What should you do if your tooth hurts? You should contact your dentist. Pain is your body’s way of saying something is wrong. Although some causes of tooth pain may not immediately lead to tooth loss, they are all a sign that you should take action.
One of the most painful causes of a toothache is also the most serious. If your tooth is infected, it may hurt spontaneously, or there may be severe and lasting pain associated with heat, cold, or pressure. Other symptoms that might go along with an infected tooth include:
- Swelling or pimples on the gums
- Persistent bad breath or foul taste
- Localized warmth
If you have these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist right away. If we act in time, we can typically save an infected tooth with root canal therapy. Left untreated, an infected tooth isn’t just a danger to your oral health, it can turn into a life-threatening infection.
Your tooth might not hurt when you hit it, but it might a few hours or even days later. The main cause of tooth pain from trauma is not the immediate impact, but the swelling that comes afterward. When your tooth starts swelling, it has nowhere to go, creating painful pressure.
This will typically resolve on its own, and you can take over-the-counter pain medications that are anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) to control the discomfort.
It’s still a good idea to have your dentist take a look at a tooth after trauma. Sometimes trauma might not make a tooth loose at first, but can cause the loss of bone around the tooth, making the tooth loose.
If your bite is putting excessive pressure on one or more of your teeth, they can feel sore. This is more likely to result in a dull ache than in sharp pain. It may respond well to over-the-counter pain medications, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore it.
If you have an imbalanced bite, it can cause your teeth to wear excessively, chip, or even crack open. Sometimes we can save a cracked tooth with a dental crown and/or root canal therapy, but sometimes the crack is too severe and the tooth is lost.
If your tooth is sensitive to heat or cold, it might be because the tooth root has been exposed by receding gums. Although this isn’t an immediate danger, the tooth root is more vulnerable to decay than the crown. And once the root is decayed, repairs are more difficult, and the tooth is more likely to be lost.
Fortunately, a gum graft can cover the tooth root. This will alleviate the sensitivity, protect the root from decay, and restore the youthful appearance of your smile.
Tooth Pain Doesn’t Have to Lead to Tooth Loss
If you’re experiencing toothaches, now’s the time to act. We can determine the cause of your toothache and work to save your teeth.