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 of a much bigger issue. How can you tell the difference? You can deal with some symptoms on your own, while others might require a visit to your emergency dentist in Lawrenceburg. Let’s look more loosely at 5 types of tooth pain and what they mean.
1. Eroded Enamel
Enamel is the hard mineral that protects the surface of your teeth, and it can be worn down by being exposed to a lot of sugar or acid from bacteria. A common side effect of eroded enamel is sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. If eating ice cream or drinking hot coffee sends a searing pain through your mouth, you probably have damaged enamel. If left unchecked, your enamel could be hurt to the point of causing cavities. If your teeth are sensitive, talk to your dentist about treatment options, such as desensitizing toothpaste.
If your enamel was worn down to the point that it leaves a hole in your tooth, you have a cavity. Cavities usually manifest as a sharp pain, especially when you bite down on something hard. Temperature may or may not make the pain worse. When untreated, cavities can grow and become worse, so be sure to tell your dentist if you think you have one.
3. Cracked Tooth
Having a crack or chip in your teeth can expose the sensitive nerves underneath the enamel. Whether you bit down on some very crunchy food or suffered an injury while playing contact sports, your dentist can fix your chipped tooth. He or she will probably place a crown – a cap designed 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 to dental 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 the nerves and you’ll have a similar toothache like you did before you got work done. Call your dentist as soon as you sense a problem, and they can replace the dental work as soon as possible.
An abscess occurs when the inside of a tooth’s tissue, called the pulp, becomes infected. This is usually because of a cavity that has not been treated. If you find pus, redness, swelling, or even an actual bad taste in your mouth, it could be an abscess. Your dentist could treat it in a number of ways – antibiotics, drainage, or root canal therapy.
If you have a toothache that doesn’t go away with over-the-counter painkillers, or it persists for more than a day or so, make sure to call your dentist. He or she can determine the problem and help you go back to your normal life, free of dental pain.
About the Author
Dr. Brian Oyler earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1994 and started practicing in Lawrenceburg, IN later that same year. He has achieved Fellowship status with the Academy of General Dentistry. To learn more about how he can treat your tooth pain, contact him at (812)-537-4272.