A toothache is probably the most common dental problem. However, they have multiple causes. A toothache can come on gradually–or attack with full force.
1. You sip a cold drink and–bam!–tooth pain.
When a cavity has eroded enamel it eventually hits the layer underneath. This is called dentin. This layer is softer than enamel and is filled with tiny tubules. A cold (or acidic) beverage that seeps into the tubules can hit the nerve (or get close enough) to make you cringe. If this happens to you, call our office today. You may have a serious cavity. If you get treatment ASAP, you may save the tooth.
2. You bite down hard–ouch!
Tooth pain that accompanies biting could indicate an infection or abscess in the pulp of the tooth. It could also stem from a microscopic crack. Regardless of the cause, you need to have it addressed. Otherwise, you could lose the tooth.
3. Wait a minute–is something moving around in there?
Unless you are a kindergartener excited for the tooth fairy, it’s not a good sign to suddenly feel that a tooth is loose. In an adult, it could be the result of an injury to the tooth. The impact could have stretched some of the small ligaments. These are the cords that hold the tooth in place. Perhaps you can’t recall bumping your tooth or mouth. In this is the case, you could have a nighttime tooth-grinding issue. Teeth grinding is dangerous for teeth and it can trigger headaches as well.
Another possibility is periodontitis. Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection that can destroy both gum tissue and the ligaments that hold the teeth in place. This advanced form of gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Don’t ignore a toothache!
Waiting too long to care for your teeth can bring about health dilemmas—and not just in your mouth. If you have a toothache, loose tooth, or other pressing dental problem, we encourage you to call our office today to schedule an appointment.
We offer sedation dentistry
If you have dental anxiety, at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry we understand. Many of our patients experience dental anxiety or complete dental phobia. We offer sedation and anti-anxiety medications to help you get through your treatment.