What Tooth Pain Means
Tooth pain can suggest a number of issues ranging from mild and temporary to severe and requiring dental attention. Here is a look at some of the more common causes of tooth pain and what it might mean.
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods and Drinks
• Momentary: Could be caused by a small cavity, a loose filling or gums that have recessed. Take extra care of your teeth, with up and down brushing, and schedule a routine checkup.
• After dental work: The treatment could have inflamed the pulp at the center of the tooth. It should go away in two to four weeks.
• Lingering pain lasting more than 30 seconds: Unfortunately, this suggests that the pulp is thoroughly decayed and a root canal is needed to clear it out and necessary to save the tooth.
Pain or Aching
• Sharp pain from biting down: This suggests rather extensive decay, a loose filling, or even a crack in the tooth. Although not exactly an emergency, get into the dentist in a timely fashion, as this could get worse quickly.
• Constant and severe pain, swelling of the gums, and sensitivity to touch: This could be what is called an abscess, which is an infection in gums and bone. See a dentist soon to save the tooth.
• Dull ache or pressure in upper teeth and jaw: This is normally a result of grinding of teeth during sleep, called bruxism. This can be treated by your dentist with a mouth guard worn during sleep, but could also be a sign of sleep apnea.
Tooth pain can truly diminish your quality of life while you are dealing with it. If you are experiencing it, never hesitate to contact your dental office to get expert advice specific to your situation.
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