A toothache is extremely unpleasant and can cause a dull, constant and throbbing pain, or the pain may be sharp and only present when you bite down on the tooth. Any sort of tooth pain is cause for concern as it indicates there is something wrong with the tooth. You should always see your best dentist to get a proper diagnosis. This is particularly important as a toothache can be a symptom of a dental infection. Without treatment, this infection can spread to other parts of your face and it may even become life-threatening.
What Can Cause a Toothache?
A toothache is often due to infection getting inside the tooth. For example, if you have a damaged tooth then bacteria in your mouth can easily penetrate it. A normal healthy tooth is protected by tooth enamel but any sort of break in the enamel, for instance, a crack or chip, allows bacteria to get into the dentin that lies just underneath the tooth enamel. Dentin is much softer and is more easily eroded. Initially, this erosion will result in a cavity that can be quite easily treated with a filling. However, without treatment, the infection can reach the very center of the tooth which is called the pulp and is where all the nerves and blood vessels are located. Any sort of infection in these nerves causes pain. It’s likely you will want to get emergency dental care as soon as you can to get rid of this pain.
If you don’t get treatment for a tooth infection then it can spread into the root canals inside your tooth roots. A dental abscess can make you feel pretty unwell and by this stage, you may have a fever or a headache. You might also notice a nasty taste in your mouth as the abscess tries to drain. A dental abscess can also cause swelling around the tooth and facial swelling. Please contact us immediately if you recognize the symptoms. By this stage it is possible that your toothache may have disappeared as the nerves in the tooth have died, but the infection will still be present. It is vital to treat a dental abscess as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere in your head or body.
Teeth Clenching and Grinding
The repetitive motions of teeth clenching and the forces created during grinding can cause a toothache. This is a condition called bruxism and it is often nocturnal. If you find yourself waking up with a toothache then it’s worth coming to see us. Diagnosing bruxism will help prevent any further damage to your teeth.
How Is a Toothache Diagnosed?
Our local dentist here at Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry will examine your tooth and will ask you questions about the pain. It’s important for us to find out when the pain began, it’s the severity and where it is located. We will also want to know what makes it feel worse than what makes it feel better. A digital dental x-ray of the affected tooth will show us any infection and allows us to plan your treatment.
What Are the Treatments for a Toothache?
The treatment for a toothache depends on its cause. If your tooth pain is caused by a cavity then treatment could be as simple as placing a filling. If the cavity has reached your tooth pulp and has infected the nerves, you may need root canal treatment. This cleans out the pulp and the root canals to remove the infection. Sometimes antibiotics will be necessary to help clear up the infection. In the worst case, we may need to remove the tooth. This might be the case if it is abscessed as removing it will help the abscess to drain, clearing up the infection.
Is It Possible to Prevent Toothache?
Most cases of a toothache are due to tooth decay and are entirely preventable. Preventative dentistry can help to keep your teeth healthy and strong. What’s more, preventative dentistry is very straightforward and will help save your teeth and save you money. Most people will simply need to brush at least twice a day to floss once-a-day. Make sure you come and see us every six months for regular dental exams and professional cleanings.
Other things that can help include dental sealants and fluoride applications, or keep an eye on your diet. For example, cutting back on sugary foods, especially in between meals will help lower your risk. Please don’t forget we can help you, and can offer you advice about your diet and about your dental care.
If you have a painful tooth then please don’t ignore it. Contact us to make an appointment before it gets worse.
Call Us Today on (828)-676-2144
Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry serves Avery’s Creek, Arden, Ashville, Oak Park, Fletcher, Royal Pines, Biltmore Park, Biltmore Forest, Bent Creek, Fairview, Beaverdam, Candler, Naples, Mills River, Enka Village, Woodside Hills and the Buncombe County area.
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