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Toothache Cheat Sheet

Mission Viejo Dentist Shares What Your Tooth is Trying to Tell You

Almost everyone has felt some sort of tooth pain in their life, whether it be a fleeting moment of cold sensitivity or days of intense, ongoing pain. A toothache in and of itself is not a problem; rather, it is the symptom of a problem. Although it can be difficult to tell exactly why your tooth is hurting, certain symptoms often correspond to certain problems. By being aware of certain symptoms, you may be able to form an idea of what is going on with your tooth, but always remember that the only person who can accurately diagnose and cure your toothache is a dentist.  


Toothache Symptoms and What They Might Mean 


• Sensitivity to hot/cold in the absence of other symptoms

Thermal sensitivity is extremely common and is not necessarily an indication of a significant underlying dental issue. If your sensitivity is generalized and infrequent, there is probably little to do in terms of treatment. If you experience sensitivity often, or even daily, it may be a sign that your enamel is thinning, or that you have some gum recession, or that you simply have sensitive teeth. Regardless, informing your dentist is the best course of action.  

• Dull, throbbing pain, with or without sensitivity to hot/cold

Tooth pain that is constant, dull, or throbbing is usually indicative of a pulpal infection, commonly known as an abscess. Sufferers of an abscess often say that it’s as if they can feel their heartbeat in their tooth. Another common abscess symptom is inability to sleep due to pain. Treatment for this type of pain is often a root canal.  

• Sharp, shooting pain, with or without hot/cold sensitivity

Although sharp, shooting pain is consistent with several different dental problems, one of the more notable ones is a fractured or cracked tooth. It may not be visually evident that the tooth is cracked, but if biting down or eating on the tooth causes sharp pain, this may be an indication that the tooth is cracked. Depending on the severity of the crack, a crown may be needed.  

• Pain in the presence of swelling

Visible swelling associated with tooth pain is a dental emergency and should be examined as soon as possible. Swelling is caused by bacterial infection that has escaped the relatively confined area of the tooth and spread to other parts of the mouth or neck. Left unchecked, a more serious, widespread infection could occur.  No matter the type or degree of toothache symptoms you are experiencing, it is important not to let them linger. Alert your Mission Viejo dentist to your problem as soon as possible and, in almost every case, quick treatment can eliminate pain and save your tooth. 

Contact Your Dentist in Mission Viejo Today!

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Sunday: Closed

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