No one likes to feel uncomfortable, but it can be tricky to know if the discomfort automatically means something is wrong. When it comes to tooth pain, however, it rarely is a good sign. But what kinds of tooth pain should you be most concerned about? When should you contact your emergency dentist? Here is a breakdown of the types of tooth pain to take seriously and schedule an urgent appointment for.
Sensitivity to Hot, Cold, and Sugar
When you take a bite of your cold ice cream, you expect yummy goodness, not a sudden twinge of discomfort. However, there are many circumstances that can make your morning coffee, that swig of orange juice, or other hot, cold, or sugary substances triggering a sensitive response. These situations include a cavity, enamel wear from grinding or clenching your teeth, exposed tooth roots, and more.
Although you can usually manage tooth sensitivity without a dentist, you should tell them about it during your checkup and cleaning appointment. At the very least, they can keep a close eye on the situation to make sure it doesn’t get worse. Or they may be able to offer relief through fluoride treatments or other solutions.
If you experience a sharp pain when you bite down, it is most often the result of tooth decay. When acid-producing bacteria attach to the tooth, they erode the enamel, reaching the more vulnerable center layers of the tooth, which gives you pain. Sometimes, however, pain when you bite could mean that you have an abscess, or collection of pus under the gum surface, or a fractured tooth.
In any of these cases, the problem needs to be addressed sooner than later, necessitating an emergency visit to the dentist.
Pulsating pain dominates your attention when it hits. Most often in this situation, this symptom indicates that the decay has reached deep into the tooth; in fact, a root canal may become necessary to remove the infected tissue and relieve your pain. Even if this toothache subsides after a couple of days, you still must see your dentist because the tooth itself is likely still decayed.
Perhaps your pain isn’t located in a specific tooth. Maybe it’s more like soreness in the back of your mouth. This sensation may be caused by a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ disorder. Whether you grind your teeth while you sleep or your bite doesn’t align properly, your dentist can treat the problem so you avoid having jaw pain.
Ultimately, you should never have to live with tooth pain, regardless of the type. It all points to problems that require professional attention, and that mostly should be addressed immediately. Don’t ignore the signs your mouth is giving you—take the hint and have your tooth pain taken care of!
About the Practice
At Boyles General Dentistry, we gladly work with dental emergency patients with various types of tooth pain and injuries. Dr. Franklin Boyles and Dr. Stephen Boyles accept PPO dental insurance to make treatment more affordable for patients in and around Odessa. Are you experiencing tooth pain and need help? Contact Boyles General Dentistry through our Contact Us page here or by calling our office at 432-366-0896.