Tooth pain can be incredibly debilitating and make it difficult to eat, drink, or even sleep. Some people may experience a dull ache, while others may feel a sharp, shooting pain. The location of the pain can also differ, as it may be felt in just one tooth or multiple teeth. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible, so they can determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.
Below are five of the most common causes of tooth pain.
1. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the process by which a tooth slowly breaks down. This is caused by plaque buildup on the tooth. Plaque is a bacteria-containing sticky film that forms on the teeth and gums constantly. It can cause cavities, which are holes in teeth, if not removed properly through good daily hygiene and professional teeth cleanings every so often.
Cavities develop as a result of the breakdown of the hard outer layer of your teeth or the enamel, caused by acidic bacteria. Cavities cause tooth pain because they create holes in the teeth that expose the sensitive inner layers – the pulp and nerve – which causes pain. A lot of people are unaware they have cavities until they feel severe tooth pain, visit their dentist, and then find out a cavity exists that is reaching into the inner layers. That’s why regular dentist visits are important. When a cavity is discovered early on, steps can be taken to prevent it from reaching the inner layers, which saves you from pain and further tooth loss.
3. Teeth Grinding
This occurs when you grind your teeth together, which can wear down the enamel and cause pain in the jaw joint (TMJ). It can also lead to headaches, earaches, and neck pain. Teeth grinding can damage your teeth, which leads to pain and sensitivity.
4. Damaged Tooth Filling
A tooth filling is a dental restoration used to repair small cavities or cracks in teeth. If the filling cracks or becomes damaged, it can cause tooth pain. The pain from a damaged filling occurs when the nerves in the tooth are exposed to air, cold, or heat, and they become irritated and inflamed.
5. Dental Abscesses
A dental abscess is a collection of pus that forms in the teeth and gums. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection at the root of a tooth or in between gum tissue. One of the earliest symptoms of a dental abscess is pain, and the pain can be so severe that it becomes a dental emergency.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, you should make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible, especially if the pain is severe or has lasted more than a few days. A dentist can determine the cause of the pain and provide the appropriate treatment that will bring you relief and prevent serious complications.
Dr. Ernie Soto is a reconstructive dentist in Plantation, FL, offering a range of dental services, including the expert treatment of various dental conditions that cause tooth pain. Dr. Soto is an excellent choice for a dental provider, especially if you suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia. Dr. Soto is one of the very few dentists in Florida who provides IV sedation and anesthesia.
Get the appropriate treatment for relief from your tooth pain. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Soto, call our dental office today at (954) 368-6264 or use our convenient online appointment request form.