If you have a cavity or damaged tooth, you know it is going to hurt until it is taken care of by a dentist. But if you have tooth pain for seemingly no reason at all, you may think there is no way to treat the discomfort. Pain in your mouth is never pleasant, and getting to the root of the problem can help you to treat the issue and preserve the health and appearance of your smile. For a better outcome, it is best to see your dentist as soon as the pain starts.
Causes of Pain
There are many reasons why you might be experiencing pain, notes the American Association of Endodontists. If the pain is momentary and crops up while you are eating or drinking, you might have tooth sensitivity, which is probably not a serious problem in need of treatment. However, if you experience a sharp pain when biting into food, or if the pain occurs after eating and drinking, you may have tooth decay or damaged pulp in one of your teeth. A filling that comes loose, or a cracked or broken tooth, can also cause pain.
Treatment for Pain
The treatment for tooth pain varies depending on the cause and severity. For simple tooth sensitivity, your dentist might recommend using a special toothpaste and brushing from side-to-side rather than up and down to avoid touching the exposed tooth surface which may be causing pain. Avoiding very hot and very cold food and beverages is also recommended.
For more serious causes of tooth pain, your dentist might refer you to a specialist who can better diagnose and treat the oral care issue. A root canal might be necessary to treat, clean and repair pulp damage. If your dentist discovers a broken tooth or a damaged filling or crown, he can fix the tooth or consider other options if the tooth is more seriously damaged and needs to be removed and replaced with a bridge or implant. This will alleviate the pain and keep the problem from causing further issues with your oral health.
If your dentist discovers a cavity, he can carry out a simple procedure to fill it, which also protects the nerves that cause pain in the area. Not only does this minimize pain, but it also protects you from further decay that might result in loss of the tooth, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Tooth sensitivity or damage to the tooth are the most likely culprits of your pain; nonetheless, in some cases, an entirely different condition could be causing the discomfort you are feeling. People who have chronic sinus problems often report toothaches as a symptom. If this is the case, you probably feel a dull ache in your teeth and gums rather than a localized pain that you can pinpoint easily. People who grind their teeth, a condition called bruxism, might also experience pain in the teeth. Again, it will more likely be a general ache rather than a sharp pain. Both conditions can be treated by a doctor or dentist, so make a call if the ache continues or if you cannot figure out what is causing it.
If you experience sharp or severe pain in your mouth, it could be a dental emergency and should not be ignored. Call your dentist right away and describe the pain so he can determine whether you need to be seen immediately or can wait. In the meantime, over-the-counter pain medications will relieve the pain to some degree until something is done to treat the problem.