Whether it’s a sharp, quick pain or dull, lasting ache, tooth pain can affect everything about your daily life, including how you eat, speak, and feel. It can be even more frustrating when you don’t know where the pain is coming from or what’s causing it.
Find relief from your toothache at Castle Dental. With multiple locations, flexible scheduling options, emergency dental care, and same-day appointments at many of our offices, we make it fast, easy, and convenient for you to get professional, affordable treatment for your tooth pain.
What are the common causes of toothaches?
There are many reasons why a tooth may be causing you pain. The source of the discomfort and the severity of the problem will largely determine what type of treatment you need.
Here are some of the common causes of toothache and their treatment.
Cause: Cavities or damaged restorations
Treatment: Dental fillings and crowns
- Cavities are tiny holes in the enamel of the teeth. When sugar and bacteria accumulate, they produce an acid that can be harmful to your teeth, eroding and decaying the enamel and creating a cavity. You may not notice a cavity in its early stages, but the longer it goes untreated, the bigger it becomes and the more pain it can cause.
- Dental fillings are the solution to cavities. Using a local anesthetic and specialized tools, cleans out the decay from the tooth and fills the small hole in with a resin type material. This protects the tooth from the inside out.
Cause: Damaged restorations
Treatment: Replacement filling or crown
- Though rare, a filling from prior treatment can sustain damage. It can become displaced or cracked, allowing bacteria to get in and new decay to develop.
- If the damage is severe enough, your dentist may decide to replace the filling and cover it with a crown. This acts as a cap over the top that allows for more protection, support and preservation of the tooth.
Condition: Cracked or chipped teeth
Treatment: Fillings, crowns or sealants
- The level of discomfort from a cracked or chipped tooth will depend on the severity and location of the damage. Even though enamel is very durable, injury and activities like chewing on ice or crunching on hard things can damage your teeth.
- A sealant may be used for a crack or chip on the top of a molar. A sealant fills in the crack and smooths the surface of the tooth to protect against decay forming in the crack.
- With a crack or chip on the side of a tooth, a filling or crown will be used to restore the tooth and prevent the problem from becoming more serious.
Condition: Abscessed teeth
Treatment: Root canal
- If left untreated, tooth decay can progress into a dental abscess, which is an infection in the tooth that causes pus to form within the pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth). These infections can be very painful as the build up of pus applies pressure to the nerves in the gums.
- A root canal procedure removes all of the infected tissue from inside the tooth, fills the empty space, and covers it with a crown to protect it from future infection.
Condition: Exposed roots
Treatment: Gum grafting or planing and root scaling
- Patients with periodontal disease (gum disease) can suffer from gum recession, which leaves the roots and nerves of the tooth exposed and can cause significant pain.
- Gum grafting takes healthy tissue from the roof of the mouth and grafts it onto the compromised gum tissue, covering the roots and nerves.
- Root planing and scaling is another option that your dentist may recommend based on the severity of the gum disease. During this treatment, tartar buildup is scraped away from beneath the gum line and the gums are reattached to the teeth.
Treatment: Mouth guards
- Bruxism is characterized by unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth, especially at night while you sleep. If you find yourself waking up with tenderness in your teeth or jaw that dissipates throughout the day, you may be suffering from bruxism. You should mention this to your dentist, who will also check the surface of your teeth for erosion, another sign of bruxism.
- Custom mouth guards or night guards create a physical barrier between the upper and lower teeth, protecting the teeth and preventing further erosion.
Condition: Wisdom teeth
- Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that don’t typically have enough room to erupt properly. For many people, they grow in at an angle and become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on existing molars, causing not only pressure but uncomfortable shifting.
- Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure that is performed by dentists or oral surgeons. Removing the teeth usually alleviates any uncomfortable symptoms they may have been causing.
How can you care for a toothache at home?
Only a dentist can determine the cause of your toothache and the appropriate treatment. If you can’t get to a dentist right away, or if you have to wait for an appointment, you can try some of the following methods for reducing pain and discomfort.
- Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help reduce any inflammation and minimize pain.
- A cold compress or ice can be applied to the outside of the mouth can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Sipping a cold beverage can offer the same relief as ice. Cold constricts blood vessels which decreases circulation, resulting in less pain.
- A salt water rise may also allow some temporary relief before you can get in to see your dentist.
How do you prevent a toothache?
Even with the best oral hygiene and care, toothaches can still happen. There are steps you can take, however, to reduce the chances of developing one.
- Good dental hygiene habits. Twice daily bruising, regular flossing and regular use of a fluoride mouthwash are the best–and easiest–ways to protect your teeth from decay, sensitivity, and gum disease.
- Professional dental cleanings. The American Dental Association recommends seeing your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings. These cleanings are necessary as they remove tartar and plaque buildup that can’t be cleaned by regular brushing. They also provide an opportunity for cavities and other concerns to be detected early, so they can be treated more quickly and easily.
- Attend follow up appointments. If you are scheduled for appointments after a dental procedure, be sure to attend them. This gives your dentist a chance to check on your recovery progress, ensure no problems have developed, and make sure the procedure was successful.
Get Fast, Affordable Toothache Relief at Castle Dental
No matter what’s causing your tooth pain, Castle Dental can help you treat it. From fillings and crowns to root canals and extractions, you’ll find comprehensive dental care solutions at all of our convenient locations and all in a comfortable environment. We also offer sedation dentistry options at some locations if anxiety is keeping you from treatment.*
At Castle Dental, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy, pain-free smile, so we make getting the care you need easy and affordable with flexible financing and payment options as well as extended hours and same-day appointments. We accept most major dental insurance plans and CareCredit, and our OneSmile Dental Plan offers members free exams and x-rays and discounted dental services for one low annual fee.
Don’t spend another day in pain. Schedule an appointment at the Castle Dental office nearest you and start feeling better today.
*Please confirm with the office regarding sedation services.