There are many different reasons as to why you may have a toothache. Typically, a toothache is equated to a cavity, but our family dentist in Meridian ID wants patients to know that’s not always the case. A cavity is tooth decay caused by specific types of bacteria that produce acid that destroy the tooth’s enamel and its underlying layer, the dentin. Experiencing symptoms such as sharp pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods could be the result of a cavity or it could be the result of tooth sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity is when the enamel that protects your teeth gets thinner or when gums recede. This exposes the underlying surface and reduces the protection of the enamel and gums to the tooth and root. Tooth sensitivity comes and goes over time. There are ways to prevent this from happening such as brushing daily with a toothpaste that doesn’t contain high levels of abrasives, flossing, and following a diet that is low in acid.
Sometimes, a severe toothache is a cavity or a cracked tooth. This severe pain may feel like a sharp, stabbing pain when you bite down on your food. In some cases, your toothache may not be directly caused by your teeth, but by a sinus infection. If you find that only your upper teeth on both sides of your face are in pain, sinusitis could be the cause. Jaw pain may be caused by temporomandibular disorders caused by a direct injury or trauma to the jaw by tooth grinding or by arthritis or cancer affecting the jaw. Unremoved wisdom teeth could also cause severe jaw pain.
If you or your family experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see our family dentist in Meridian, Dr. Stillings. We'll properly assess the mouth and accurately treat the pain. Before the appointment, try to gather as much information that you can about the toothache. Do you have a chipped or cracked tooth? Does your tooth hurt all the time or only when you’re eating? Is the tooth sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks?
After Dr. Stillings finds out what’s wrong, the course of action taken will be made together to determine what we collectively believe to be the best choice for your overall dental health. The great thing about a family dentistry practice is that we aid not only children’s teeth but also adults. If you have a toothache that’s ongoing and feels severe, don’t hesitate to contact our Meridian family dentist by calling (208) 377-3206.