Dental pain is one of the most common complaints patients express when they make an emergency appointment. Causes for this discomfort are wide-ranging and various available procedures can protect your health and wellness; the list below details the most prevalent contributors to toothaches and the steps taken to alleviate patients with any pain.
Cause: Soft Tissue Inflammation
Swollen gums can be tender and painful, making it difficult to eat and drink. This is often a sign of gum disease and should be treated immediately to prevent complications that include tissue recession, loose teeth, and bone loss.
Solution: Antibiotics and Gum Maintenance
Dental pain and soft tissue inflammation are sure signs of harmful bacteria. To eliminate bacteria populations, your dentist may recommend a course of antibiotics. Once the tissue is no longer tender or irritated, patients are encouraged to return to their dental office more frequently than twice a year to have soft tissue health monitored. A deep cleaning to target the areas below the gum line may also be recommended.
Cause: Dental Infection
Bacteria that linger below the gum line or decay that has been left untreated can cause an infection to the inner systems of a tooth. Patients with dental infections often experience localized pain that is cause enough to constitute a dental emergency. Without treatment, infection moves below the tooth, into the bone, further compromising health and comfort.
Solution: Root Canal Therapy
A root canal procedure eliminates damaged tissue inside the tooth, as well as the bacteria that caused the infection. This procedure also protects outer tooth structure, preventing bacteria from harming dental enamel any further. After your root canal, your tooth can be preserved with a restoration, such as a filling or a crown.
Cause: Dental Fracture
Cracked teeth may appear harmless on the outside, but a fracture large enough actually creates an access point for bacteria. Fractures can also expose sensitive material inside teeth, increasing the risk of discomfort and damage.
Solution: Aesthetic Restoration (Optional Root Canal)
If bacteria have indeed accessed the inner tooth chambers, a root canal is recommended as a preventive measure. While your tooth may not be severely damaged now, bacteria left alone can eat away at the dentin that keeps your tooth alive. When the fracture is minor or moderate, dental bonding or a veneer can protect your smile and promote comfort.
Do you have a painful toothache? Contact North Star Family Smiles for more information on emergency dentistry, root canals, and beautiful restorations to repair and rejuvenate your smile.