Few things can put a damper on your day like a sudden toothache. When a tooth becomes painful, your San Fernando Valley dentists recommend making an appointment as soon as possible. Several factors can contribute to tooth pain, and only your dentist can safely determine the cause of your discomfort. The sooner you visit your dentist at A New Smile Dental Group, the more quickly you can find relief.
Tooth Pain vs. Sensitivity
Despite what many believe, tooth pain and sensitive teeth are not the same condition. Sensitivity generally occurs in response to heat or cold, whereas a toothache is painful with or without a stimulus. Sensitivity also tends to affect several or all of your teeth at once, whereas a toothache usually strikes only one tooth at a time. Some people have teeth that are naturally more sensitive, whereas others develop sensitivity as the result of enamel erosion. Using a specially formulated toothpaste or mouthwash is often sufficient to provide relief for sensitive teeth.
Infections of the Tooth
Your teeth are not solid throughout. Beneath the enamel is a layer of dentin, which surrounds a hollow chamber deep within the tooth. This chamber contains tissue and nerves, which may become infected and cause moderate to severe pain. If this is the case, your dentist may perform a root canal treatment to remove this tissue. After the tooth has been cleaned and sealed, a protective dental crown is placed over the area, allowing you to bite and chew with ease.
Abscessed Tooth or Gums
A sharp pain near the root of the tooth or beneath the gums may be the result of an abscess. Cavities and severe tooth decay are the most common culprits; cracks, fractures, and dental trauma can also lead to an abscess. In some cases, the pain subsides without intervention, but this doesn’t mean the tooth is healthy. This occurs when the nerves and root of your teeth die, or become non-vital. If this is the case, your dentist may not be able to salvage the tooth, and you will require an extraction and restorative dental work.