There are many possible causes for a toothache. Two of the most common dental causes are the presence of a cavity or an abscess. Some of the other causes of toothache are quite serious, so you should certainly consult with us at Timberlake Family Dentistry for a proper diagnosis.
Do I have a cavity?
A cavity, or caries, is a hole in a tooth that is caused by tooth decay. If you experience pain when eating something cold or sweet, and the pain goes away fairly quickly, you may have a cavity. If it is a cavity, the sooner you get it taken care of, the less severe the damage will be. See us for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Do I have an abscessed tooth?
An abscessed tooth, or periapical abscess, is an infection of the tissue inside of a tooth with a dead nerve. Often this is the result of an untreated severe cavity. The pain and pressure comes from a buildup of fluid inside the tooth. Since the nerve is dead, the tooth will not be sensitive to cold, but is usually very sensitive to the touch. This painful condition needs to be treated immediately to prevent further infection and damage.
What else could be causing my toothaches?
Several other disorders, many of them serious, can mimic the sensation of a toothache, including Temporomandibular Dysfunction, Sinusitis, Angina, Trigeminal Neuralgia, common earaches, and some cancers. If you are experiencing dental pain, you should immediately consult with us for a proper diagnosis.
Why should I take care of a toothache?
First, the toothache could be a sign of a non-dental problem, and not a problem with the tooth itself. If the problem is with the tooth, early treatment is important, because we want you to keep as much original tooth structure as possible. An early cavity can be filled before the tooth abscesses and needs a root canal. An early abscess can be treated with a root canal, instead of tooth extraction. A tooth that is too far damaged and infected may have to be extracted to prevent further damage to the mouth, and extraction is always our last resort.