Any toothache is unpleasant, but tooth pain can differ considerably. Understanding the different kinds of tooth pain can help you recognise when it’s essential to get urgent dental treatment to save the tooth hopefully.
Sharp Tooth Pain
A tooth can develop a sharp pain when it becomes damaged, such as a broken tooth cusp, an untreated cavity, or where a restoration like a crown is beginning to leak. As crowns age, the cement holding them in place can start to crumble, causing a gap between the crown and the tooth that lets in tooth decay-causing bacteria.
Contact us to arrange an urgent dental appointment when you have sharp tooth pain. The sooner we can provide emergency dental treatment, the more quickly we can relieve your discomfort, and there is less chance the pain will develop into a more serious problem.
Dull Tooth Pain
If the tooth pain feels dull, it could be a problem with the tooth nerve. Each tooth has a nerve right in the centre, contained in the dental pulp chamber. Usually, the tooth nerve is protected, but if it becomes exposed, then eating certain foods or consuming hot and cold food and drink can aggravate the nerve.
It’s important to see a dentist if you notice this type of pain, preferably as soon as possible, so please get in touch with us to arrange a checkup. Our dentist can gently assess the tooth and test it to see if the tooth nerve is inflamed. If so, we may suggest root canal therapy to remove the damaged nerve and restore the tooth, getting rid of that dull pain.
Severe Throbbing Pain
If you have severe toothache where the entire tooth is throbbing, it generally indicates a serious infection. At the same time, you may notice other symptoms like bleeding gums or that your gum is red and tender around the tooth and has become swollen. It will most likely feel very painful to bite down on the tooth.
Prompt treatment is essential as otherwise, the infection could worsen, becoming a dental abscess.
A dental abscess indicates a severe infection in the tooth pulp caused by harmful bacteria. The infection spreads through the root canals in the tooth root and may affect the surrounding jawbone and gum. You might notice a small pimple on the gum caused by a buildup of pus. Other signs include a nasty taste, and in the worst case, you may develop a high fever and a general feeling of being unwell.
A severe dental abscess can become a medical emergency, especially if you develop a fever. If you have these symptoms, contact us immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
This isn’t necessarily a dental emergency, and sometimes it’s treatable with toothpaste for sensitive teeth. However, increased sensitivity to hot and cold, especially in just one or two teeth, could indicate an untreated dental problem like tooth decay or a loose or failing filling, and it’s always worth seeing us for a checkup.