Tooth pain or toothache is frequently caused when the nerve of a tooth or the tissues around the tooth becomes irritated or infected.
Tooth pain can occur when a tooth is severely decayed or injured. Common causes of toothache include:
- Wisdom tooth pain
- Toothache because of a tooth infection
- A toothache caused by tooth decay
- Toothache after tooth removal
- Tooth pain after a filling
- Tooth sensitivity after a filling
- Pain radiating from another area such as the jaw
What Causes Tooth Pain?
Most often, a toothache is caused when the central part of the tooth called the pulp becomes inflamed. The tooth pulp contains nerves that can are extremely sensitive to pain. Pulp inflammation may be due to infection, where bacteria from the mouth have been able to penetrate the pulp. Pain can occur if a tooth has an untreated cavity, or has suffered from some form of trauma that has chipped or cracked the tooth. Sometimes toothache is referred pain that is caused by the jaw, where the jaw joints may be inflamed, and jaw muscles have become inflamed, a problem called TMD, which is a jaw joint disorder.
What Are the Symptoms of Toothache?
The most common symptom is extreme tooth pain that can increase if you try to eat or drink something hot or cold. The pain may persist for quite some time afterward. As the inflammation in the tooth increases, it can cause other symptoms, including pain that may radiate out toward your jaw, ear, or cheek. Other symptoms include:
- Pain when chewing food
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swelling around the tooth or jaw swelling
- Signs of trauma or injury to the tooth
- Discharge or pus from around the tooth or the gum
If you try gently tapping the affected tooth, it may make the pain feel more intense.
When to See a Dentist for Tooth Pain?
It is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity after a filling and when the local anesthesia wears off, but this discomfort should soon dissipate as the filling settles down. More persistent pain or extreme tooth pain may need urgent dental care. Please seek professional dental advice quickly if you fail to get tooth pain relief from over-the-counter drugs. Other times when you should seek professional dental care for a toothache include:
- Wisdom tooth pain worsening several days after tooth extraction. The pain may be due to the blood clot in the empty socket becoming dislodged, exposing the bone and causing a condition called dry socket. We will need to clean out the empty socket and can place a dressing to protect it while it heals.
- Extreme tooth pain that accompanied with gum swelling or facial swelling, or with a discharge from around the tooth.
- Fever, which may indicate a severe abscess that requires urgent dental care. The infection caused by a dental abscess often needs antibiotics and must be surgically drained.
- Front tooth pain caused by an injury to the tooth and which may have loosened or knocked out the tooth entirely.
- Unexplained tooth pain that worsens when you open your mouth widely, indicating a problem with your jaw joints that may have become injured or inflamed.
How Is Tooth Pain Treated?
When you see us at Gentle Dental, we will conduct a thorough oral exam and review your medical history to make an appropriate diagnosis. We may take digital dental x-rays of your teeth and jaws to assess any damage or infection to the tooth more clearly as a part of dental problem treatment.
A severe tooth infection is often treatable with root canal therapy where we clean out the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth pulp, eliminating the source of infection before restoring the tooth with a dental crown. Antibiotics are prescribed if you have a fever or facial swelling, or a severe tooth infection. Other causes of tooth pain, such as TMD, will require a different treatment designed to relieve the inflammation affecting the jaw joints and facial muscles.
Do you have any questions about tooth pain relief procedure in Queens, NY? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best dental specialists of Gentle Dental, please contact our Bayside office for a consultation at (718) 461-0100.