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5 Common Causes of Tooth Pain

Tooth pain may come and go, or it can linger like an annoying houseguest who’s overstayed his or her welcome. Either way, it should never be ignored. Robert Scott Nance, DDS, MS, PA and our compassionate team diagnose and treat your problem to get you back on the road to good health in no time at our state-of-the-art dental offices in Statesville and Hickory, North Carolina.

Common causes of tooth pain

The most sensitive part of our teeth, the pulp, encompasses nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissue. Pain occurs when invading bacteria infects the pulp. Dr. Nance discerns whether you’ve been affected by some of the following potentially painful conditions.

1. Gum disease and inflammation

Inflammation can wreak havoc on your mouth and entire body. Though it is part of our natural healing process, it can also inflict pain. If your dental pulp becomes inflamed because of infection or other causes, you may experience:

Potentially harmful bacteria may enter your bloodstream through your gums, causing redness and swelling. You could even lose teeth because of periodontal disease. Don’t wait for the pain. Dr. Nance and our staff perform regular dental check-ups to catch periodontal disease in the early stages.

2. Abscessed tooth

If you experience throbbing or continual sharp pain, you may suffer from an abscessed tooth. Signs of abscess, caused by an infection between your gums and tooth, include: 

Without treatment, an abscess can lead to tissue loss and loose teeth. Dr. Nance pinpoints the origin of your pain via X-rays and high-tech digital imaging to check for bone loss. He also recognizes other signs, such as inflamed gums, while discovering whether your infection lingers even after the pain goes away.  

3. Tooth decay

Tooth decay, or cavities, is among the most common causes of tooth pain. Depending upon the extent of your decay, Dr. Nance and our talented team protect and seal your tooth via fillings and root canal, when the damage is extensive. 

Practice good brushing techniques and dental hygiene with regular cleanings to reduce your chances of painful tooth decay. Avoid cavities caused when: 

  1. Bacteria in your mouth turn sugar into acid
  2. Acids within plaque dissolve tooth enamel
  3. Holes form in your teeth

Dr. Nance and his staff discuss ways to keep your enamel healthy and teeth pain-free, such as changing to a sensitivity toothpaste or gargling with certain rinses that repel harmful bacteria. Since tooth decay occurs mainly from sugars and starches, limiting soda and other sugary treats also helps.

4. Cracked teeth

If you experience pain, a broken tooth may be the culprit. Cracks that occur when you bite down too hard may be painfully obvious, while others that happen over time may not. Dr. Nance quickly discovers if your pain comes from a cracked tooth. In the meantime, before your appointment, ease your pain by:

Try soups, salmon, avocados, coconut water, or cooked vegetables. They’re healing and anti-inflammatory. Don’t consume anything too cold or hot to avoid further sensitivity and pain.

5. Clenching your teeth

Bruxism, or tooth grinding, remains quite common. You may be unaware you grind your teeth during sleep or even waking hours. When this becomes chronic, it can: 

Tooth grinding may also result in headaches, toothaches, and more. Dr. Nance evaluates you for signs of bruxism, including fractured or worn down teeth, morning headaches, or sore jaw muscles. He offers solutions such as a night guard to ward off pain and protect your teeth, muscles, and joints from further disruption.

Keep pain away

If you’re currently experiencing dental pain or want to avoid potential tooth and/or gum problems, Dr. Nance and our knowledgeable staff are on hand to help. Simply contact our office in Statesville or Hickory today.

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