Your teeth know when there’s a problem. If you’re having toothaches, pain, or sensitivity; that’s your teeth letting you know that they need some attention. Ignoring pain or hoping that a toothache will just go away will only let the problem get worse. This means more pain for you and a higher dental bill in the long run, and no one wants that!
Ready to get to the bottom of your tooth pain or sensitivity? Let’s look at a few different types of tooth pain, their potential causes, and treatment options.
Sensitive to Cold. This is a very common complaint among patients; nearly one in three people I see complain about tooth sensitivity. Teeth are porous, and when they are exposed due to the wearing away of tooth enamel, the nerve of the tooth is also exposed. Tooth sensitivity can ruin cold treats, so strengthening your tooth enamel is key to enjoying that ice cold drink or bowl of ice cream.
Fluoride is very good at restoring enamel and keeping teeth healthy. It effectively fills in the porous parts of teeth and helps to rebuild the enamel on the surface of teeth. Fluoride also acts as a protective coating that keeps bacteria from being able to stick to teeth.
Cranky Cavities. Sensitivity is one of the first signs of tooth decay, which can show up as cavities. These holes in your teeth develop when bacteria accumulate in the porous parts of teeth after enamel has been compromised. When left untreated, a cavity can lead to an abscess, which occurs when the root of the tooth dies and becomes infected.
Cavities mean your tooth is past the point of being able to repair itself and require a trip to the dentist. There are a few different options for treatment﹘ fillings, crowns, or ceramics. Black mercury fillings are the oldest and most economical way to address a cavity but come with downsides, such as dark coloring and the risks that come with using mercury in the body.
A dental crown or ceramics are a better option if damage wraps around the tooth or is on the chewing surface of the tooth. With new technology, these procedures can usually be done in a short amount of time and have many positive aspects, such as natural coloring, durability, and no use of metal in the mouth.
Don’t Forget Your Gums! Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is another potential cause of tooth pain. Periodontal disease is caused by the same thing as cavities, excessive bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria can settle around the gum line, causing the gums to become inflamed and infected. This can cause gums to swell, recede, and become tender. Gum disease, especially in the early stages, can be easily treated and sometimes completely reversed. Your dentist can help to create a treatment plan that can implement both at your office visits and at home.
Damage Due to Trauma. Damaged teeth are those that have been affected by circumstances other than bacteria, such as chipping a tooth on hard food or issues involving trauma, such as getting hit in the head. These circumstances can result in chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, all of which can cause dental and facial pain. In these situations, you should contact a dentist immediately for treatment.
Don’t shrug off tooth pain! Call your dentist and make an appointment at the first sign of discomfort or sensitivity.
For more blogs by Dr. Freeman, visit his site here.