Posts for tag: toothache
Toothaches are often a sign of a cavity, but they can also be an indication of something more. Cavities form in the outer layers of a tooth and can cause discomfort. However, toothaches can also be caused by the spread of infection to the soft pulp tissue at the center of a tooth that extends down into the canals of the root as well. A root canal alleviates pain by clearing away the infected pulp. The skilled dentists at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH, perform root canals to treat toothaches and preserve teeth.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
Several symptoms can develop when you need a root canal. A severe or persistent toothache is one possible sign. Other signs that root canal treatment might be needed include:
- Pain or sensitivity when biting and chewing food
- Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth
- Tenderness or swelling of the gums near the affected tooth
- Ongoing sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- The formation of an abscess in the gums
If you experience any of these systems, one of the experienced dentists at our office in Salem, NH, can determine if a root canal or another type of treatment is needed.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment might sound scary to some people, but it is not much different than having a cavity filled. Plus, once the procedure is done, your toothache and other symptoms will be eliminated. In addition to alleviating pain, other benefits of root canal treatment include strengthening the affected tooth, restoring tooth functioning, and preserving your tooth so extraction can be avoided. A root canal also helps stop the infection from spreading to other areas of the mouth.
Root canal treatment is performed by creating a small opening in the tooth so the dentist can reach the inner layer and remove the infected pulp. Afterward, the chamber of the tooth and the canals of the root are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. It is then filled in with a biocompatible material. Finally, the tooth is sealed to prevent infection from developing again in the future. In some cases, a dental crown might be placed over the treated tooth to further strengthen and protect it.
Root canal treatment can alleviate your toothache and help you avoid having your tooth extracted. Schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained dentists to find out if you need a root canal by calling Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH, at (603) 893-4538.
Root canals are essential to oral health care. Your Salem, NH, dentists, Drs. Nicholas Papapetros, Paul Masterson, and Jhon Giraldo, use root canal procedures to relieve pain and help teeth regain their health.
One of the main reasons people end up needing a root canal is because of poor oral hygiene. If you don't brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once, then you will suffer from plaque and tartar building up.
A tooth is composed of several layers that all become compromised when someone neglects their oral hygiene. These layers include:
- Enamel: The outermost layer, it is the white part of the tooth and also the strongest part.
- Dentin: Right under the enamel, this layer is yellowish and a bit softer.
- Pulp: Located in the center of the tooth, this section consists of blood vessels and nerves.
- Cementum: The surface layer of the tooth root, it anchors the whole tooth to the jawbone.
When a cavity is deep enough to infiltrate the enamel and penetrate through the dentin, it reaches the nerve-rich layer of pulp, causing acute pain. Your Salem dentist will then need to remove the pulp, clean and disinfect the canal from any remaining bacteria, and then finally seal the canal to prevent bacteria from entering.
In order to properly care for your teeth and avoid procedures like a root canal or dental implants, you should do the following:
- Avoid Excessive Sugar: Eating sugary foods and drinks (i.e. candy and soda) heavily contributes to tooth decay, while healthy foods (apples and carrots) actually help scrape plaque off of teeth.
- Use Fluoride-Containing Products: Fluoride prevents tooth decay, so make sure that you regularly use toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride.
If you have any questions or concerns about root canals, do not hesitate to call your Salem, NH, dentists, Drs. Nicholas Papapetros, Paul Masterson, and Jhon Giraldo. You can schedule an appointment at their office by calling (603) 893-4538 today!
A toothache might mean you have tooth decay—or maybe not. It could also be a sign of other problems that will take a dental exam to uncover. But we can get some initial clues about the underlying cause from how much it hurts, when and for how long it hurts and where you feel the pain most.
Let's say, for instance, you have a sharp pain while consuming something cold or hot, but only for a second or two. This could indicate isolated tooth decay or a loose filling. But it could also mean your gums have receded and exposed some of the tooth's hypersensitive root surface.
While over-aggressive brushing can be the culprit, gum recession is most often caused by periodontal (gum) disease. Untreated, this bacterial infection triggered by accumulated dental plaque could eventually cause tooth and bone loss, so the sooner it's attended to the better.
On the other hand, if the pain seems to linger after encountering hot or cold foods and liquids, or you have a continuous throbbing pain, you could have advanced tooth decay that's entered the inner pulp where infected tooth nerves are reacting painfully. If so, you may need a root canal treatment to remove the diseased pulp tissue and fill the empty pulp and root canals to prevent further infection.
If you have this kind of pain, see a dentist as soon as possible, even if the pain stops. Cessation of pain may only mean the nerves have died and can no longer transmit pain; the infection, on the other hand, is still active and will continue to advance to the roots and bone.
Tooth pain could also indicate other situations: a cracked tooth, an abscess or even a sinus problem where you're feeling the pain radiating through the teeth. So whatever kind of pain you're feeling, it's your body's alarm signal that something's wrong. Promptly seeing your dentist is the best course of action for preserving your health.
If you would like more information on treating tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Pain? Don't Wait!”
Dental disease doesn’t discriminate by age. Although certain types of disease are more common in adults, children are just as susceptible, particularly to tooth decay.
Unfortunately, the early signs of disease in a child’s teeth can be quite subtle—that’s why you as a parent should keep alert for any signs of a problem. Here are 3 things you might notice that definitely need your dentist’s attention.
Cavities. Tooth decay occurs when mouth acid erodes tooth enamel and forms holes or cavities. The infection can continue to grow and affect deeper parts of the tooth like the pulp and root canals, eventually endangering the tooth’s survival. If you notice tiny brown spots on their teeth, this may indicate the presence of cavities—you should see your dentist as soon as possible. To account for what you don’t see, have your child visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups.
Toothache. Tooth pain can range from a sensitive twinge of pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods to a throbbing sharp pain. Whatever its form, a child’s toothache might indicate advancing decay in which the infection has entered the tooth pulp and is attacking the nerves. If your child experiences any form of toothache, see your dentist the next day if possible. Even if the pain goes away, don’t cancel the appointment—it’s probable the infection is still there and growing.
Bleeding gums. Gums don’t normally bleed during teeth brushing—the gums are much more resilient unless they’ve been weakened by periodontal (gum) disease (although over-aggressive brushing could also be a cause). If you notice your child’s gums bleeding after brushing, see your dentist as soon as possible—the sooner they receive treatment for any gum problems the less damage they’ll experience, and the better chance of preserving any affected teeth.
When your child says they have a toothache, should you see your dentist? In most cases, the answer is yes.
And for good reason: their “toothache” could be a sign of a serious condition like tooth decay or a localized area of infection called an abscess, which could adversely affect their long-term dental health. The best way to know for sure –and to know what treatment will be necessary—is through a dental exam.
So, how quickly should you make the appointment? You can usually wait until morning if the pain has persisted for a day or through the night—most toothaches don’t constitute an emergency. One exception, though, is if the child has accompanying fever or facial swelling: in those cases you should call your dentist immediately or, if unavailable, visit an emergency room.
In the meantime, you can do a little detective work to share with the dentist at the appointment. Ask your child exactly where in their mouth they feel the pain and if they remember when it started. Look at that part of the mouth—you may be able to see brown spots on the teeth or obvious cavities indicative of decay, or reddened, swollen gums caused by an abscess. Also ask them if they remember getting hit in the mouth, which may mean their pain is the result of trauma and not disease.
You can also look for one other possible cause: a piece of candy, popcorn or other hard object wedged between the teeth putting painful pressure on the gums. Try gently flossing the teeth to see if anything dislodges. If so, the pain may alleviate quickly if the wedged object was the cause.
Speaking of pain, you can try to ease it before the dental appointment with ibuprofen or acetaminophen in appropriate doses for the child’s age. A chilled cloth or ice pack (no direct ice on skin) applied to the outside of the jaw may also help.
Seeing the dentist for any tooth pain is always a good idea. By paying prompt attention to this particular “call for help” from the body could stop a painful situation from getting worse.
If you would like more information on dental care for children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Child’s Toothache: Have a Dental Exam to Figure out the Real Cause.”