Tooth Pain Guide
Tooth pain comes in all shapes and sizes. Some pain can appear to affect a large area of the mouth or localized to one specific spot. Because of this, we have compiled a list of symptoms often experienced by patients as well as what the underlying issue may be and what can be done about it.
In general, if tooth pain lasts for more than several days, it is advised you call our office at 909-981-8808 and schedule an appointment. If you feel that you are experiencing a dental emergency, WE CAN HELP! Call our office and request a same-day appointment!
Momentary sensitivity to hot or cold foods
Possible problem: If this discomfort lasts only moments, sensitivity to hot and cold foods generally does not signal a serious problem. The sensitivity may be caused by a small decay, a loose filling or by minimal gum recession that exposes small areas of the root surface.
What to do: Try using toothpastes made for sensitive teeth. Brush up and down with a soft bristle toothbrush; brushing sideways wears away exposed root surfaces. If this is unsuccessful or if the sensitivity is coming from a decay, you should see your specialist.
Sensitivity to hot or cold foods after dental treatment.
Possible problem: Dental work may inflame the pulp inside the tooth causing temporary sensitivity.
What to do: Wait two to four weeks. If the pain persists or worsens, see your specialist.
Sharp pain when biting down on food.
Possible problem: There are several possible causes of this type of pain: decay, a loose filling or crack in the tooth. There may also be damage to the pulp tissue inside the tooth.
What to do: See a dentist for evaluation. If the problem is pulp tissue damage, your dentist may send you to an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in pulp-related procedures. Your endodontist will perform a procedure that cleans out the damaged pulp and fills and seals the remaining space. This procedure is commonly called a root canal.
Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods.
Possible problem: This probably means the pulp has been damaged by deep decay or physical trauma.
What to do: See your dentist or endodontist to save the tooth with root canal treatment.
Constant and severe pain and pressure, swelling of gum and sensitivity to touch.
Possible problem: A tooth may have become abscessed, causing an infection in the surrounding gingival tissue and bone.
What to do: See your endodontist for evaluation and treatment to relieve the pain and save the tooth.
Dull ache and pressure in upper teeth and jaw.
Possible problem: The pain of a sinus headache is often felt in the face and teeth. Grinding of teeth, a condition known as bruxism, can also cause this type of ache.
What to do: For sinus headache, see your physician. For bruxism, consult with your dentist. If pain is severe and chronic, see your endodontist for evaluation.*Source: aae.org