Tooth pain refers to aches, soreness or pain that comes from or around a tooth. It often leads to issues like dull or sharp pain and increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Toothaches can be caused by a number of things. A diagnosis performed by a dentist is needed to get to the bottom…
How Is Tooth Pain Treated?
Tooth pain occurs when the nerves or sensitive internal layers of a tooth are irritated. This can be the result of tooth decay, injury caused by trauma, infection or tooth loss. At times, you might also experience what appears to be a toothache due to problems that affect the temporomandibular joint.
Most dental issues that lead to tooth pain can be prevented by brushing two times a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing every day. Preventative procedures like fluoride treatments and the use of dental sealants can also be used to protect a patient's teeth.
Toothaches vary in intensity. Some may only last for about 20 seconds, or until whatever stimulus aggravating the tooth is removed, while others can last for days. Toothaches can radiate to other parts of the body such as the jaw, ear or cheeks. Other symptoms of toothaches include:
- Pain while chewing
- Increased sensitivity to cold and hot foods
- Blood or pus coming out of or around a tooth
- Swelling of the jaw or swelling around a tooth
Treating tooth pain
The dentist usually determines treatment for toothaches according to the cause of the pain. There is no standard treatment for toothaches since they can be caused by a variety of things. Toothaches can be managed with pain relievers, but the underlying issue causing the pain needs to be treated to make it go away permanently.
Medical history and examination
The patient's visit typically starts with the dentist going over the individual's medical history. The dentist will also perform a physical examination looking for the source of the pain. Diagnostic tests such as X-rays might also be performed to better evaluate the patient's condition.
Fillings, extractions and root canals
The dentist might perform treatments, including the application of fillings, extracting the tooth or repairing the affected tooth with a root canal. If the tooth is severely damaged, a root canal may be required to clean out the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth. A tooth that has been restored with a root canal will typically be covered with a crown to protect it from further damage.
Infections and antibiotics
Antibiotics might be administered if the patient has an infection, a swollen jaw or a fever. Antibiotics might be prescribed before restorative treatments are performed to fix the patient's condition. An infected tooth is often treated with a root canal. If there is a serious threat of the infection spreading into the patient's jawbone, an extraction might be performed instead. An extracted tooth can be replaced with an oral prosthetic such as an implant
If the patient's toothaches are caused by problems related to gum disease, such as exposed roots, procedures like gum grafts might be used to protect the roots. Other treatments may also be implemented to prevent periodontal disease from progressing.
Finding treatment for tooth pain
Contact an experienced dentist who can diagnose and treat the cause of the toothache. Do not wait until the pain increases and becomes a dental emergency. A competent dentist can pinpoint the reason for the pain, administer treatment and help prevent further complications.
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