Tooth pain can be mild or major. If it is severe enough, it can make living your life difficult or impossible. If you are experiencing some kind of tooth pain, but you haven't decided to see the dentist yet, check out these four common types of tooth pain and learn their common treatments.
Many people experience sensitivity to sugar or temperature. Smiling on a cold, windy day or drinking a hot beverage may be painful. The pain is often sharp and sudden when exposed to the irritant. Sensitivity is usually caused by thin enamel or exposure of the tooth root (which has no enamel). As the enamel thins, the pulp is more sensitive to exterior stimuli. You can try reducing sensitivity with special toothpaste, and your dentist may suggest fluoride to help strengthen enamel. If your teeth are sensitive because of root exposure, performing a bonding over the exposed root or a gum graft may be necessary.
A cavity may cause no pain at all or it may cause severe pain. A small cavity on the surface of the tooth may not be close enough to the pulp to cause much pain, which means it is likely sensitive. A deeper cavity may ache even when not exposed to an external irritant. For cavities, you'll need to have the decaying tooth tissue removed to stop the spread of decay. The area will then need a filling to protect against further decay or infection and prevent sensitivity.
Teeth may also hurt if they have a chip or crack. Smaller chips and cracks on the surface may only cause sensitivity to temperature and sugar. In contrast, deeper damage may be more painful and can cause throbbing pain. Depending on the size of the chip or crack, a dentist may recommend a filling or a crown to strengthen the tooth. If a large portion of the tooth has shattered, the dentist may be able to rebuild the tooth. However, depending on the location of the tooth and the extent of the damage, it may need an extraction.
If you don't treat cavities, chips, or cracks, they may allow bacteria to enter the tooth's pulp. This can cause an infection. While some tooth infections cause little pain, most patients experience extreme, throbbing pain. The gum around the tooth may be swollen or red, and you may see pus. Because of the pus and infection, you may also have bad breath and a metallic taste in your mouth. Treatment may consist of antibiotics to help reduce the infection. You will also need root canal therapy or an extraction.
If you've been experiencing tooth pain, you should seek treatment before the pain becomes severe. Even a small cavity can lead to a major tooth infection. For more information about tooth pain and treatment, contact a dentist in your area today.