Do you have a toothache, a broken tooth or lost a filling?
Please asses the following to rate your pain from 1-10 with 10 being high pain.
Call the office with the following information.
- Where is the tooth located?
Top or Bottom
Your Left or Right side
Molar or a Front tooth
- Constant pain? If yes what level 1-10
- Throbbing or shooting pain
- How long has the tooth been like this?
Hours, Days, Weeks, Months
- Is the tooth sensitive to food or drinks that are Hot and/or Cold, when biting?
- Is there any swelling?
Is the swelling in the face or gums, how bad?
- Is the tooth loose?
- Are you taking any medication for this problem? Prescribed or over the counter.
Pain can occur when the enamel (outer layer) has worn away or gum tissue recedes, exposing the dentin (inner layer). Erosion can occur from everyday wear and tear from chewing and brushing. Dietary acids found in citrus fruits, drinks and carbonated beverages can accumulate on the teeth weakening the enamel. You may feel a twinge or sharp pain when eating really cold food like ice cream, drinking ice water, really hot, sweet and sour foods and drinks. Generally sensitivity can be reduced by simply using a sensitivity tooth paste such as Sensodyne Rapid Relief, Xpur, Crest Sensitivity protection etc.
This tooth paste works by minimizing the fluid movement in the tubules in the dentin, blocking the pain signal from the nerve to the brain. Over time using the tooth paste, protection builds and reduces sensitivity in just a few weeks. BUT, if you stop brushing with the sensitivity tooth paste pain may return.
Unlike a fractured bone a cracked tooth will not heal on its own. Treatment depends on the type, location and severity of the crack. In some cases a crown can bind the cracked tooth. If the crack is into the root, a root canal can be preformed to repair the damaged nerve and save the tooth. However if the crack is too extensive, the tooth may need to be removed. If not treated the crack will worsen and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Symptoms include a sharp pain when chewing and biting on a certain area of the tooth and sensitivity to foods.
A cavity occurs when specific types of bacteria inhabit your tooth. These bacteria will digest certain sugars that can be found in sugary and sticky foods and beverages. The bacteria digest these sugars and produce acid that erodes the enamel. Once the bacteria penetrate the enamel the cavity spreads much faster through the tooth towards the nerve. Not all cavities are painful. If left untreated, a cavity can spread to the nerve and result in possible infection or abscess which would necessitate the need for a root canal or extraction. Some causes are poor brushing, lack of flossing, smoking, stress, genetics, reduced saliva from medications or radiation therapy and a poor diet. Cavities can form in natural tooth structure, around fillings, under crown and bridge work and on the roots which may be exposed due to the gums receding from age or periodontal disease. Because the root surface is softer than the crown surface, decay can form easier. A filling is required to prevent the spread of decay.
A cavity that is not treated can get larger and move into the pulp (the nerve and blood supply of the tooth) causing an infection at the base of the root. Antibiotics are usually given to REDUCE the infection, and then a root canal is performed to remove the nerve and infected debris from within the tooth. The tooth will be sealed, and further healing of the abscess will take place over time.
UNTIL YOUR DENTIST CAN SEE YOU, TRY THIS:
TOOTH ACHE: Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, something you can take when you have a headache. (eg. Advil, Ibuprofen, Aspirin etc.) DO NOT put the pills directly on your sore tooth. Hold an ice pack against your face in the area of pain. DO NOT USE HEAT. This will make the pain worse.
LOST FILLING: Put a piece of softened sugarless chewing gum or orthodontic wax (available at drug stores) in the spot where the filling was lost. This will protect the area for a short period of time. Avoid eating on that side, but keep the area clean. See a dentist as soon as possible.
CHIPPED OR BROKEN TOOTH: Broken teeth can almost always be saved. If it’s a small break a white filling will likely be used to fix the tooth. If the break is large, a root canal may be necessary if there is pain and further procedures such as crown lengthening may be needed. Your tooth may also need a crown. You can use a softened sugarless gum or wax & fill the area that broke.
KNOCKED OUT TEETH: If the tooth you knocked out is permanent, there may be chance it can be saved. You have a very limited amount of time, so act quickly. Try NOT to touch the roots. Grab the tooth by the crown, and if there is dirt or debris on the root, leave it. Place the tooth in milk or in your mouth against your cheek being careful not to swallow the tooth. It is not advised to place the tooth in water. Get to a dentist immediately. IF THE TOOTH IS CLEAN, place the tooth back in its socket and head to your dentist or the closest available dentist. After 2 hours the chances of saving the tooth are greatly reduced.
BADLY BITTEN LIP OR TONGUE: Using a clean cloth press firmly on the area that is bleeding and hold. If bleeding does not stop in a short time, go to the clinic or hospital. For a swollen lip use an ice pack to control swelling.
SOMETHING STUCK BETWEEN TEETH: Use ONLY floss. Do not use any sharp or pointy objects. Sharp objects can cause further damage to the gums. Carefully attempt to remove the object using proper flossing techniques. If you cannot get it out, call your dentist.