On February 16th, 2012, posted in: Blog
One of the most common dental problems, toothaches, have a wide variety of causes and treatments. Gum, jaw, and tooth pain can be easily confused with each other, and without the help of a professional dentist they can be almost impossible to diagnose. However, in many cases where a tooth is damaged or sensitive to liquids it may be a sign of one of these ailments:
- Tooth decay: Cavities–caused by bacteria breaking down sugars and making acid that penetrates enamel–will eventually reach low enough in the tooth to cause either direct sensitivity of the nerve, or microcavities in the teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, and different types of pressure.
- New teeth coming in: When adult teeth or wisdom teeth are erupting through the gums, the inflammation associated with it can make teeth sore.
- Fractured tooth: Biting down hard on the wrong thing can create an external or internal fracture or crack in a tooth. Sometimes a broken tooth is extremely painful, other times it may not cause any pain at all. Depending on how the tooth is damaged, it will be more or less sensitive.
- Losing a filling: Fillings may fall out or be knocked out, resulting in a previously filled and cleaned cavity being opened. Because this part of the tooth may be hard to clean, it generally will degrade faster than the rest of teeth due to buildup of food or acids.
- Infection of the gums: If there is inflammation, swelling, or other signs of infection, pain in the gums can sometimes feel like pain in the tooth. Infections are important to treat soon because they can quickly damage the mouth or spread beyond it.
Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash are generally good ways to avoid degradation of the teeth and complications leading to tooth damage. Healthy gums are also crucial to maintaining proper overall oral health, and preventing toothaches. There are many other causes of a toothache, and many will vary in terms of sensitivity to temperature, sensitivity to sweets, and pain while applying pressure.
If you have a toothache that lasts longer than a few days, or is painful, call the office of Dr. Virk at 509-838-0404.
Davenport Smiles LLC
111 South Post Street
Spokane, WA 99201