Meadows Dental Care

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Tooth Pain: What Could It Be?

Tooth Pain: What Could It Be?

MY TEETH HURT! COMMON CAUSES OF TOOTH PAIN
If you have ever had a throbbing toothache, it is hard to forget. Some say that tooth pain is one of the worst pains felt in the body, especially when it is unexpected. There are times that it is not obvious what is causing the pain, which makes it even more stressful. Your tooth pain can be as simple as a tiny cavity or a loose filling, but you won't really know until you schedule an exam at your dentist. DentalWorks in Austin, TX will work with you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to diagnose the source of your pain and treat it quickly. From abscesses to wisdom teeth, these are some of the most common causes of tooth pain:

ABSCESS
An abscessed tooth can lead to a large amount of pain. When you have an abscess this means that you have an infection deep within the root of your tooth. You will have noticeable inflammation and swelling and, of course, lots of pain that may make it difficult to chew on the infected side of your mouth. Plus, if you have a fever, the infection has spread into your jaw and may turn into a septic infection throughout your body. To treat the pain, your dentist will need to drain the abscess and prescribe a round of oral antibiotics.

CAVITIES
Sneaky cavities are the number one suspect when it comes to tooth pain. And while you may think of cavities as a small dental problem, they can turn into larger issue, like an abscess, if left untreated. When caught early, a cavity can be easily cleaned out by your dentist and sealed with a tooth-colored filling.

CLENCHING YOUR JAW
The hinge of your jaw is known as the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Clenching your jaw, either as a response to stress during the day or while you sleep, it can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). This can alter the alignment of your bite leaving you with tooth pain, headaches, and other symptoms. DentalWorks in Austin, TX offers many treatments for TMD, including night guards. Once your TMD is diagnosed, your dentist can develop a personalized TMJ therapy plan to alleviate your pain.

GRINDING YOUR TEETH
People have different responses to daily stress. If you are gritting your teeth off and on for hours during the day, you may eventually notice tooth pain. You may also have nocturnal bruxism, which means that you are unconsciously grinding your teeth in your sleep. Teeth grinding damages your dental health, eventually leading to pain, weakened enamel, and tooth fractures. After diagnosing your bruxism, your dentist can develop a treatment plan to protect your teeth from grinding and restore the health of your mouth.

LOOSE RESTORATION
Many people have older metal dental fillings that don't bond as well to enamel as modern composite resin fillings. A loose filling can really cause problems in your mouth fast. Food and bacteria sneak into the crevices under your restoration causing irritation, infection, and decay. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to feel or see a loose filling. The movement of the restoration may be small. You may not even know you have a problem until your dentist sees it on an x-ray. If you still have metal fillings, talk to your dentist about replacing them before you have a problem.

ORTHODONTIC ADJUSTMENT
Whether you're straightening your teeth with traditional metal braces or clear aligners, you will probably feel at least a little tooth pain. After braces are tightened or adjusted, there is usually a period when your teeth and gums are likely to be a little achy after the visits. Switching to your next set of aligners also tends to make your mouth feel tight for a while as your teeth acclimate. We suggest that you talk to your dentist or orthodontist about ways to reduce discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers and other home treatments. Extreme or lasting pain should be reported immediately since it could be a sign of a serious problem.

SINUS PRESSURE
If you suffer from allergies or chronic sinus infections, you know the discomfort of throbbing sinus pressure and headaches. Your teeth (particularly you upper molars) are very close to your sinuses so you may feel tooth pain if you have an infection in your sinuses (sinusitis). You will need to see your primary care physician to treat sinusitis. Once you have your sinus situation under control, your facial and dental pain should let up for some well-deserved relief.

TEETH WHITENING
Over-the-counter teeth whitening strips and other products can make your teeth feel sensitive after application. Using too much whitening solution and whitening solution getting into a damaged tooth can be reasons why your teeth hurt. Rather than risk tooth pain, sensitivity, and uneven results, schedule a consultation to learn about professional teeth whitening. DentalWorks in Austin, TX offers both home and in-office teeth whitening customized to your needs and goals.

TOOTH SENSITIVITY
Every once in a while you may feel a spot in your mouth that is particularly tormented when you drink hot coffee or enjoy a bowl of ice cream. Sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet can indicate a larger dental problem, like a cavity or exposed nerve. You should schedule an appointment with your dentist if you have chronic tooth sensitivity so the underlying issue can be diagnosed and treated.

TRAUMATIC INJURY
If you are in a car accident or endure a sports-related injury, the impact to your teeth can cause a crack, chip, fracture, or a complete knock out of your teeth. It is best to have your teeth checked out afterward if you suffer an injury to your face or teeth. To prevent sports-related dental injuries, Dental Works in Austin, TX offers custom athletic mouth guards.

WISDOM TEETH
Your third molars, commonly known as the wisdom teeth, typically develop after all of your other teeth are in place. When they start to erupt (around the age of 17 – 21 years old), you probably don't have enough room in your mouth for them. This is why the wisdom teeth are usually removed. Before they are, wisdom teeth can wreak havoc. You may feel anything from a general soreness to an overbearing pain that will not resolve itself without treatment. Your jaw may appear swollen and feel sore throughout the eruption progression. With modern extraction techniques and sedation, removing wisdom teeth can be an easy process that saves you from a lot more pain in the long run. Waiting too long to get your wisdom teeth removed increases your risk of developing cysts, nerve damage in your jaw, and a more invasive removal technique.

DON'T FORGET IT, FIX IT
As soon as you feel any discomfort, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to get the problem diagnosed and repaired. If you're fighting through the pain because of dental fears or anxiety about the possibility of an invasive procedure, ask about your sedation options. DentalWorks in Austin, TX uses the most advanced equipment and techniques to minimize your discomfort during procedures, but we also offer many different levels of sedation to accommodate your needs. And remember that most dental problems will not heal on their own, so the longer you wait to seek treatment, the bigger the problem becomes, which may mean a longer treatment process. If you really want to avoid spending extra time and money in the dentist's office, schedule twice yearly appointments at DentalWorks in Austin, TX for cleanings and an oral health exam. This allows your dentist the opportunity to offer proactive solutions like dental sealants, professional fluoride treatments, and more that will reduce your risk of developing tooth pain in the first place. Like Benjamin Franklin said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.