Teeth can start to hurt for a number of reasons. Some straight-forward reasons include cavities or infection, while other soreness/sensitivity can be caused from clenching or grinding, or even sinus pressure. If you are experiencing discomfort in your teeth it is best to have them evaluated by a dentist with an exam and x-ray.
Toothaches can be caused from a variety of reasons, and shouldn’t be ignored. Toothaches are our teeth’s way of letting us know something isn’t right. A common misconception is that if a tooth hurts, and then eventually stops hurting, it must mean the problem is resolved. Normally, this is not the case, especially if the tooth has a cavity. Our teeth do not have the ability to “heal” once a cavity is big enough to give symptoms. So it could just be the quiet before the storm. Not all cavities give the same symptoms at the same stage. The most common treatments for toothaches are the following:
- Fillings – If a tooth is decayed (cavity), a filling is necessary to remove active decay and restore the tooth to it’s normal shape and contours. The most common fillings are made from either composite (tooth-colored) material, or amalgam (silver-colored) fillings.
- Root canals – When a cavity has progressed into the nerve of a tooth, there are only two options: 1) Fix the tooth, or 2) extract (remove) the tooth. To fix the tooth, a root canal is necessary. The procedure involves removing the pulp (nerve tissue) from the tooth, disinfecting the tooth, and filling the canal space to create a germ-free seal. Root canaled teeth become more dry & brittle than teeth that still receive nutrients from a nerve supply, so most often they will need a filling and/or crown to give the chewing strength & protection back to a tooth.
- Extractions – If a tooth is non-restorable due to decay that has extended beyond repair, an extraction is performed. An extraction is the process of removing the tooth.