Tooth pain can come on quickly as a sharp, stabbing discomfort, or it can creep up on you slowly as a dull, throbbing sensation. You may only notice the discomfort when you apply pressure on your teeth from eating or by touching it. Tooth pain can be distracting or excruciating.
Most tooth pain arises from some kind of inflammation within the tooth. The extra blood flow that inflammation causes put pressure on the nerves in your mouth. Inflammation occurs for many different reasons. A thorough dental exam by a top SoHo dentist like Dr. John helps determine the cause of your tooth pain so he can treat it.
Reasons for Extreme Tooth Pain
Several conditions can cause you to seek tooth pain relief. Whether you’re suffering from front tooth pain or wisdom tooth pain, SoHo doctor Dr. John can find the cause — and the solution. Conditions that cause pain in your teeth include:
- Cavities. Whether large or small, a hole or break in the hard, outer layer of your tooth, the enamel, can allow bacteria and decay to access the nerve. That’s what causes the inflammation and pain. Sensitivity to extreme temperatures and swelling of your gums or face can also occur. Tooth sensitivity after fillings isn’t unusual and passes within a few days.
- Gum disease. Infected gums caused by gingivitis or periodontitis lead to throbbing pain, swollen gums, pus, sensitivity and possibly loose teeth. Gum disease treatment may require deep cleaning and antibiotics — or even surgery.
- Root sensitivity. Whether due to decay or trauma, if the root of the tooth is exposed or compromised, it’s easily subjected to bacteria and varying temperatures. Cold air or even a slight touch can set off sensations of tooth nerve pain. Desensitizing toothpastes help block the pores of your tooth to stop these painful reactions. Fillings or dental bonding can also serve as a more permanent solution.
- Abscessed tooth. Extreme tooth pain results from an infected or abscessed tooth. The infection can also lead to fever, ear aches or swelling in your mouth, gums, neck glands or jaw. Some people report a foul-tasting discharge or pus present at the infection site. Any infection needs quick intervention to provide tooth pain relief, as well as to halt the spread of infection to the rest of your body.
- Loose filling. Cavity fillings don’t last forever. If you have fillings from your childhood, it’s possible that they’ve been damaged or come loose. A loose filling doesn’t protect the pulp in the center of your tooth, which can cause pain if an infection sets in. Get the filling replaced before the infection gets worse and forces you to get a root canal procedure.
- Worn enamel. The enamel protects your teeth. If it wears down — which it can do from age or a destructive diet high in sugar and acids — it lets bacteria into the next layer of your tooth, leading to decay or infection. Both results can cause extreme tooth pain.
- Repetitive motions. When you chew gum, tobacco products, ice or unusually hard foods, your jaws can become sensitive. Some of your teeth can throb uncomfortably. With continued chewing, the inner layers of your teeth can develop cracks, leading to ever greater sensitivity. A poor bite may aggravate your discomfort.
Other conditions — including trauma, sinus problems or damaged fillings — may also result in pain. Tooth pain after fillings and tooth sensitivity after fillings are especially concerning if they last more than a few weeks. Contact Dr. John at Sohosmile to make sure you don’t have an infection.
Treatment for Tooth Pain
If your pain is intolerable, call on an emergency dentist in Manhattan. Otherwise, your treatment depends on the reason for the tooth pain. Dr. John at the Sohosmile dental practice determines the cause and then recommends the best treatment options, such as:
- Cavity treatment and filling — or restoring existing dental work, such as replacing an old filling
- Root canal if the infection location is at the source of the tooth’s nerve, strengthened with a crown to protect a weakened tooth
- Extraction of the tooth, especially if wisdom tooth pain suggests impacted teeth or a lack of room for your back molars