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A toothache or tooth pain can be impossible to ignore and can occur as a sharp stabbing pain or a dull throbbing sensation. The discomfort can be continuous or only present at certain times, such as when you bite on the affected tooth. No matter the extent of the pain or its cause, tooth pain needs to be investigated by a dentist, as otherwise, it could worsen.
Various dental problems can cause tooth pain, including infection and decay or when the tooth nerve becomes irritated or inflamed. The tooth nerve is in the dental pulp, right in the tooth’s center. Additional symptoms include tooth sensitivity to hot and cold.
Teeth can start to hurt if you take a blow to the mouth, which can also affect the dental pulp, and you will most likely feel front tooth pain. A blow to the mouth can inflame the pulp, so it becomes swollen or may cause a crack in a tooth that can let in infectious bacteria.
Pain can occur after a tooth is removed. A recent tooth extraction can cause pain, but this should disappear within a few days. If it doesn’t, the empty tooth socket might have become infected and need treatment. It can also result from an impacted or partially erupted wisdom tooth.
Sometimes the pain isn’t in the tooth but is caused by sinus problems. Your sinuses are air-filled cavities on either side of your nose. If these become infected and fill with mucus, it can place pressure on your upper back teeth, causing toothache.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a condition where the jaw joints feel inflamed and painful and can result from bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) which places teeth under considerable pressure so they can start to ache. Eating and yawning or opening your mouth wide can feel more painful when your jaw joints are affected.
Jaw Pain can occur if you have gum disease (periodontal disease) and where the gums are infected. In severe gum infections, a dental abscess might occur around the tooth root and which can affect the jawbone.
If you have recently received dental care, such as having a new filling or another restoration, the tooth can feel slightly tender for a few days afterward. Any tenderness should be temporary and disappear within a few days.
Tooth pain accompanied by other symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain could indicate heart disease. If you experience these symptoms, please seek emergency medical treatment and visit your nearest ER department, as the situation could become life-threatening.
Tooth pain is usually due to infection or inflammation in a tooth. It is unlikely to resolve on its own, so it is important to visit Century Dental so we can make a proper diagnosis and provide appropriate dental care. It might seem as if tooth pain can disappear on its own, but a severe toothache that suddenly disappears is more likely due to the death of a badly infected tooth nerve. The infection will remain and cannot clear up without dental care. Without the right dental care, there is a risk that any infection and inflammation in a tooth will continue to worsen, making it trickier to treat the tooth successfully and increasing the risk of tooth loss.
Contact us immediately so we can schedule an emergency dental appointment. We can also offer advice over the phone until you can visit our dental office. While waiting, take over-the-counter pain relief, following the directions on the packet. Do not place aspirin or other painkillers on the tooth; this will not help the pain and could burn your gum.
Try gently flossing around the tooth in case a piece of impacted food is pushing the tooth out of place and causing tooth pain. Rinse your mouth with a warm mouth rinse that you can easily make by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, as this will help soothe the pain and fight infection. Alternatively, try biting down on a cotton wool ball soaked in oil of cloves that you can purchase in the drugstore. Avoid eating and drinking anything very hot or cold, which could worsen the pain. Continue to brush your teeth as normal, but you could try using toothpaste for sensitive teeth to help relieve symptoms of tooth sensitivity.
When you visit Century Dental, we can diagnose the cause of your tooth pain and will most likely take a dental x-ray of the tooth if we suspect it is infected, decayed, or damaged. Dental x-rays can show problems not visible to the naked eye, such as impacted wisdom teeth, abscesses, cysts, and any changes to your jawbone.
Once we have a diagnosis, we can provide suitable treatment, such as filling a cavity, root canal therapy for an infected dental pulp, protecting a more severely damaged tooth with a dental crown, or removing the problem tooth. Antibiotics may be prescribed to deal with infected teeth or gums and should be taken as prescribed until you complete the course. If your tooth pain is due to other causes like bruxism, we may prescribe a custom night guard to prevent this problem and restorative care for teeth damaged by clenching and grinding.
If you recently received a new filling or another restoration that is causing pain, we can check your bite. Sometimes a new restoration can be slightly high, and adjusting it will eliminate the pain.
If your wisdom teeth are causing pain, it could be time to have them out. Wisdom teeth can often cause problems due to a lack of room in the jaw for them to erupt normally. Sometimes wisdom teeth can erupt normally but still feel painful as they push through the gums. Other times they can partly erupt, so they are covered with gum and are more likely to become infected and decayed because they are tricky to clean thoroughly. They can be impacted underneath an adjacent tooth or will try to come through sideways through the gums.
We monitor wisdom teeth that have yet to erupt using dental x-rays and can remove them if they cannot erupt properly and are problem-free. If you have an impacted or partly erupted wisdom tooth that is causing wisdom tooth pain, we will need to remove it. We can ensure your wisdom teeth are removed as comfortably as possible, and recovery is generally smooth and problem free.
Discomfort after tooth extraction should be minimal. If you have wisdom teeth removed and their extraction is more complicated, where they are severely impacted, you could experience some minor facial swelling and bruising that is controllable with over-the-counter painkillers and ice packs. If you have tooth pain after an extraction that worsens after the first few days, we can check the empty socket for signs of infection, a problem called dry socket. This only occurs in a tiny percentage of cases and is treated by cleaning out the socket so it can begin healing properly.
Tooth pain due to infection is often preventable with proper oral care. Twice daily brushing and daily flossing remove most dental plaque and food debris before this can result in gum disease and tooth decay. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth gently, using small circular motions, and ensure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time, cleaning every tooth surface. You don’t need to use much pressure, as thoroughly cleaning your teeth is more about using the right techniques. Daily flossing is essential because your toothbrush cannot clean right between your teeth, where plaque and food tend to become trapped.
After meals, get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with plain water, as this will help wash away loose food particles and reduce acidity levels more quickly, lowering the risk of acid erosion that can cause cavities. Try not to snack between meals, as sugary or starchy foods feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, so they produce harmful acids and toxins more often.
If you have a tooth that has begun to feel uncomfortable or occasionally painful, contact us as soon as possible. We can provide dental care that helps prevent tooth pain and could help prevent tooth extraction in the future, protecting and preserving your smile. Early dental care for tooth pain is also much more cost-effective.
Century Medical and Dental Center is an accredited healthcare facility in NY that operates in accordance with Article 28, a public health law. This law regulates and recognizes accreditation for public healthcare facilities, ensuring they are licensed and operated correctly. By undergoing the Article 28 process and achieving accreditation, Century Medical and Dental Center demonstrates its commitment to meeting the highest standards of care.
As a multidisciplinary medical center, we have highly qualified doctors, nurses, and support staff who are working hard to provide the best medical care to patients in Midtown Manhattan, NY, Downtown Brooklyn, NY, including Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.