There are few things more painful than severe tooth pain. Whether it’s sharp or dull, always there, or comes and goes, it can have a seriously debilitating effect the longer it goes on. Read on for more information on the causes of severe tooth pain, pain relief measures, and the treatment that you can expect to receive from a dentist.
What causes severe tooth pain?
It’s not always easy to work out why your teeth are hurting so much, and the causes can often go undetected for a serious amount of time. Here are some of the most common causes of extreme tooth pain:
- Worn down enamel, particularly when it’s exposed to extreme temperatures, can cause severe tooth pain. Generally caused by your teeth’s over-exposure to acid or sugar, enamel can’t be brought back once it’s gone, so booking an appointment with a dentist is paramount. Some of its symptoms include pain caused by biting into hot or cold food.
- An abscess – caused by a bacterial infection – can be a severely damaging dental problem. It causes the pulp inside your teeth to become infected. If you feel constant pain in your teeth, your gums are swelling and sensitive to touch, or your tooth pain is accompanied by a foul odor and taste, you may have an abscess tooth.
- A cracked or fractured tooth exposes the nerves inside your tooth, leading in many cases to severe dental pain.
- If your tooth pain comes on suddenly, it may be because food has become lodged in a cavity and is irritating the nerves within the tooth itself. If there’s a gradual build-up, food may be lodged beneath the gums. The larger the piece of food, the more likely it is to irritate your gums.
- Although they’re intended to last for a long time, a filling can become loose, crack, or fall out of your mouth completely, causing extreme tooth pain from the exposed nerves.
- Cavities – small holes within your teeth – expose your tooth’s nerves, often leading to sharp tooth pain.
What can you do?
There are a couple of things that you can do to relieve the pain before visiting a dentist:
- Take over-the-counter pain medication.
- >Wash your mouth out with warm salt water.
- Apply an ice pack to the area of your face which hurts.
- If your tooth pain is caused by the loss of a filling or crown, swabbing the affected tooth with clove oil can be an effective way of managing the pain.
- If you experience momentary pain when you bite into hot or cold food, toothpaste made for sensitive teeth can alleviate symptoms. However, you should see a dentist if the issue persists.
- Flossing your teeth can help to dislodge any bits of food that are stuck under your gum line.
It’s important to remember that none of these things will treat the cause of your severe tooth pain. They can reduce discomfort, but you still need to see a dentist as soon as possible.
What treatments are available?
To really get to the root of the problem, you’ll have to visit a dentist. Some causes of severe tooth pain are relatively easy to fix, while others require much more complex treatment:
- First, you’ll have an x-ray to determine whether you’ve got any cavities.
- If you’ve got a cavity, the dentist will remove the part of your tooth which has decayed and replace it with a filling.
- If the problem is caused by food which is lodged under your gums, then the dentist will remove the debris.
- For situations in which you’ve got an abscess or a cracked tooth, treatments can be a little bit more complex, and vary in seriousness from requiring a root canal to extracting the tooth itself.
Extreme tooth pain will never go away by itself, so get in touch with Westover Hills Family Dental to book your next appointment.