In many cases, tooth pain is an indicator of an oral health issue such as tooth decay or root canal infection. If you suffer from tooth pain, it's important to see a dentist to determine the source of your tooth pain. There are many general dentistry treatments that can treat and prevent tooth pain. To find out which treatments are right for the cause of your tooth pain, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Rockville, MD dentist Victor R. Siegel. Before your consultation, you can become familiar with the causes of tooth pain and the available treatments in this overview.
The Top Causes of Tooth Pain
Tooth pain can occur for a number of reasons, the majority of which are a sign of a dental problem. Tooth pain should not be ignored because it may be an indication an underlying problem that could lead to severe dental issues if left untreated. Some of the most common causes of tooth pain are:
- Enamel erosion: Tooth pain is sometimes caused by enamel erosion. Enamel erosion is the wearing away of the outer layer of the teeth, which can be caused by eating acidic foods or through the friction caused by teeth grinding or misalignment. Untreated enamel erosion can lead to increased dental sensitivity or tooth decay.
- Tooth decay: In many cases, tooth pain is caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay can occur when plaque and tartar are left on the teeth. Bacteria feed on plaque and tartar, releasing acids that erode the enamel. Over time, the enamel may decay to a point in which the inner dentin layer is exposed, causing dental pain.
- Root canal infection: Root canal infections are another top cause of tooth pain. Root canal infections can occur when tooth decay or dental injuries are severe enough to allow bacteria to enter the root canal, which houses the pulp and nerve tissue of the teeth, leading to major dental pain.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection of the gums, and can lead to tooth decay and dental pain.
- Dental fractures: Dental fractures, whether a minor chip or severe break, can cause tooth pain. Dental fractures also increase the risk of tooth decay and root canal infections because they leave the inner structures of the tooth exposed to bacteria and acids.
Treating and Preventing Tooth Pain
Treating tooth pain requires a thorough dental examination to determine the cause. When the cause has been determined, the proper treatment can be performed. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments that can help alleviate tooth pain.
- Dental fillings: Teeth damaged by tooth decay can be treated with dental fillings.
- Root canal therapy: When tooth pain is caused by a root canal infection, root canal therapy can be performed to remove infected nerve and pulp tissue.
- Dental crowns: Broken teeth that cause pain can be repaired with tooth-shaped dental crowns.
- Gum disease treatment: Gum disease treatment, including root planing and scaling, can prevent tooth decay and improve oral health. Of course prevention is preferable when it comes to all oral health matters, including tooth pain. You can help prevent tooth pain by practicing these dental care tips:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day can help prevent tooth decay.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are key to preventing tooth pain caused by oral health issues.
- Avoid sugary, acidic foods and drinks: Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can erode the enamel and lead to tooth decay. Avoiding acidic foods and drinks helps reduce your risk of associated dental issues.
Find Out Which Treatments Are Right for You
To learn more about your treatment options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Siegel today.