If the pain is quite severe then it’s likely you will want to get in touch with a specialist dentist or pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Sometimes the temptation may be to ignore it and hope it goes away. Generally, it is better to seek professional dental care as soon as you can.
This is because treatment can often be far more successful and it’s more likely your tooth can be saved if you seek treatment sooner rather than later.
The most common reason for tooth pain is tooth decay. This is a condition that cannot get better without treatment. Other reasons include an abscess, a fracture, having a leaky or damaged filling or having infected gums.
Tooth pain can also be due to teeth grinding or clenching. This is a condition called bruxism and it places the teeth and gums under tremendous stress. Bruxism can cause significant damage to teeth and may even eventually cause tooth loss.
If you or your child is suffering from a toothache, it is best to consult a pediatric dentist straight away.
All these factors have one thing in common. They cause damage to the tough outer layer of the tooth’s enamel. The enamel that normally protects the tooth. Any damage to the enamel will let bacteria enter.
These bacteria can easily eat away the dentin underneath the enamel and will cause a cavity to develop. Without treatment to fill the cavity, the bacteria will continue to destroy dentin until they reach the central area called the pulp.
When the infection reaches the pulp, it will cause toothache, at least initially. This is because the pulp contains nerves, as well as blood vessels and connective tissues.
Sometimes people will think their toothache has cleared up because the bacteria will have killed the pulp so the pain goes away.
When in fact, the infection is still present and will continue to infect the tooth, as well as the structures surrounding it. This is when a dental abscess develops and it’s one of the reasons why tooth pain of any description needs to be investigated.
What Are the Symptoms
The main symptom is of course pain. This may be a constant or sharp, stabbing pain when you try to bite down on the affected tooth. Other symptoms include noticeable swelling. The gum around the tooth may also begin to look red instead of a nice healthy pale pink. As the infection tries to drain from the tooth, it can cause a foul taste. In cases where the infection is particularly severe, you may develop a headache or fever.
When to See a Dentist or Pediatric Dentist
If your toothache lasts longer than a day or so.
You should also contact a pediatric dentist as soon as possible if your child’s toothache is particularly severe.
Especially if you have begun to see swelling or your child feels unwell.
It Can Affect Your General Health
It is particularly important to see a pediatric dentist as soon as your child has any additional symptoms such as facial swelling. Or, if they are developing a fever.
It has the potential to develop into a serious condition that can harm your or your child’s general health. Please don’t delay in seeking treatment.
Delaying treatment could lead to the infection spreading throughout the body and even to the brain. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria has the ability to travel anywhere in the body. What originally started out as a small and highly treatable cavity could end up being life-threatening.
What Will Happen When You Visit a Pediatric Dentist?
When you go to the pediatric dentist, they will need to take down a brief medical history. They will need to know about any prescription medications being used. A pediatric dentist will ask questions about when the problems began and the symptoms it is causing. The severity of the pain and what makes it feel better or what makes it feel worse.
A detailed examination will enable them to discover the exact cause and it’s highly likely that they will take a dental x-ray of the affected tooth. An x-ray will determine the extent of the infection and will show how far it has spread. X-rays are extremely useful in helping to plan the treatment so the pediatric dentist can get your child feeling better.
What Kind of Treatments Are Available
The exact treatment recommended for a toothache will depend on the severity and cause. If the pain is relatively mild it might be due to a cavity in a tooth that just requires filling. However, often the infection will have reached the pulp and require root canal therapy, or extraction of a tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
Contrary to belief, root canal therapy shouldn’t feel any worse than having a filling. If you or your child is in pain, then be assured it will feel much better afterward. Root canal therapy cleans out the infected pulp, removing all the dead or dying nerve tissue in the pulp chamber.
Using dental x-ray, a professional dentist or pediatric dentist will be able to see the number of root canals that need cleaning out and their shape.
This is important, as different size teeth have a different number of root canals and sometimes these can be quite curved. It is important to make sure these root canals are thoroughly cleaned out to remove the bacterial infection.
Once the area has been cleaned and disinfected, they might choose to place topical antibiotics to make sure the infection is properly eliminated. The tooth will be temporarily filled so it can be restored at a later date.
Restoration normally involves placing a dental crown right over the tooth. This is done as it’s likely it was substantially decayed and will have lost quite a bit of its original structure.
Root canal therapy is a really great treatment for preserving teeth. Often root treated teeth will last for many years or even for life without any problems.
What Happens If a Tooth Is Badly Infected?
If a tooth has a severe infection that has developed into an abscess, meaning it has spread out beyond the tooth roots, they may need to extract the tooth. This will always be the last resort but might be necessary in order to drain the abscess. This is why a pediatric dentist always urges patients to seek treatment sooner rather than later.
If you do need a tooth removed, then they can always talk to you about possible ways to replace it. Including using the very latest and long-lasting dental implants, depending on your and your child’s age.
If You or Your Child Has A toothache, Take Action Now
If you or your child has a persistent toothache, don’t delay and contact and get an appointment with a caring and very gentle dentists. A pediatric dentist always makes every effort to see patients in pain as soon as possible. Many can always give you advice over the phone on how to cope with the pain until you can get to them.