Toothache can take different forms, ranging from a dull, throbbing pain in your tooth or jaw to a sharp pain when you chew or drink. The pain may be constant, or it may come and go. Other symptoms, such as a headache or fever, may also accompany a toothache.
Unfortunately, in many cases, a toothache is a symptom of a bigger problem, and it can worsen if not addressed. If you’re experiencing dental pain in any form, get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can determine the cause and recommend a suitable treatment.
Common causes of toothache
The most common causes of dental pain include:
- Tooth decay: When plaque erodes the enamel of your tooth, it can expose sensitive nerve endings in the tooth structure, and even infiltrate into the pulp at the centre of the tooth.
- Gum disease: A build-up of plaque beneath the gum can damage the bone that supports your teeth, as well as the teeth roots. Teeth are loosened and begin to ache.
- Abscesses: These are commonly caused by tooth decay or gum disease. An abscess that forms below or alongside the tooth root can cause significant pain and infection.
- Teeth grinding: If you grind your teeth at night or during the day, you risk wearing down the enamel over time. This, in turn, exposes the sensitive middle layers of your teeth.
- Impaction: Teeth (commonly wisdom teeth and molars) that don’t fully emerge from the gums can irritate the surrounding nerves.
- Cracked, fractured or chipped tooth: If you damage your tooth in an accident, the crack can expose the pulp, causing pain and sensitivity, as well as putting you at risk of infection.
When to see a dentist
Toothaches don’t usually go away on their own. And, the longer you put off visiting a dentist, the more serious the problem is likely to become. Leaving a toothache without seeking treatment can result in greater pain, discomfort and expense in the future. It can lead to an infection or cause permanent damage to your teeth. In particular, you should contact us for an appointment immediately if:
- Your toothache has been persisting for two or more days.
- You’re in significant pain or discomfort.
- You have a fever.
- You have trouble or discomfort when opening your mouth.
- You have a pain in your ear.
Common treatments for tooth pain
When you visit the Sleep Dentistry clinic, we’ll examine your mouth to determine the cause of your pain. We’ll then recommend one of the following treatments:
- A filling, if the pain is related to tooth decay or cavities
- A crown, if the tooth is too badly damaged for a filling
- A root canal treatment, if the blood vessels and pulp inside the tooth have been damaged
- Tooth extraction/removal to prevent further infection
- A mouth guard, for pain caused by teeth grinding
- Treatment for gum disease
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, call us as soon as possible on 1300 275 337. A member of the Sleep Dentistry Melbourne team will be able to talk you through your treatment options.