Posts for tag: toothache
"Mom, my tooth hurts" isn't something you look forward to hearing your child say. But tooth pain is as common as other childhood ailments, so you may have to face it. Here are a few simple steps to make it easier.
First, ask your child where in the mouth it hurts and, if they can, tell you how long it's been hurting. Children's memories aren't always accurate, but you can still get a general idea that you can communicate with your dentist if you take them in.
Next, look in their mouth for anything out of the ordinary: gum swelling or bleeding, or dark spots on the teeth indicative of tooth decay. Look also for hard food particles like popcorn kernels caught between the teeth, which could be causing the pain. Gently floss between the teeth (even if you can't see anything) to remove any caught particles.
You'll also want to help ease their pain. You can apply an ice pack against the painful side of the jaw. Don't place ice directly on the skin, but use a container or cloth alternately against the jaw for a minute or so, and then away for a minute. You can also give them a dose of mild pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen appropriate for their age and weight—but never rub aspirin or other pain relievers on the gums, which tend to be acidic and can burn the skin.
Finally, you'll need to decide if you need to see a dentist and how soon. It might not be necessary with situations like the trapped food particles, but most of the time it's wise to have your dentist perform an examination for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. As to how soon, try to see the dentist immediately if the pain has continued from one day to the next or has kept your child up overnight. Otherwise, book an appointment for as soon as the dentist advises, even if the pain subsides.
A toothache at any age is never pleasant, but especially for children. Knowing these steps will help ease their discomfort and get them the relief and treatment they need.
If you would like more information on dental care for children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Child's Toothache: Have a Dental Exam to Figure out the Real Cause.”
Are you reluctant to visit the dentist because you're hoping that your toothache will just go away on its own? Milford, MA, dentists Drs. Peyman Peiji and Nina Raeisian explain why it's a bad idea to disregard your painful symptoms.
Cavities grow when they're overlooked
Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of a toothache. Unfortunately, the longer you ignore your toothache, the bigger the decayed area becomes. If decay is extensive, you'll need more than just a typical filling. In fact, you may require an inlay, a large porcelain filling created in a dental laboratory that fits inside the cusps of your tooth; an outlay, a lab-created filling that extends beyond at least one cusp; or a dental crown that completely covers your tooth. Removing the decayed part of your tooth, a crucial part of the filling process weakens the tooth. Although some weakening is unavoidable, it can be minimized by treating cavities when they're small.
You might have an abscess
Abscesses occur when the soft pulp inside your tooth becomes infected. In addition to pain, you may notice pus around your tooth, a pimple on your gum, facial swelling or red, swollen gums. A fever or a swollen lymph node is a sign that your body's immune system is hard at work battling the bacterial infection. Abscesses are treated with antibiotics and root canal treatment.
Pain can be a sign of damage
Pain in a tooth may also occur if you cracked or damaged a tooth. Repairing and restoring the tooth will prevent it from fracturing and will also help you avoid tooth decay or an infection, issues that may occur if bacteria enters the tooth.
Your toothache may actually be caused by gum disease
It's not unusual to feel pain when you chew or press on your teeth if you have gum disease. The disease not only affects your gum tissue, but can also damage your jawbone and the ligaments that help hold your teeth in place. Fortunately, prompt treatment can help you avoid tooth loss and other unpleasant symptoms of gum disease.
Don't put your oral health at risk. Call us right away if you have a toothache. Schedule your appointment with dentists Drs. Peyman Peiji and Nina Raeisian by calling our Milford, MA, office at (508) 966-7923.
Pain has a purpose: it tells us when something's wrong with our bodies. Sometimes it's obvious, like a cut or bruise. Sometimes, though, it takes a bit of sleuthing to find out what's wrong.
That can be the case with a toothache. One possible cause is perhaps the most obvious: something's wrong with the tooth. More specifically, decay has invaded the tooth's inner pulp, which is filled with an intricate network of nerves that react to infection by emitting pain. The pain can feel dull or sharp, constant or intermittent.
But decay isn't the only cause for tooth pain: periodontal (gum) disease can trigger similar reactions. Bacteria living in dental plaque, a thin film of food particles on tooth surfaces, infect the gums. This weakens the tissues and can cause them to shrink back (recede) from the teeth and expose the roots. As a result, the teeth can become painfully sensitive to hot or cold foods or when biting down.
Finding the true pain source determines how we treat it. If decay has invaded the pulp you'll need a root canal treatment to clean out the infection and fill the resulting void with a special filling; this not only saves the tooth, it ends the pain. If the gums are infected, we'll need to aggressively remove all plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) to restore the gums to health.
To further complicate matters, an infection from tooth decay could eventually affect the gums and supporting bone, just as a gum infection could enter the tooth by way of the roots. Once the infection crosses from tooth to gums (or gums to tooth), the tooth's long-term outlook grows dim.
So, if you're noticing any kind of tooth pain, or you have swollen, reddened or bleeding gums, you should call us for an appointment as soon as possible. The sooner we can diagnose the problem and begin appropriate treatment the better your chances of a good outcome — and an end to the pain.
If you would like more information on diagnosing and treating tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Confusing Tooth Pain: Combined Root Canal and Gum Problems.”