Posts for tag: toothache
A toothache might mean you have tooth decay—or maybe not. It could also be a sign of other problems that will take a dental exam to uncover. But we can get some initial clues about the underlying cause from how much it hurts, when and for how long it hurts and where you feel the pain most.
Let's say, for instance, you have a sharp pain while consuming something cold or hot, but only for a second or two. This could indicate isolated tooth decay or a loose filling. But it could also mean your gums have receded and exposed some of the tooth's hypersensitive root surface.
While over-aggressive brushing can be the culprit, gum recession is most often caused by periodontal (gum) disease. Untreated, this bacterial infection triggered by accumulated dental plaque could eventually cause tooth and bone loss, so the sooner it's attended to the better.
On the other hand, if the pain seems to linger after encountering hot or cold foods and liquids, or you have a continuous throbbing pain, you could have advanced tooth decay that's entered the inner pulp where infected tooth nerves are reacting painfully. If so, you may need a root canal treatment to remove the diseased pulp tissue and fill the empty pulp and root canals to prevent further infection.
If you have this kind of pain, see a dentist as soon as possible, even if the pain stops. Cessation of pain may only mean the nerves have died and can no longer transmit pain; the infection, on the other hand, is still active and will continue to advance to the roots and bone.
Tooth pain could also indicate other situations: a cracked tooth, an abscess or even a sinus problem where you're feeling the pain radiating through the teeth. So whatever kind of pain you're feeling, it's your body's alarm signal that something's wrong. Promptly seeing your dentist is the best course of action for preserving your health.
If you would like more information on treating tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Pain? Don't Wait!”
What your dentist in Woodbridge, Virginia wants you to know about root canals
Root canals, also called endodontic therapy, have become a state-of-the-art dental procedure designed to eliminate dental pain, but still allow you to keep your tooth. It can be difficult to know if you need a root canal because sometimes there are no symptoms. Dr. Charles L. Sours in Woodbridge, Virginia wants you to know some of the common signs and symptoms to look for. You may need a root canal if you:
- Feel an acute, stabbing pain when you bite down or eat
- Experience constant pressure or throbbing pain
- Have pain that continues long after you’ve eaten hot or cold foods
- Notice redness, swelling, a white bump, pus or drainage on your gums where the tooth root is
Sometimes you may feel no symptoms, but your tooth still needs a root canal. Teeth can become damaged or bruised from traumatic injury and the inside of your tooth, an area called the pulp, can begin to die. You may not notice any pain or symptoms.
The only way you will know for certain if you need a root canal is to visit the dentist. Your dentist in Woodbridge, Virginia will take x-rays and perform a few non-invasive tests to determine if the pulp of your tooth is damaged. He will look for any dark (radiolucent) area around the roots of your tooth and test for temperature sensitivity. These tests and x-rays will show if you need a root canal.
The main reason you should get a root canal is because it is usually far better to keep your tooth in place than to remove it. When you remove a tooth that could have been treated with a root canal, your chewing function is impaired. Your remaining teeth are taking on more stress to compensate for the missing tooth or teeth.
To replace a missing tooth, you often have to deal with expensive, invasive procedures to help you regain full chewing function. Why not keep the tooth if you can? Now, thanks to modern root canal therapy and the skills of your dentist in Woodbridge, Virginia you can eliminate pain and still retain your tooth.
Your dentist in Woodbridge, Virginia can help you decide if a root canal is the best choice for you. If you are experiencing dental pain and wonder if you need a root canal, it’s time to call Dr. Charles L. Sours in Woodbridge, Virginia. Take care of your dental pain by calling today!