If you’ve ever suffered from a severe toothache before, then you know how debilitating it can be. Pain radiates throughout your head, jaw, and neck, sapping your desire to do anything other than find immediate relief. Fortunately, an emergency dentist can help you through crippling pain by diagnosing the cause and providing treatment.
What Causes Toothaches?
There are many potential causes for tooth pain both major and minor, but the most common issues include:
- Tooth decay or infection
- Gum disease
- Tooth fracture
- Damaged dental prosthetics (i.e., crowns, bridgework, or dentures)
- Chronic teeth grinding or jaw clenching
- Erupting or impacted teeth
- Debris in teeth
What Toothache Treatments Are Available?
Treatments for toothaches largely depend on their cause. Sometimes a deep cleaning is enough to alleviate discomfort by removing plaque and tartar that may be inflaming the gums and soft tissues of the teeth. Other times, it may be necessary to perform a root canal to remove infected nerve tissue. Patients will be happy to learn that contrary to popular belief, a root canal is relatively painless when performed properly and downright comfortable in comparison to a toothache!
When Should I Be Concerned?
Any degree of tooth pain is a cause for concern, but it’s especially the case when the pain is very severe and/or accompanied by these symptoms:
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath, even after brushing
- Swollen and/or red gums
- Trouble swallowing
These issues indicate a possible infection, which needs to be addressed immediately. If left unchecked, an oral infection can lead to tooth loss. Prompt treatment may not only provide quick relief from the pain and discomfort a toothache causes, but it may also prevent the need for more drastic treatment options like extraction.
Even if the pain is manageable, it may still be a good idea to visit a dentist. Some ailments can progress behind the scenes, only becoming obvious as they become more serious. A checkup can rule out serious concerns or treat them before they have a chance to become a burden.