The pain of a toothache is something everyone dreads, but did you know not all toothaches are identical? In fact, different kinds of dental issues generate different kinds of pain. Understanding what each feeling means can give you a better idea of what’s actually going on in your mouth, which will allow you to better communicate with your dentist in Eugene when you’re seeking treatment. Take a look at the following different types of toothaches so you can be prepared.
1. A constant, low intensity ache
This is the kind of toothache that most people have to deal with. The fact that the pain is not intense is a sign that you’re probably not dealing with any life-threatening damage. The sensation is often the result of a condition known as bruxism, where individuals grind and clench their teeth at night. Your teeth are simply worn out from all the force that was applied to them overnight! You can speak to your dentist at your next preventive care visit about getting a nightguard to protect your teeth from grinding.
Another reason for this kind of pain is that you might have something trapped in between your teeth or underneath your gums. Try using dental floss or a water flosser to remove it. If the problem persists, it might be a good idea to schedule a visit with your dentist in the near future.
2. Sharp, Sporadic Pain
If you’re feeling pain at seemingly random times, there’s a good chance that your tooth has suffered some form of physical injury. The pain may be the result of a large fracture in your tooth, which is exposing the more sensitive interior regions. If the pain is coming from a tooth with a dental crown covering it, then the crown may have broken open. You should make an appointment with your emergency dentist in Eugene to have this issue treated as soon as possible. Your dentist can create a new crown to cover the exposed areas of your tooth from further damage.
3. Pain Only While Eating
If you notice you have a mild toothache while eating hot or cold foods, then then enamel on your teeth might have become worn down. This is usually not an issue that requires immediate care. In most cases, you dentist can help by providing you with a special toothpaste to reduce your sensitivity.
However, if you find that the pain is consistent while chewing all kinds of foods, then that might be an indication that your tooth is broken. In that case, you should see a dentist immediately to prevent the tooth from becoming infected.
4. Constant, Sharp Pain
This kind of pain is most often the sign of a severe infection. It is frequently accompanied by red, inflamed gums. Bacteria have likely entered the sensitive interior tissues of your tooth and are attacking the nerve inside it. Your dentist may need to perform a root canal or an extraction to stop the infection from damaging the rest of your mouth.
A toothache is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong in your mouth. By identifying the kind of pain you’re experiencing, you’ll be able to take the appropriate steps to solve the problem quickly and spend less time in pain worrying about what to do.
About the Author
Dr. Benjamin Naylor attended the University of Utah for his undergraduate degree and went to the Roseman University College of Dental Medicine for dental school. Dr. Naylor continues to pursue advanced continuing education through The Spear Institute and the Osteoready Institute. His goal is to provide every dental emergency patient with cutting edge care. If you believe you need urgent dental care, you can reach him at his website or at 541-345-5363.