieve pain and, in most cases, saving a tooth from the need for extraction.
A dental crown is a cap that fits over a tooth to restore decay, breakage, or weak spots. They’re often used to cover and protect a tooth that’s undergone a root canal or a dental implant.
If a tooth is severely abscessed or damaged beyond repair, a tooth extraction can be performed to ensure it stops causing pain and to prevent it from damaging the gums and surrounding teeth. Tooth extraction may also be performed for wisdom teeth that are growing into the jaw incorrectly.
Put an End to Tooth Pain at Yankee Valley Dental
Tooth pain can occur for many reasons, ranging from underlying health conditions to an infection within the tooth itself. Thankfully, procedures and treatments such as antibiotics, root canals, dental crowns, and tooth extractions can help eliminate pain quickly and effectively.
Contact Yankee Valley Dental to book an appointment with Dr. Parsa so you can put an end to your tooth pain.