Identifying the Cause of Tooth Pain
Toothaches can be as frustrating as they are uncomfortable. Often, it’s not easy for patients to identify the exact cause of the pain. Perhaps this is due to the fact that there are so many causes of toothaches: an abscessed tooth, fractured tooth or damaged filing, to name a few.
Riverside County’s leading cosmetic dentist, Dr. Derek B. Hauser, is famous for caring about his patients’ health and overall comfort. He has been fulfilling the dental needs of families for more than 20 years. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, Contact Lakefront Family Dentistry at (951) 244-9495 or Make an Appointment Online Today!
Symptoms of a Toothache
Some of the symptoms that may come with a toothache include:
- Constant, sharp or throbbing tooth pain
- Pain brought on by pressure
- Swelling around the tooth
- Headache or fever
- Drainage from the infected tooth that tastes foul
While minor aches may come and go, you should see a dentist immediately if:
- A toothache lasts longer than two days
- The toothache is severe
- A fever, earache or pain is noticeable while opening the mouth
If a dental infection is causing the issue, proper identification and treatment is imperative. This prevents the infection from spreading to other parts of the face and skull—and possibly even to the bloodstream. In fact, recent studies link poor oral health to severe cardiovascular and cognitive illnesses.
Having a toothache is one of the most common dental complaints from our patients, and it’s often the reason they come to Lakefront Family Dentistry. We mentioned a few toothache causes at the start of this article, but the list goes on:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Tooth trauma
- Abnormal bite
- Cracked tooth syndrome
- Misaligned wisdom teeth
- Sinus infection
If your toothache lasts two days or longer, consult a dentist. However, if a dentist is not available for an emergency appointment, there are a few ways to alleviate the discomfort temporarily:
- Rinse the mouth with warm saltwater
- Floss the teeth gently to remove any food particles trapped between them
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen
- Avoid Aspirin
- Use a cold compress on the area of discomfort
When patients visit Dr. Hauser, one of the first steps his staff takes is assessing their medical history, which may be followed by a physical exam. Dr. Hauser or one of his registered dental hygienists may ask questions about pain, such as when it began, how severe it is, where it is located and what makes it worse or better.
Next come examinations of the mouth, teeth, jaws, gums, tongue, sinuses, throat, ears, nose and neck. Dr. Hauser may also take X-rays depending on the severity of the situation.
Available Treatments for Each Cause of Tooth Pain
Treatment may vary depending on the cause of the toothache. For example, if a cavity is causing pain, Dr. Hauser may fill the cavity or, if necessary, extract the tooth entirely. A root canal may be vital if the tooth’s nerve becomes infected.
Root canal infections can only be treated by professionals. During a root canal, the dentist removes infected nerves and diseased tissues to set the stage for healthy teeth and gums.
Antibiotics may also be prescribed if there is swelling of the jaw or fever. Phototherapy with a cold laser is another common treatment, which reduces inflammation and pain associated with toothaches.
Considering most toothaches are due to tooth decay, maintaining responsible oral-hygiene practices is a must. It’s important to brush with fluoride-containing toothpaste regularly, floss daily and visit a dentist twice per year for professional cleanings.
In addition to proper oral care, you should also avoid high-sugar foods and ask Dr. Hauser about sealants and fluoride applications. Although the Internet can be an excellent source for information on dental care, your best resource is a trained professional like Dr. Hauser.
Lakefront Family Dentistry Can Alleviate Pain and Restore Your Smile
Regardless of the cause, Lakefront Family Dentistry can help solve your toothache problems. Whether you need treatment for minor gingivitis or a root canal, we have the experience to restore comfort and aesthetics to your smile.
For more information on preventing toothaches, visit Dr. Hauser. If you’re currently experiencing oral discomfort and want to identify the cause of tooth pain, Contact Lakefront Family Dentistry at (951) 244-9495 or Make an Appointment Online Today!