Toothaches are one of the most common ailments that brings people to the dentist. Despite being such a common symptom, the type of tooth pain could be indicative of several different dental issues. Listed below are different types of tooth pain and the possible causes. While you should not wait until you are in pain to see the dentist, if you are experiencing tooth pain it is important that you schedule an appointment as soon as possible to determine and treat the issue.
Brief Sensitivity to Temperature:
If you feel mild pain in response to hot or cold liquids or foods, then this may be a sign of mild tooth decay, a loose filling, or minor gum recession that is exposing part of the root surface. Until you can see a dentist, you will want to take care to brush your teeth softly with an up-and-down motion and possibly use a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth to help with the sensitivity.
Lingering Pain in Response to Temperature:
If you feel pain in response to hot or cold liquids or foods, and it does not dissipate somewhat instantly, then this may be an indication that the pulp within your teeth has been irreversibly damaged. This is usually due to tooth decay, however can also be caused from trauma as well. In these instances, you will most likely need to have a root canal performed by your dentist or endodontist to save the remaining tooth.
Sharp Pain When Biting:
If you experience a sharp, shooting pain while biting into food it may mean that you have tooth decay, a loose filling, or even a crack in your tooth. Depending on the severity of these conditions, pain while biting can also indicate that the pulp inside your teeth may be damaged. You will want to see a dentist immediately and they may refer you to an endodontist. In some cases a root canal may be necessary to clean out damaged pulp.
Severe Pain, Pressure, and Swelling of the Gums:
If you have pain that is severe and constant, in addition to feeling pressure in your gums accompanied by swelling and sensitivity to touch, you may have a tooth abscess. You will want to see your dentist immediately so that they can treat the abscess and relieve your pain. The severity of the abscess will determine the type of treatment that is necessary.
A Dull, Aching Pain In Your Upper Teeth and Jaw:
This type of pain is usually associated with two different issues. First, it could be caused by bruxism, or grinding of the teeth. If you grind your teeth while anxious or sleeping, you should consult your dentist for advice on how to treat this. Another possible cause is a sinus headache that is felt in the teeth. Your sinus cavities lie right above your upper jaw and if they are inflammed, the pain may be spilling into your teeth. If this is the case, a simple over-the-counter medication should alleviate the pain.