The Many Faces of Tooth Pain
Many people think that a painful tooth means they need a root canal treatment. While that is sometimes true, it’s not always the case. In fact, there are many other reasons why teeth can hurt!
Here, we offer a guide to some common types of tooth pain and what that pain may be trying to tell you:
Sensitivity to hot and cold foods:
If the pain is short-lived, you probably do not have a serious problem, but more likely a loose filling or a small amount of gum recession that has resulted in root surface exposure. Try using sensitive teeth toothpaste and a soft brush with a gentle up and down motion. If this doesn’t help after a week or so (especially if there is a loose or missing filling), give us a call.
Heat sensitivity after an appointment:
Some types of dental work can irritate the pulp inside your teeth, causing sensitivity for several weeks. If it lasts longer than that, let us know.
Sharp pain when biting:
Sometimes sharp pain can be caused by a loose filling or a crack in your tooth. Either of these scenarios requires evaluation by a professional, so please give us a call.
Pain/Sensitivity lasting longer than 30 seconds:
Often this means that the pulp (innermost part of your tooth) has been damaged and there is probably infection. Without intervention, you may lose this tooth so it is important to call us to find out what are the best treatment options.
Frequent, dull aching in the jaw.
This can happen when excessive grinding of the teeth happens (bruxism), when there is advanced periodontal disease, or it could even be a sign of a sinus headache or infection. Please call us for more information.
Severe spontaneous pain, pressure or swelling of the gums:
This may mean that you have an abscessed, infected tooth that may have spread to other tissues in the mouth. This is a serious situation that requires an emergency visit and should not be left untreated
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