Tooth pain is often the first sign of a dental problem and should not be ignored. If you suffer from tooth pain, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Bloomington dentists Jay W. Chrisman and David D. Wyse. Drs. Chrisman and Wyse offer a variety of restorative dentistry treatments to improve the health of your smile and free you from tooth pain.
What Are the Top Causes Tooth Pain?
Tooth pain is generally a sign that something is wrong with the tooth. Tooth pain typically occurs as a result of dental damage, including tooth decay or dental fracture. Tooth pain should not be ignored because it is often caused by oral health problems, such as:
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of tooth pain. Tooth decay is a result of plaque and tartar buildup, which attract bacteria. Bacterial acid erodes the teeth, exposing the inner dentin layer and nerve tissues, causing dental cavities and tooth pain.
- Enamel erosion: Enamel erosion can also lead to tooth pain. Enamel erosion occurs when the protective outer layer of the teeth becomes worn from exposure to acidic foods and drinks or from the friction of teeth grinding. Enamel erosion can cause increased dental sensitivity, and if left untreated, may increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Root canal infection: Root canal infections are painful bacterial infections of the tooth's inner pulp and nerve tissue. Root canal infections are caused by advanced tooth decay or dental injury, which can expose the inner root canal to bacteria, resulting in the infection of the tissues within the root canal.
- Dental fractures: Broken, fractured, or chipped teeth can cause pain and discomfort. This type of dental damage can also leave the teeth vulnerable to decay and root canal infections.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that can increase the risk of tooth decay, leading to dental pain.
Treatments for Tooth Pain
Treating tooth pain begins with determining the cause through a thorough dental examination. Once the underlying cause of tooth pain is pinpointed, treatment may begin. The top treatments for tooth pain include:
- Dental fillings: Dental fillings are used to remove decayed portions of a damaged tooth and prevent further decay. Dental fillings are made of silver amalgam, gold, or tooth-colored options like composite resin.
- Dental crowns: Dental pain caused by broken or fractured teeth can be treated with dental crowns. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that fit over a damaged tooth to improve dental appearance and function.
- Root canal therapy: Painful root canal infections may be treated with root canal therapy. During root canal therapy, infected nerve and pulp tissue are removed from the root canal, eliminating tooth pain and treating the infection. Root canal therapy is performed in combination with dental fillings or dental crowns.
- Gum disease treatment: The right gum disease treatment depends on the severity of the infection. Mild to moderate gum disease may be treated with root planing and scaling, a deep cleaning treatment, while more severe gum disease may require oral surgery, like the flap procedure.
Schedule a Consultation
If you're experiencing tooth pain, it is important to undergo a full dental exam so your dentist may diagnose the source of your pain and provide the appropriate treatment. Early detection and treatment is key to protecting your oral health. Schedule an exam with Drs. Chrisman and Wyse.