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Tooth Pain

Teeth can become painful because of a variety of reasons. Tooth pain can be continual, throbbing or sharp, or only present when you bite down or try to chew on the affected tooth. If the gum around the tooth is painful, it may get better within a few days if the discomfort is due to an injury, but pain inside a tooth cannot disappear without professional dental care.

Why Can Teeth Feel Painful?

Tooth pain can be caused by:

What Are the Signs of Toothache?

The most common sign is tooth pain whenever you bite down, or it may be present continually. The gum around the affected tooth may be swollen. Your tooth might feel more sensitive when you eat or drink anything very hot, cold, sour, or sweet. An infected tooth can cause bad breath or a foul taste. You may develop a fever or headache, and if you have these signs, you must seek emergency dental care immediately.

Why Does a Tooth Feel Painful?

Usually, a toothache develops because the nerve in the tooth’s center has become inflamed or infected, causing tooth nerve pain. The tooth nerve is found in the dental pulp, which contains connective tissues and blood vessels. The dental pulp helps a tooth develop properly, but an adult tooth can function perfectly well without the pulp. When a tooth is strong and healthy, the dental pulp is surrounded by dentin, which is covered by tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the body.

Tooth enamel helps protect the tooth, but if it becomes breached, for example, when a tooth is chipped or decayed or damaged and worn down by bruxism, harmful bacteria can easily penetrate the dentin, eventually reaching the dental pulp and infecting and inflaming the tooth nerve. An infected tooth nerve often results in extreme tooth pain. People with a severely infected tooth will often report throbbing tooth pain that feels unbearable.

Some people feel pain when their wisdom teeth try to erupt. Wisdom tooth pain can occur if a wisdom tooth cannot come through properly and tries to erupt underneath the adjacent tooth or sideways through the gum. It is called an impacted wisdom tooth and will need to be removed in this case. Other times, a wisdom tooth will partially erupt and is still partially covered by gum tissue and is very difficult to keep clean because it is so far back in the mouth, so it is more at risk of becoming decayed and infected, and we will almost certainly suggest a wisdom tooth extraction.

A filling protects a cavity in the tooth, preventing harmful bacteria from entering the tooth. If you have a damaged filling, bacteria can get into the filling, penetrating the tooth and causing a toothache.

It’s not unusual to have teeth that feel slightly sensitive or uncomfortable shortly after receiving dental work. It can take a few days for teeth to settle down afterward, but if your teeth continue to feel uncomfortable after recent dental work, please contact us. Sometimes we may need to adjust a dental filling or another restoration to help them fit more comfortably.

Patient’s
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Best dental experience ever

Best dental experience ever. Professional and very clean office. Everyone from the receptionist to the hygienist to the dentist are amazing. So friendly and patient. You can even watch TV while getting work done on your teeth!

Nora S.

When to See a Dentist for Tooth Pain?

It is important to seek professional dental care if you have a toothache, and prompt care can help save the tooth from extraction. We know tooth pain is uncomfortable at best, and we make every effort to see patients with a toothache or any form of dental discomfort quickly. When you visit our practice, our dentist Dr. Adam Shoukry can gently examine the tooth and will take digital dental x-rays. The x-rays show areas of your mouth hidden from view, such as the tooth root, and allow our dentist to diagnose the problem quickly and accurately.

After diagnosing the issue, Dr. Shoukry can provide immediate care to relieve any discomfort and will discuss all possible options to resolve the problem properly.

Receiving Professional Dental Care for Tooth Pain

Tooth Infection

If a tooth is infected, it may require root canal therapy where we remove the inner part of the tooth, the dental pulp, and clean and disinfect the tooth before restoring it permanently. Usually, a tooth that receives root canal therapy will need a dental crown to restore it properly.

Infected or Impacted Wisdom Tooth

If you have an infected or impacted wisdom tooth, we recommend its removal.  We will refer you to an oral maxillofacial surgeon who we know and trust to take care of you. An oral maxillofacial surgeon has years of additional training and can expertly remove your wisdom teeth quickly and comfortably, so recovery afterward is smooth and fast.

Damaged or Missing Filling

Tooth sensitivity due to a damaged filling is often easily corrected by replacing the filling, protecting the tooth underneath, and eliminating sensitivity afterward. If you have a filling that you know is crumbling or have recently lost a filling, it’s always worth coming to see us promptly. We can then replace the filling before you feel any tooth pain or sensitivity.

Gum Infection

If a gum infection causes your tooth sensitivity, we can clean your teeth professionally to help remove the bacteria causing the infection. We may suggest other treatments to treat more serious gum infections or signs of advanced gum disease.

Can I Treat Tooth Pain at Home?

Any form of toothache caused by an infection cannot be treated effectively at home, and you will need to see a dentist quickly. There are various strategies you can use to provide temporary relief, including: