There is nothing quite like tooth pain. Whether the pain is a soft, annoying throbbing, a sharp, intermittent stab or possibly the mind numbing pain of a full blown abscess, tooth pain is unpleasant and indicative of a dental problem. When the pain is inconsistent and not severe, you may be tempted to ignore it. This is particularly true if you cannot visibly see a reason for the discomfort.
Any tooth or jaw pain should be brought to the attention of your dentist. There are always underlying causes for pain. A thorough examination of the area will reveal the cause, and a treatment plan can be created to address it.
Possible Causes for Tooth or Jaw Pain
The most obvious cause of tooth pain is a decayed or damaged tooth. When left unchecked, tooth decay moves further into the tooth. The closer it gets to the nerve center of the tooth, the pulp, the more pain you may feel. However, tooth decay is not the only cause of tooth pain.
Young adults may experience the pain of impacted wisdom teeth. This can manifest as tooth pain, jaw pain or both. Wisdom teeth often cause problems and need to be extracted. Impacted wisdom teeth can push the adjacent teeth out of alignment, causing swelling. If they are partially erupted, it can lead to gum disease or the tooth becoming decayed and infected.
Tooth and jaw pain can be caused by clenching and/or grinding of the teeth. Nocturnal teeth grinding, or bruxism, affects millions of adults and children. For some, it is a temporary problem. For many adults, it is ongoing. Fortunately, accurate diagnosis and treatment can provide relief.
Jaw pain also may be caused by problems with the temporomandibular joint. Again, accurate diagnosis is needed to determine the most effective treatment for the problem. Treatment can be as simple as wearing a mouthguard while sleeping, exercises for the jaw or implementing a stress management routine. It can also be more extensive, depending on the source of the problem. For example, if sleep apnea is causing bruxism, treating the apnea may give relief. If the jaw pain is caused by an injury to the jaw, a more radical solution may be advised.
Tooth or jaw pain needs to be addressed. The sooner you find out what is causing your discomfort, the sooner you can get relief. Contact Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta today and let one of our highly skilled prosthodontists perform a thorough examination to find the source of your pain.