Why won't my tooth pain go away?

Pain in the tooth is a very common dental problem that may be related to a number of causes. Most toothaches are caused by tooth decay. This happens when plaque builds up on the surfaces of the teeth, providing a rich breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria will feed on the food particles left behind when you eat, and create an acid that gradually eats and erodes away the surface of your teeth. This makes them thinner and weaker than normal. Eventually, a cavity will form. When this happens, food particles can get caught in the hole, and cause pain as the tooth nerve becomes irritated by the food and beverages you consume.

What will the dentist do when my tooth aches?

Before we can treat your tooth pain, it is important that we determine the exact cause of your toothache. In addition to tooth decay and cavities, there are a number of things that can cause persistent tooth pain. These include:

  • Inflammation of the tooth pulp
  • A tooth abscess
  • A chipped, cracked, or broken tooth
  • A tooth that has become impacted
  • Gum disease

Some patients may experience pain when their teeth are exposed to cold or hot beverages. This is a condition known as tooth sensitivity, and can be treated using a special toothpaste or prescription medication. Other treatments may also help, though your dentist will want to examine your teeth carefully in order to determine the best course of action in your case. Sometimes, tooth pain isn't a dental problem at all. Medical issues such as a sinus infection can cause you to experience severe tooth pain. When you come in to our office for an evaluation, we will check to ensure that your tooth pain is caused by a dental issue and not a medical issue. If no dental issue can be found, an antibiotic may be prescribed, or you may be referred to your general care doctor.

My tooth is killing me, and my dentist isn't in. What should I do?

If your tooth pain will not go away, severe symptoms after hours can be a problem. Take an over-the-counter pain medication, and if necessary, visit the hospital emergency room. This is especially important if you are experiencing swelling in your face or jaw. You will also need to schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible so that the underlying dental issue causing your pain can be treated as soon as possible. You do not want to leave the issue untreated, even if the pain subsides. Left untreated, dental issues can become more serious very rapidly, and may even spread into your gums, jaw bone, and face.

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