Most of us will experience tooth pain at some point in our lives. Everything from grinding your teeth while you sleep to a bad cavity can cause dental pain, but it can be difficult to figure out the underlying cause on your own. If your pain is caused by tooth decay or an infection, getting to the dentist as quickly as possible can make the difference between the type of treatment you need, and even save your tooth in extreme cases.
At Manhasset Dental Arts, our dentists and team offer emergency dentistry services at our office in Manhasset, New York. Whether your tooth pain is from erupting wisdom teeth or trauma from an accident or sports injury, you shouldn’t wait to get the dental care you need.
When to see a dentist for tooth pain
Sometimes the cause of your tooth pain might be obvious, but in many cases, tooth pain springs up seemingly out of nowhere to let you know that something is wrong and that you should go to the dentist sooner rather than later.
If your tooth hurts after a chip, crack, or fracture, you should go to the dentist to rule out damage to the pulp (the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth). Bacteria can enter the tooth through cracks and fractures, and put you at risk for inflammation and infection that can permanently damage your tooth. Root canal therapy clears bacteria and any damaged tissue from inside the tooth, at which point it’s sealed closed and looks and feels as good as new.
If you’re afraid to go to the dentist because (like many people) you’re worried that dental treatments like root canals are worse than just living with the pain, you can rest assured that it’s not the case. In truth, a root canal procedure is very similar to getting a dental filling.
Ignoring tooth pain and an infection could put your tooth and oral health at risk, and also increase your chances of needing more expensive and invasive dental work in the future.
Other common causes of tooth pain are cavities, gum disease, TMJ, and bite problems (malocclusions). Since it’s difficult to tell what’s causing your tooth pain, going to the dentist for a dental exam is the best thing to do if your tooth pain lasts for more than one or two days, or is moderate to severe. You should also schedule an appointment if you notice signs of infection or changes to your teeth and gums like dark spots or bleeding, or visibly receding gums.
Tooth pain can be uncomfortable and disruptive, but the good news is the sooner you go to the dentist, the sooner you can get relief, and the less likely you’ll be to suffer from more serious oral health problems in the future.
If it’s been more than six months since your last visit to the dentist for a checkup and dental cleaning, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible even if you don’t have any symptoms at the moment. Prevention is the best thing you can do to protect your teeth and gums now and in the future.
For more information about the causes and treatment options for tooth pain, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists at our office in Manhasset, New York.