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Tooth Pain Guide

“Toothache” is pain typically around a tooth, teeth or jaws. Tooth Pain could be caused due to various factors. In most instances, toothaches are caused by dental problems such as: dental decay, cracked or fractured teeth, an exposed nerve, or gum disease.

To help you prevent, understand, and alleviate tooth pain, we have put up a table to guide you.

Understanding Your Dental Pain

Symptom Symptom Possible Problem Possible Problem What To Do What To Do
Symptom Momentary sensitivity to hot or cold foods. Possible Problem If the discomfort lasts only moments, sensitivity to hot and cold foods generally does not signal a serious problem. The sensitivity may be caused by a loose filling or by minimal gum recession which exposes small areas of the root surface. What To Do Try using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.   Brush up and down with a soft brush; brushing sideways wears away exposed root surfaces.  If this is unsuccessful, see your general dentist.
Symptom Sensitivity to hot or cold foods after dental treatment. Possible Problem Dental work may inflame the pulp, or nerves, inside the  tooth, causing temporary sensitivity. What To Do Wait four to six weeks,  If the pain persists or worsens, see your general dentist.
Symptom Sharp pain when biting down on food. Possible Problem There are several possible causes of this type of pain: decay, a loose filling or a crack in the tooth.  There may also be damage to the pulp tissue inside the tooth. What To Do See a dentist for evaluation.  If the problem is pulp tissue damage, your dentist may send you to an Endodontist.  Endodontists are dentists who specialize in pulp-related procedures.  Your Endodontist will perform a procedure that cleans out the damaged pulp and fills and seals the remaining space.   This procedure is commonly called a “root canal.”
Symptom Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods. Possible Problem This probably means the pulp has been damaged by deep decay or physical trauma. What To Do See your Endodontist to save the tooth with root canal  treatment.
Symptom Constant and severe  pain and pressure, swelling of gum and sensitivity to touch. Possible Problem A tooth may have become abscessed, causing the surrounding gum and bone to become infected. What To Do See your Endodontist for evaluation and treatment to  relieve the pain and save the tooth.  Take over-the-counter analgesics until you see the Endodontist.
Symptom Dull ache and pressure in  upper teeth and jaw. Possible Problem The pain of a sinus headache is often felt in the face and teeth. Grinding of teeth, a condition know as bruxism, can also cause this type of ache. What To Do For sinus headache, try over-the-counter analgesic or  sinus medicine. For bruxism, consult your dentist.  If pain is sever and  chronic, see your physician or Endodontist for evaluation.
Symptom Chronic pain in head, neck or ear. Possible Problem Sometimes pulp-damaged teeth cause pain in other parts  of the head and neck, but other dental or medical problems may be responsible. What To Do See your Endodontist for evaluation.  If the  problem is not related to the tooth, your Endodontist will refer you to an appropriate dental specialist or a physician.