Sometimes you may think you have a toothache when in reality you may have experienced an abrasion of gum tissue or jaw discomfort. Or you may have something trapped between your teeth like a seed or something small – flossing may dislodge it providing relief. If your tooth pain is not relieved with flossing or rinsing; you know it is not your jaw or an abrasion; and a pain reliever only brings temporary respite, it is time to see the dentist.
A toothache can stem from a variety of issues including:
Decay – Our teeth have a very strong, protective coating of enamel. However, if the enamel is breached bacteria can penetrate the tooth often resulting in a cavity. A cavity will not go away; it will only get worse if left untreated. Your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and restore it with a dental filling. Many patients are opting to use a tooth-colored composite resin. It is much more aesthetically pleasing and does not require as much of the natural tooth to be removed for repair.
Cracked or Broken Tooth – This exposes the nerve of the tooth. Very often the solution is a dental crown in which the cracked or broken tooth is prepared, an impression is taken, and a temporary is placed to protect the tooth until the crown is fabricated (dental labs usually require two weeks to make a crown). Once complete, your crown will be permanently cemented in place protecting the remaining tooth structure; and with materials in use today, your crown will look as natural as surrounding teeth.
Infection – If infection has settled into the tooth, sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet may send a zinging sensation upon exposure. In this case, a root canal is often required to salvage the tooth. A tiny access point is created in the tooth, and the contents of the canal (pulp, blood, nerve) are removed. The access point is sealed, the tooth is saved, and the pain disappears. The alternative to a root canal is to have the tooth extracted.
Your dentist is most always able to provide immediate relief. Delaying this appointment will only prolong discomfort and can exacerbate the problem. To schedule your visit, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan at 281-256-6866.