Many people assume that their teeth only hurt if they have a cavity, but there are numerous reasons why your tooth becomes sensitive, and each requires unique treatment. At McCarl Dental Group, we are dedicated to patient education, and we encourage you to know the various types of tooth pain, their causes, and symptoms. Most people know that tooth decay or a cavity causes a dull ache especially while chewing or drinking. However, there are several other common causes of toothache including tooth abscess, bruxism, cracked tooth syndrome, and misaligned bite. The good news is, no matter what your dental health concern, McCarl Dental Group is here to help Millersville and Greenbelt, MD patients feel better fast. If you have a toothache, we will try to see you the day you call or the next day because we are dedicated to providing excellent emergency dental care when you need it. Call either of our convenient locations to schedule an appointment today.
How McCarl Dental Group Can Help
Each of the causes of toothache have unique symptoms, and treatments. At McCarl Dental Group, we’re here to find the cause of your pain and provide restorative dental care so you feel better fast. If you have a toothache after office hours, please call our dental office to get the emergency number of your dentist. Use over the counter pain medications and ice packs to relieve discomfort and we will assist you as soon as possible. For pain that is centered on one location, gently floss and brush around the tooth to make sure there is not foreign matter caught between teeth causing pain or irritation. You can also swish warm, salt water to reduce pain and keep any wounds clean.
Some of the common causes of toothache, their symptoms, and treatments are:
Tooth Abscess – Severe tooth decay or advanced gum disease can cause an abscess. A tooth abscess is an infected, pus-filled sore below the root. These infections can be extremely serious. While they may start out feeling like the toothache caused by cavities, they can become much more painful. Typically, the severe pain associated with an abscess is constant and increases when introduced to hot or cold temperatures. A tooth abscess can cause a “pimple” or pustule on gums, may discolor the tooth, cause swelling in cheek or jaw, and if left untreated, lead to infection that can spread causing fever, nausea, and fatigue.
Treatment of tooth abscess begins with removing the infection. This can be done by draining the abscess and prescribing oral antibiotics. For an abscess stemming from tooth decay, a root canal will likely be necessary, and for those caused by gum disease periodontal therapy should begin immediately so the infection does not return.
Bruxism – Bruxism is the unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth especially while sleeping. Over time, patients who regularly clench and grind their teeth, can wear down and grind through the enamel layer of the teeth increasing vulnerability to bacterial colonization and tooth decay. Additionally, the clenching and grinding can cause pain in the jaw or teeth simply due to pressure. If you frequently wake with headache, earache, toothache, neck pain, or jaw pain that recedes throughout the morning, ask a friend or family member to listen for sounds of bruxism while you sleep, and ask one of our dentists to look for signs of bruxism next time you visit McCarl Dental Group.
Patients who suffer from bruxism typically benefit from wearing a nightguard during sleep to protect their teeth. These guards provide a barrier between teeth protecting them from damage and pain. Additionally, patients whose bruxism is caused by stress may benefit from stress reduction treatments.
Cracked tooth syndrome – If you’ve ever chipped or cracked a tooth, you know it can be painful, However, you may not know that you can crack a tooth below the surface. When this happens, you can experience a great deal of pain, but smaller cracks might not be visible even on x-rays. If you’re experiencing pain, sever temperature sensitivity, or constant aching in one tooth without explanation (no decay, crack, or chip), you may want to ask your dentist about cracked tooth syndrome.
Treatment of cracked tooth syndrome depends on the level of sensitivity experienced. Most patients can simply receive a crown or onlay to repair the damage and protect the remaining tooth structure. However, for cracks that affect the pulp or root of the tooth and cause increased pain and sensitivity, a root canal may be performed prior to placing the crown. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to remove the cracked tooth and place a dental implant.
Misalignment – Not long ago, orthodontic treatment was considered purely cosmetic, but as dentistry advanced, research uncovered numerous oral health reasons to correct crooked teeth and bite misalignment. One major reason orthodontic treatment is necessary is avoiding tooth damage and pain caused when uneven pressure is placed on teeth. For patients whose teeth are aligned, fairly even pressure is applied to numerous teeth while chewing. Those with bite misalignment can experience pain when just a few teeth receive more pressure than others. This pain can be caused by movement of the tooth and cracking or chipping due to added pressure. Crooked teeth are also more difficult to clean thoroughly.
Depending on the extent of damage to the tooth prior to treatment, you may need a filling, crown, or other restorative treatment, but the best way to care for your smile in the long term is to seek orthodontic care to align your bite.
Call the Dentist Millersville, MD Relies On
Next time you have a toothache, don’t ignore the pain in hopes it will go away. Call your friendly dental care professionals at McCarl Dental Group to schedule an appointment today. Our convenient Millersville and Greenbelt, MD offices welcome patients from surrounding locations including Annapolis, Crofton, Glen Burnie, Bowie, Laurel, Glen Dale, University Park, and Hyattsville, Maryland.