If you’ve always had fairly good oral health, a toothache might be a foreign experience for you. When that discomfort begins in your mouth, you might even try to ignore it or treat it with over the counter pain medications and hope it goes away. A toothache, though, is nothing to take lightly. It can be a symptom of some serious oral health problems. Your dentist is here to discuss the symptoms of toothaches as well as some potential causes.
Symptoms of a Toothache
Simply put, you know you have a toothache when one of your teeth starts to hurt. Some of the things you may experience include:
- A sharp, constant, or throbbing pain
- Swollen or tender gums
- Pain when you apply pressure to a tooth
Depending on the cause of the toothache, you might experience other unpleasant symptoms as well. For example, you may develop a fever or headache. You might also notice that there is a bad taste in your mouth.
Causes of Toothaches
Teeth don’t start hurting because they’re feeling mischievous and want to annoy you. There is always a reason behind a toothache. Some conditions that could lead to pain in your tooth include:
- When bacteria sneaks into your tooth’s interior — or into your gums — you could be in for a world of hurt. The inflammation that an excess of bacteria leads to can cause severe pain in your tooth and the surrounding area.
- Cavities, otherwise known as dental caries, are little holes in your teeth. If they’re small enough, you might not experience any symptoms. However, once the hole gets deep enough to expose your sensitive dentin (the second layer of your teeth) or the pulp at the center of the tooth, you’ll begin to notice a problem.
- Exposed nerve endings. When you have a cavity or experience a tooth injury, the damage might be severe enough to expose the endings of the nerve in your tooth’s root. Therefore, pressure or hot and cold temperatures can make you reach for the nearest bottle of Tylenol.
Treating a Toothache
If one of your teeth is in pain, the best thing you can do is visit your emergency dentist. A professional can determine the cause of your discomfort and treat it accordingly. You might need a root canal, dental crown, or other procedure. Don’t worry about getting work done — your dentist’s goal is to relieve your pain!
On a weekend, holiday, or evening, you might not be able to get to your dentist right away. In that case, try to avoid chewing with the tooth that is hurting and use a mild painkiller to manage your discomfort until your appointment.
Tooth pain can have lots of different causes, but regardless of why your tooth is hurting, your dentist is ready to help.
About the Dentist
Dr. Mark Makram is your friendly, skilled dentist Naples. He is eager to help patients manage their tooth pain and get their healthy, happy smiles back. If your teeth or gums are aching, please contact our office at 239-513-9990.