Many patients who visit us with tooth pain worry that they have a cavity or that they’ll need a root canal. In some cases, these oral health concerns do cause tooth pain, but they are not the only reasons you may be cringing every time you take a bite. In fact, there are much more common causes of toothache pain and simpler fixes. If you’re experiencing severe toothache or dental sensitivity, you should always reach out to your trusted emergency dentistry team to get started with repairs as soon as possible. In order to determine the source of tooth pain and how we can treat this oral health concern, we’ll begin by asking you to describe your tooth pain.
Describe Your Tooth Pain
The first step to determining the source of tooth pain is for us to understand when you’re experiencing discomfort. We’ll ask if you feel tooth pain when you:
- Bite down
- Expose the tooth to heat or cold
- Wake up at night in pain
Then, we’ll talk about the level of pain. Do you only notice a dull throb when you bite down or are you experiencing sharp pain regularly? When we have a better understanding of how you’re experiencing tooth pain, we can work with you to diagnosis the underlying cause and start a treatment plan right away.
1 – Dental Work That’s Off by Even a Hair
One common cause of tooth pain is actually minute changes in the bite that can occur following dental work. A new filling or dental crown will typically be harder than your natural dental structures, so if that dental work is off by the slightest bit, it can cause discomfort when you bite down. This may happen when your dentist is checking your bite immediately following the dental treatment. When this is the case, we can usually remove excess material to adjust the restoration right here in our dental office to relieve discomfort immediately.
2 – Changes in Bite Due to Dental Wear
A similar cause of tooth pain is a change in the way your teeth fit together due to tooth enamel wear. This can happen because of nighttime teeth grinding and clenching called bruxism or from years of daily wear. When the bite changes, specific teeth can absorb more pressure, which leads to hypersensitivity and pain. We can relieve this pressure on specific teeth by adjusting the bite using tooth-colored filling material or dental crowns for more advanced wear.
3 – Infection
If neither of these issues seem to be the cause of your tooth pain, we’ll want to capture x-rays of the tooth to determine whether there is infection or internal damage that may lead to a need for root canal therapy. Unfortunately, root canals have a bad reputation, but with more than 15 million root canals performed annually, this treatment is a safe and effective way to relieve toothaches and save a tooth that might otherwise need to be extracted.
Meet the McCarl Dental Group Team
The McCarl Dental Group team takes family dentistry to a whole new level with generations of McCarls all working together to deliver comprehensive dentistry services for families in the Greenbelt and Millersville communities. Our team of skilled professionals are proud to offer emergency dentistry services to help patients get out of pain as quickly as possible. Our dental office philosophy is focused on prevention to help our patients keep smiles whole and healthy, but we’re here whenever patients need us most. Call the McCarl Dental Group team nearest you to learn more today. We have dental offices in Greenbelt and Millersville.