Living with physical pain is, unfortunately, a rite of passage for many adults. Fortunately, for most of us, the pain usually goes away, but sometimes it’s chronic, or more severe. And more often than not, pain is a sign that there’s something more serious going on in.
Besides chronic back pain, few things are as painful and disruptive as dealing with a toothache. If you have experienced pain in your teeth or gums recently, chances are good that you’re not alone. According to a survey by the American Family Physician, 22% of adults have recently experienced oral related pain.
So, when is your tooth pain considered a minor nuisance, and when is the pain something to worry about? It depends a lot as to how the toothache was initiated. While some tooth pain issues are easy to alleviate, others are related to the source of a more in-depth dental issues that need to be addressed by your friendly neighborhood Burien dentist.
Here are 5 tooth pain causing miscreants that can disrupt your daily life.
- Worn Tooth Enamel – When the enamel of your teeth get worn down, this can heighten your tooth sensitivity to eating or drinking foods that are too hot, or too cold. When this happens, you may experience sudden, sharp flashes of pain. Besides causing aches and disrupting your diet, having worn enamel will also make your teeth more susceptible to getting cavities. Your tooth’s enamel helps protect your teeth from the cavity causing acids in your mouth, much like a suit of armor. If your tooth pain is related to damaged enamel, we can offer treatments to help, from fluoride treatments to covering a tooth, with significant enamel loss, with a porcelain crown, or with a veneer.
- Cavities – When the bacteria causing acids wear away little holes in your teeth that can eventually expose sensitive nerves in your teeth, when these aren’t treated. Untreated cavities cause pain, either when you bite down on something, or when you eat something cold or hot. And if these cavities are left open, they can lead to an infection or the need to perform a possible root canal. If you suspect you may have a cavity, or that you’re prone to getting cavities, have your dentist examine your tooth (teeth). If it does turn out to be a cavity, getting a filling will prevent it from getting worse, improve your ability to eat certain foods, and help stop the pain. At Beffa Dental, we offer tooth colored fillings, instead of the old amalgam, silver fillings. Not only do these fillings “invisible”, but they’re also mercury free.
- Cracked Teeth – Sometimes it’s obvious. You just bit down on something hard, or you cracked or chipped a tooth playing sports. Other times, you may not even realize you’re dealing with this, because the crack is very slight, and difficult to detect. Either way, having chipped or cracked teeth can definitely cause some tooth pain because it can expose the sensitive nerves inside your teeth. If you’re dealing with a cracked or chipped tooth, we have several options that will help to alleviate the pain, such as using a porcelain crown, or perhaps even a veneer.
- Chronic Teeth Grinding – It’s normal to clench or grind your teeth occasionally. But when this becomes a habit, related to stress or anxiety, or because your jaws don’t align properly, you may be dealing with bruxism or TMJ Disorder. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they suffer from either one because the severe teeth grinding usually takes place when people sleep. If either of these are chronic, and untreated, they will cause permanent damage to your teeth, including sore teeth or jaws, severe tension headaches, and also disrupt your sleep (and those near you), as well as your overall health. Should you, or someone else, suspect that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth, we can help protect your teeth, and your sleep, with a custom made night guard.
- Gum Recession – Your pearly white teeth often get all the glory, but it’s your gums that play a huge supporting role in showcasing your teeth. Every day they protect your teeth. The help to keep your teeth secure, and they also guard the nerve endings of your teeth. Unfortunately, as we age, our gum tissue also begins to wear down, leading to gum recession. Receding gums pull away from the tooth surface, which expose the root surfaces of your teeth. This may lead to painful gums, tooth sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, and having loose teeth – and eventual tooth loss. Gum recession is one form of gum disease, and it’s usually due to poor daily oral hygiene habits. Your dentist can help you monitor it and prevented with regular teeth cleanings and dental check-ups. But if you do wind up with severe gum recession, and you are experiencing pain, there are things that can be done to help you treat it, such as via medications, or with gum contouring.
Having tooth pain is something you don’t need to live with. If you ever experience pain with your teeth or gums, please let us know. Just call (206) 242-0066 for an exam or request an appointment online! We can help to take the pain away. Depending on the issue, we’ll develop a plan of treatment, so that you can return to as pain-free a routine, as you possibly can.