The knee-jerk reaction to dental pain may be to rip the whole thing out, but before you grab your pincers you might want to read this blog first.
Dental pain, toothache or sensitivity are often caused by an inflammation or infection of the tooth’s pulp or nerve. If left unchecked, this can have severe consequences such as losing a tooth or having an infection reach your bloodstream.
There are a couple of reasons why you might be experiencing dental pain, as well as varying degrees of pain to be felt.
· Cavities or tooth decay. A cavity that goes deep enough to be close to the nerve, or reaches the nerve itself, will often cause sensitivity or outright pain when chewing or eating hot and/or cold foods.
· Fractures/trauma. If you’ve suffered an accident involving a trauma to the mouth, or if your teeth’s enamel was weak already and you chew something too hard, you might end up having a fracture that reaches your tooth’s pulp.
· Loose filling or crown. Both fillings and crowns have to be replaced after certain amount of years, depending on the care you’ve given them. A loose filling or crown can be trapping food underneath, leading to a feeling of pressure or causing cavities to spread closer to the pulp.
· External pressure by a Wisdom Tooth. If you happen to have an impacted tooth, this molar could be applying pressure over the nearby teeth and causing pain and gum inflammation.
· Enamel erosion.This happens when you eat a lot of acid food, by brushing too hard or by grinding your teeth in your sleep. Your tooth starts to lose its natural cover, and the pulp begins to be exposed and become sensitive.
· Gum infection or recession. This can happen when you don’t brush and floss enough or properly, and this pain is often confused with dental pain.
· Dental infection or abscess.These are infection spots caused by a deep cavity, periodontal disease or cracked teeth, as well as poor dental hygiene. Bacteria accumulates and starts to leak pus, causing a funny taste and smelly breath.
Depending on the cause, dental pain can range from a slight sensitivity to an unbearable ache. Usually the less pain there is, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to get rid of it. So don’t wait until you can’t stand the pain, you’ll only be hurting yourself and your wallet!
There are several options that you should look into before asking for a tooth extraction. Depending on the cause of your pain, your dentist in Tijuana can offer you one of the following:
· Fillings. If you have sensitivity due to a cavity but the pulp hasn’t been reached, a filling can help to protect the pulp. Your dentist will need an X-Ray to see how deep the cavity goes and will determine if a filling will be enough or if you will need more drastic measures.
· Root canal. If you have a cavity or a fracture that is deep enough to reach the pulp or is close to do so, chances are that you will need a root canal. A root canal is a procedure in which the tooth’s pulp or nerve is removed, so you’re incapable of feeling pain anymore.
· Wisdom teeth extraction. If the pain is caused by an impacted wisdom tooth, removing that piece will relieve the nearby teeth from the pressure that it was causing.
· Periodontal treatment. If you have gum disease, the proper periodontal treatment should alleviate the inflammation and sensitivity that you feel.
· Inlay or Onlay.If the tooth decay is too widespread but not too deep, instead of a filling your doctor may recommend an inlay or onlay to cover the affected area and prevent further damage and sensitivity.
If for some reason you are unable to see a dentist in Tijuana right away, you can try the following tips to alleviate the pain.
· Eat soft food, preferably on the opposite side of the affected tooth.
· Take OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.
· Avoid eating food that is too sweet, too cold or too hot.
· Avoid smoking, the heat and smoke in your mouth can make the pain worse later.
If you’re in any of the following situations, please call your dentist in Tijuana as soon as possible:
· If the pain is caused by an infection or abscess.
· If the pain lasts over two days.
· If the pain isn’t controlled by painkillers.
· If you have fever and swollen jaw or cheeks.
· If you have difficulty eating even soft foods.
Among the dental community, pulling extracting a tooth is a last-resort option when everything else has failed. As you may know from our blog about missing teeth and what happens if you don’t replace them, once a tooth is gone you have a certain amount of time to replace it before your remaining teeth start to move in to close the gap, leading to more expensive treatments needed to fix it and causing many other problems with cavities and erosion or extrusion that will also have to be fixed.
This is why many dentists in Tijuana prefer to exhaust any other possibilities before resorting to dental extraction, since many patients often don’t return for their restoration until years later when orthodontic treatment is needed or another tooth is about to fall out.
Also, if there is an infection present, extracting the tooth would only grant the bacteria a more direct access to your bloodstream, leading to more severe and sometimes fatal consequences.
As you can see, there are plenty of alternatives to alleviate dental pain or toothache without having to extract the afflicted tooth. These treatments are often cheaper than an extraction and its proper restoration, and even cheaper than pulling the tooth and never restoring it. It’s always better to preserve a tooth, both for your health’s and your wallet’s sake. If you use your American insurance in Tijuana, you could also save a lot of money!
Feel free to call us at Dental Studio Tijuana to set an appointment for an evaluation.
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Tijuana Dental Studio
Calle Quinta , Zona Centro
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