Few things can ruin your day quite like a toothache.Sometimes tooth pain is just a minor problem, and sometimes it can be a sign ofa much bigger issue. How can you tell the difference? You can deal with somesymptoms on your own, while others might require a visit to your emergencydentist in Lawrenceburg. Let’s look more loosely at 5 types of tooth pain andwhat they mean.

1. Eroded Enamel

Enamel is the hard mineral that protects the surface of yourteeth, and it can be worn down by being exposed to a lot of sugar or acid frombacteria. A common side effect of eroded enamel is sensitivity to hot and coldtemperatures. If eating ice cream or drinking hot coffee sends a searing painthrough your mouth, you probably have damaged enamel. If left unchecked, yourenamel could be hurt to the point of causing cavities. If your teeth aresensitive, talk to your dentist about treatment options, such as desensitizingtoothpaste.

2. Cavities

If your enamel was worn down to the point that it leaves ahole in your tooth, you have a cavity. Cavities usually manifest as a sharppain, especially when you bite down on something hard. Temperature may or maynot make the pain worse. When untreated, cavities can grow and become worse, sobe sure to tell your dentist if you think you have one.

3. Cracked Tooth

Having a crack or chip in your teeth can expose thesensitive nerves underneath the enamel. Whether you bit down on some verycrunchy food or suffered an injury while playing contact sports, your dentistcan fix your chipped tooth. He or she will probably place a crown – a capdesigned to fit your tooth and blend in naturally with the rest of your smile –over the tooth to protect it from further damage.

4. Loose Filling or Crown

Fillings and crowns are meant to be long-term solutions todental problems, but they’re not perfect. They can sometimes become loose,break, or even fall out. If the filling or crown falls out, it can expose thenerves and you’ll have a similar toothache like you did before you got workdone. Call your dentist as soon as you sense a problem, and they can replacethe dental work as soon as possible.

5. Abscess

An abscess occurs when the inside of a tooth’s tissue,called the pulp, becomes infected. This is usually because of a cavity that hasnot been treated. If you find pus, redness, swelling, or even an actual badtaste in your mouth, it could be an abscess. Your dentist could treat it in anumber of ways – antibiotics, drainage, or root canal therapy.

If you have a toothache that doesn’t go away withover-the-counter painkillers, or it persists for more than a day or so, makesure to call your dentist. He or she can determine the problem and help you goback to your normal life, free of dental pain.

About the Author

Dr. Brian Oyler earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degreefrom Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1994 and started practicing inLawrenceburg, IN later that same year. He has achieved Fellowship status withthe Academy of General Dentistry. To learn more about how he can treat yourtooth pain, contact himat (812)-221-1014.

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