Our office takes emergencies and tooth pain very seriously. You can reach one of our doctors by phone 24 hours a day 7 days a week and we will get you in to our office as soon as possible.
Before we start it is important to know that tooth pain comes in many forms and affects everyone differently. This page is NOT meant as a diagnosis guide but rather as an educational resource. After a thorough dental examination, our doctors will diagnose your problem and provide you with treatment options.
There are two main types of tooth pain; pulpitis and dentinal sensitivity.
- Pulpitis results from direct irritation of the nerve at the core of the tooth. Cavities and broken or cracked teeth are the common causes we typically see in patients. At this point the pain is reversible and may be relieved by getting a filling for a cavity or placing a crown on a cracked tooth. However, more severe dental conditions can make pulpitis irreversible. This is usually characterized by a lingering sensitivity to cold and heat or a dull ache that you may experience at any time during the day or night. At times this pain may be severe. Teeth with irreversible pulpitis must be treated more aggressively and frequently need a root canal.
- Dentinal sensitivity is also characterized by brief sensitivity to cold or sugar and may be experienced on one, a couple, or all of your teeth. In general some people’s teeth are just more sensitive than others and dentinal sensitivity is something they have experienced their whole life. Other people develop sensitivity due to gum recession and exposure of the root surfaces of the teeth. The tooth’s root is not protected by the hard enamel of the tooth’s crown and is therefore more sensitive to cold. There are several approaches to treating dentinal sensitivity and our doctors can help you choose which is best for you.
The best approach to any sort of tooth pain is to get it checked as soon as possible. As with many things involving our health it is best to catch problems early before it becomes severe.