What’s Causing That Toothache?

Pain that you can’t figure out is incredibly frustrating, isn’t it? And nothing is worse than a toothache you can’t figure out. If you’ve ever dealt with a toothache you know how unbearable they can be, whether the pain is constant or intermittent.

Toothaches can force you to change your diet, how you eat, make  it difficult to speak, and even put you totally out of commission. At Northwest Dental Group we want to help you get rid of any dental pain you’re feeling, which is why we always try to see emergency patients the same day they call.

Knowing what’s causing that pain is still important, so here’s a quick rundown of the different types of toothaches and what they might be telling you.

Toothaches Triggered By Temperature

Ice cream, coffee, soda, and soup: they can all be triggers for a toothache. The important thing to remember when dealing with this kind of pain is how long it lasts. A longer duration means a more serious problem!

If your pain lasts less than 30 seconds that’s a good sign: things aren’t too serious yet. Pain that flares up on contact with heat or cold and ends quickly indicates either a minor cavity, a filling that’s starting to get old, or some minor gum recession. We’ll need to treat these problems but there’s nothing urgent about this kind of pain. We recommend scheduling an appointment and avoiding the trigger foods for a while.

Pain that lasts longer is a sign of something serious. Usually lasting pain from heat or cold means there’s a cavity that’s made it all the way to the root of the tooth and probably started to infect the pulp. You’re probably going to need a root canal, but don’t worry: they’re nowhere as bad as the rumors make them out to be!

Recently been to our Rochester office? If you’re experiencing temperature sensitivity after a dentist appointment don’t worry – you probably just have some minor pulp inflammation that’s causing minor sensitivity. It should go away within a week or two.

Pressure Pains

Does biting down on something cause a sharp pain to shoot through your teeth and jaw? There’s probably not a lot of toothaches that are worse than this: they’re unpredictable and incredibly intense!

Pain from biting down is generally caused by severe tooth decay, a damaged filling, or a fractured tooth. In all three of these cases we need to treat you as soon as possible! Severe tooth decay needs immediate treatment, damaged fillings must be replaced, and fractured teeth have to be repaired or extracted before they cause even more damage.

Constant Aches In Teeth And Jaw

Constant low-level aches and pains can be just as unbearable as intense ones. If you’ve been dealing with a constant ache in your teeth or jaw there’s a likely culprit: your TMJ joint.

The TMJ joint is where your jaw meets your skull, and it can become irritated in a number of ways. If tooth pain is also part of your discomfort it’s probably from grinding your teeth – a condition that can cause even more problems!

TMJ pain and tooth grinding can both be treated, but there’s not an emergency unless you’re experiencing intense pain or loosening teeth. Just make an appointment as soon as you can!

Severe Pain, Swelling, And Fever

If you’ve recently started feeling severe pain accompanied by a fever, swelling, a feeling of pressure, and sensitivity to touch you probably have a dental abscess. This condition is serious – abscesses are the result of an infected tooth or gums that have spread to the bone around them.

Abscesses can have serious results, including the loss of bone, gums, and teeth near the infected area. Don’t delay treatment for an abscess – call our Rochester office right away!

Take Action To Relieve Your Pain Now

At Northwest Dental Group we want to help you feel better as soon as possible. If you call us in the morning we’ll guarantee you a visit today! We’ll always try to get patients in the same day they call, but if it’s later in the day you may have to wait until the next day.

Don’t wait for things to get better – when it comes to toothaches they usually don’t! Call our Rochester office right away at 507-216-6252. For non-emergency needs you can request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you!