Tooth pain is pretty common; in fact, more than a quarter of American adults have untreated tooth decay, a common cause of toothaches. Others have tooth pain due to infections, trauma, or lifestyle habits, like grinding or clenching. Even thin, worn enamel can lead to tooth pain, especially when the tooth comes in contact with hot or cold temperatures.
Even though pain can have different causes, there’s one thing all types of tooth pain have in common: they’re not normal — and any type of pain should always be evaluated. The key to finding relief and preventing more serious problems is knowing when to see an endodontist instead of your general dentist.
At Compassionate Endodontists New York/NYC, our team is skilled in treating advanced causes of tooth pain, including deep decay, abscesses, and traumatic damage, like cracks, fractures, and nerve issues. In this post, learn when you should see an endodontist to help relieve your tooth pain.
When pain is severe
Any type of severe tooth pain is a big sign that you need to call the office and schedule an appointment right away. Severe pain is often accompanied by serious infections or infections that have spread to your jaw bone or other tissues. It can also be associated with traumatic injuries that can lead to serious complications if not promptly treated.
When pain is getting worse
Increasing pain is typically a sign that the underlying issue that’s causing discomfort is getting worse. That could mean a tiny crack is getting bigger or an infection is spreading. Prompt treatment is essential for preventing more serious damage.
When it hurts to bite or chew
Deep decay, infections, and abscesses can all cause worsening pain when you bite down, chew, or otherwise apply pressure to the tooth. In these instances, you may also have continual pain or your pain may only occur when pressure is applied.
When your cheek or gums are swollen
Infections often cause inflammation or swelling. When an infection occurs in your gum or around your tooth root, you can develop swelling in your cheek or other areas of your face, too.
When you have an earache
Believe it or not, some types of tooth or jaw infections can lead to ear pain, too. That's because the upper teeth and gums are located close to your ear and the tubes that connect your ear and sinuses. In fact, some people with tooth infections have sinus pain, too.
When you have sensitivity to hot and cold
Hot and cold sensitivity can happen for several reasons, including thin or worn tooth enamel, tiny cracks in your teeth, or decay or infection. Having the tooth treated means you can enjoy the foods and beverages you love without worrying about discomfort.
When your pain is accompanied by fever
Fever is a common sign of an infection, and when you have a fever and tooth pain at the same time, there’s a good chance the two are related. In fact, by the time a fever develops, an underlying localized infection may have spread to other areas, including your gums, jawbone, or other parts of your body through your bloodstream.
When pain is persistent
Biting or chewing on hard substances, like ice or hard candy, or eating rough foods, like potato chips or popcorn, can sometimes irritate your gums and lead to temporary tooth discomfort. So can a tiny bit of food that gets lodged between your teeth. In these instances, some careful brushing and flossing typically allow the irritation to resolve within 24 hours or so. Pain that lasts longer needs to be evaluated.
Never ignore tooth pain
Essentially, tooth pain is your body’s way of letting you know you have a problem. If you have pain that “fits” any of the criteria listed above, seeing an endodontist is a wise move. To schedule your tooth pain evaluation, call 929-229-0255 or book an appointment online at Compassionate Endodontists New York/NYC today.