What should I do if I have a toothache?

If you have a little bit of pain now, get it checked out before it gets worse!

If you have a little bit of pain now, get it checked out before it gets worse!

Like most problems, dental issues that are not treated immediately only get worse.  So if you're feeling pain from your mouth, it's important to get treatment right away so that the pain doesn't get any worse, and doesn't end up costing you more than it has to.

There are different kinds of dental pain that mean different things, but in every case, dental pain means that either infection caused by bacteria, or cracks caused by physical trauma have gotten close to one of the vital structures of the tooth. 

The first type of dental pain is usually called "sensitivity." This is a sharp but low-intensity pain that's usually triggered by cold and sweet or sour foods.  This is brought on by damage to the tooth that's beginning to get close to the nerve inside.  This can happen many different ways, but the good news is that it's relatively fast and inexpensive to treat.  Most of the time, this type of sensitivity is the result of a medium-sized crack or cavity, and can be solved by a filling. If it's caused by recession of the gums, the solution may even be something faster and less expensive. 

If you have this type of pain, it's essential that you get it taken care of as soon as possible.  Bacteria will continue to eat the tooth structure, and cracks will spread just like they do in a piece of glass.  If the damage reaches the nerve of the tooth, the cost to treat it will increase by ten times, the time to treat it will quadruple, and the chance of losing the tooth in the next ten years will triple!

The second type of tooth pain is a classic toothache: dull but intense aching that comes and goes by itself.  It may be worsened by hot foods, but will come on by itself, and keeps you up at night.  This type of pain signals that the infection has spread to the nerve of the tooth, and can only be solved by either cleaning out the dying nerve tissue and placing a filling inside the root (root canal treatment), or by removing the tooth.  As medical professionals, we hate removing a functional part of the body, but unfortunately, many patients are forced into having a tooth removed if they can't afford the multiple treatments necessary to save it. 

We want to avoid this at all costs, so we always encourage our patients to have regular cleanings and checkups.  This way, problems can be caught in their earliest stages or even prevented

The third type of common toothache pain is a dull sense of pressure, that gets worse  when biting down, and may or may not become painful.  This type of pain is usually in teeth that suffered a severe blow in an accident or fall, and can take years to develop.  It is even possible in teeth that have had root canals in the past.  This pain is caused by pressure on the ligament that connects the tooth to the jaw, and often signals that the nerve of the tooth has died, causing inflammation at the tip of the root.

These three categories are very generalized, and there are many other types and causes, Including migraines and TMJ, but the point is that once you feel pain, damage is already being done!  If you have any pain in your mouth, face, or jaws, Call us today at (718) 268-1561,  or request a consultation.