A toothache is a pain that originates in the teeth and radiates into the jaw and facial muscles. It typically occurs when a person has a cavity, a cracked tooth, or an infection.
If you are experiencing a toothache, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Some toothaches are a sign of a bigger problem, so do not wait for your toothache to go away on its own.
Tooth decay is a disease that damages teeth. It occurs when foods containing sugars or starch are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth digest these foods, which cause acid production. The acid wears away tooth enamel, leading to decay. Eventually, if left untreated, the decay can reach the pulp of the tooth and cause painful infections.
Tooth infections often come with pain. They can be caused by untreated tooth decay, gum disease, a chipped tooth, or a broken dental restoration.
A tooth abscess can be caused by decay, damage, or trauma to the tooth. The infection can develop when bacteria enters the tooth and multiplies. This type of infection in the teeth is known as an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is very serious and can result in chronic toothache and tooth loss if left untreated. The infection can also cause pus to build up in the inflamed area. If a tooth abscess is left untreated, it can result in serious complications. In some cases, the infection can spread to the jaw, neck, face, or sinuses.
The third and final molars are more commonly known as wisdom teeth. They are the third molars to grow in at the back of your mouth, behind your molars. More times than not, these teeth do not grow in properly, become impacted, and cause toothache.
Gum disease can also cause tooth pain. Receding gums can pull your teeth out of alignment and expose the root of the tooth. Bacteria can enter the gum line and cause an infection.
If your toothache is caused by a cavity or infection, your dentist may perform a filling or root canal to correct the problem. Treatment for an abscessed tooth usually includes antibiotics and cold compresses to reduce swelling. Depending on how severe the abscess is, oral or IV antibiotics may be necessary. If a root canal is performed, the dentist will work to remove the infection before filling the tooth. For other dental problems, your dentist may prescribe medication, a mouthguard, or other treatments. For example, if your tooth is worn down, your dentist might recommend a restorative treatment like a dental crown.
Good oral hygiene is the key to avoiding toothaches. To prevent the occurrence of toothaches, brush and floss your teeth regularly. Make sure you brush at least twice a day for two minutes each session. Flossing is equally important to remove plaque from your teeth. Regular checkups and cleanings, as well as a healthy diet, will also help keep your teeth free of decay and bacteria that can cause infection.
Visit us at Paradise Family Dental, 4900 Paradise Way, Suite 104, West Richland, WA 99353, to learn more about our dental procedures. Call us at (509) 581-0626 to book an appointment.