Different types of tooth pain require different modes of treatment. A mild toothache may only need a simple over-the-counter pain reliever, while sharp tooth pain can be a symptom of something that needs immediate attention from your dentist.
Please select from the list below what best reflects your pain:
Sensitivity to Hot and/or Cold Foods
Your teeth are made up of several layers of hard and soft tissue. The outer layer is made of enamel, then comes dentin, and underneath that lies the pulp, or nerve center of the tooth. Dentin is hard but very porous, so when it loses its enamel coating, heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods can stimulate the pulp inside the tooth.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by the following dental issues:
What to do: Try using toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth, and make sure you’re using a soft toothbrush. Avoid scrubbing from side to side; instead, brush with a gentle up and down motion.
If you have lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods, your tooth’s pulp may already be compromised. Contact our office and schedule an appointment so we can evaluate the health of your tooth and its roots.
If your sensitivity is related to a recent dental procedure, you may be experiencing temporary inflammation of your tooth pulp. It is not uncommon and should go away in a few weeks. If the pain persists or gets worse, contact our office.
Constant and Severe Pain, Pressure, Swelling, and Sensitivity
Severe and constant tooth pain is the most common symptom of an abscess. When a tooth becomes abscessed, it means that the pulp is inflamed and infected. Left untreated, an abscess can progress to a serious, life-threatening bacterial infection that can spread throughout the entire body.
Signs You May Have an Abscess
What to do: Contact our office immediately. If your tooth has an abscess, your treatment options consist of root canal therapy to clean and remove the infection, antibiotic therapy, or endodontic surgery. This will prevent the infection from spreading further into the jaw and bone tissue.
Dull Ache and Pressure in Upper Teeth and Jaw
There are several things that can cause this type of tooth pain, including sinus irritation and stress, but commonly it is due to bruxism, or teeth grinding.
Tension, stress, and anxiety experienced during the daytime can carry over to your sleep, and lead you to grind your teeth together or clench your jaws. Frequent clenching and grinding can wear down the chewing surfaces of your teeth, reduce tooth enamel, and can result in a cracked or chipped tooth, crown, or filling.
What to do: Talk to your dentist about a nightguard: a special mouthguard that is worn when you sleep to prevent damage from bruxism.
Chronic Head, Neck, or Ear Pain
Several things can account for chronic pain in your head and neck: TMJ disorders, chronic bruxism, or a bad bite due to misaligned teeth. The only way to discover the underlying cause is to visit your dentist for a full exam. With a correct diagnosis, we can create a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your symptoms and allowing you to return to a life free of pain.