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causes of tooth pain

Causes of Tooth Pain & What You Can Do About It

Have you ever experienced tooth decay or even a tooth abscess? If you’re nodding your head yes, chances are you’ve experienced tooth pain. Tooth pain — or toothache — can have different causes, despite causing soreness or sensitivity in the same locality. These causes can concern the tooth’s inner wiring (aka the nerves), the tooth’s actual structure, or something external to the tooth altogether.

Tooth pain often occurs when it’s been a while since your last checkup and clean. Left unattended, whatever is causing your tooth pain may worsen and wreak havoc on your tooth until — albeit as a worst-case scenario — a tooth extraction becomes necessary. At Abbotsford Dental, we regard this treatment as a last-resort option, preferring to treat the issue in the early stages. If any of the following sounds familiar, please book your appointment with Abbotsford Dental sooner rather than later.

Tooth Nerve Pain

Tooth nerve pain, often experienced as sharp, intense discomfort, can be a distressing experience. This pain arises when the dental pulp — the innermost part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels — becomes inflamed or damaged. Tooth nerve pain can stem from tooth decay, trauma, or infections. It manifests as a sensitivity that arises when you consume hot, cold, or sweet foods, which can make eating or drinking an ordeal. 

If you’re experiencing tooth nerve pain, you’ll want a professional to diagnose and treat it promptly, lest you risk further complications — which may necessitate root canal treatment or, in severe cases, extraction. Maintaining good oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups, and timely interventions are crucial in mitigating the risks associated with tooth nerve pain.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, a prevalent dental issue, occurs when the enamel — the hard outer layer of the tooth — begins to break down. This breakdown typically occurs when sugars and starches linger on the tooth’s surface for too long, providing a food source for oral bacteria. These bacteria produce acid as they feed, which in turn causes the destructive process of tooth decay. Over time, this acid erodes the enamel, leading to cavities.

If untreated, tooth decay can progress to deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Preventative measures include maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and limiting sugary foods and drinks. Regular dental check-ups are also vital for early detection and treatment of tooth decay, ensuring long-term oral health. 

If you detect the issue late, you may wish to look into dental crowns/caps, which are a great restorative option for protecting a weakened tooth. Ask us about our CEREC technology, which eliminates the waiting game and gets you high-quality, custom-made crowns in a single appointment.

For less severe cases, however, the fix may be a simple case of getting a dental filling. Ask us about our white fillings, which cover cavities seamlessly thanks to their predominantly resin make. 

Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess is a serious dental condition comprising a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection. This infection can occur in different parts of the tooth, including the tip of the root (periapical abscess) or the gums next to the tooth root (periodontal abscess). Symptoms often include severe, throbbing pain, swelling in the face or cheek, sensitivity to hot and cold, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. 

If left untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to serious complications, such as the spread of infection to other areas of the body. Treatment typically involves draining the abscess and eliminating the infection, which may require antibiotics, root canal therapy, or even tooth extraction. Maintaining good oral hygiene and seeking prompt dental care at the first sign of trouble is essential in preventing and managing tooth abscesses.

What To Do Next

Now that you’ve isolated the problem, it’s time to take action. Intense tooth pain and tooth abscesses count as dental emergencies! Book your appointment at Abbotsford Dental and list your reason as either Toothache or Emergency, depending on pain severity. Alternatively, call us on (03) 9410 1077, and we’ll see to it that you’re seen as soon as possible.

Tooth pain isn’t just a grown-up issue! We also have children’s dentistry services on-site for kids and teens in dental distress — or who are due for a checkup. Do you experience dental anxiety? Abbotsford Dental takes a holistic health approach that sees the person beyond the mouth. We are patient with our patients, offering sleep dentistry for kids and adults alike.


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