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When to See a Dentist for Tooth Pain: Our Advice

when to see dentist tooth pain

Tooth pain can range from a dull ache to an excruciating sharp sensation, affecting our daily activities and productivity. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, it’s important to know when it’s time to seek professional dental care. 

Tooth pain should never be ignored, as it often indicates an underlying dental issue that requires professional attention. Truth be told, dental infections don’t go away on their own. Whether it’s a common cause like tooth decay or a more urgent situation like a knocked-out tooth, Dr. Bestandji and the team at Canal Vista Family Dental are here to help.

Common Causes of Tooth Pain 

Tooth pain can stem from various causes, and the duration of the pain can vary depending on the underlying issue. Some common causes of toothaches may include:

Tooth decay

When the protective enamel on your teeth becomes compromised, bacteria can penetrate the tooth, leading to decay. The pain associated with tooth decay can be intermittent or constant, and it may worsen with temperature changes or when biting down. The duration of tooth pain caused by decay depends on the extent of the decay and whether it has reached the inner pulp of the tooth.

Keep in mind that not all cavities hurt, so the absence of pain won’t determine whether or not you have a “bad” cavity.

Dental abscess

An abscess occurs when an infection spreads to the root of the tooth and into the surrounding gum and bone tissues. The pain from a dental abscess is often severe and may be accompanied by swelling and a bad taste in the mouth.

Immediate dental attention is necessary to prevent further complications.

Gum disease

Advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, can cause tooth pain due to the inflammation and infection of the gums around your tooth roots. The pain may be experienced as a throbbing sensation around the affected teeth and may worsen when chewing. Treating gum disease promptly is crucial to prevent tooth loss and maintain oral health.

It’s important to note that the duration of tooth pain can vary depending on the specific cause and individual circumstances. If you’re experiencing persistent tooth pain, it’s advisable to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Are Bleeding Gums a Dental Emergency? 

While occasional gum bleeding during brushing or flossing may not necessarily be a cause for alarm, persistent or excessive bleeding can indicate an underlying issue. Bleeding gums can be a sign of:

Gingivitis: The early stage of gum disease, characterized by inflammation of the gums. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits can often reverse this condition.

Periodontitis: Advanced gum disease that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Professional intervention is necessary to manage the infection and prevent further damage.

Trauma: Injury to the gums, such as accidental cuts or sports-related incidents, can cause bleeding. Seek care if bleeding persists or if there are other concerning symptoms. Severe, uncontrollable bleeding requires immediate medical attention at your nearest hospital, especially if facial swelling is present or a broken jaw is suspected. 

If you notice recurring or heavy gum bleeding, it’s important to consult with our Princeton dentist to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment. 

Tooth Pain After Dental Procedures

Experiencing tooth pain or discomfort after a dental procedure is not uncommon, especially if the treatment involved tooth extraction, was within close proximity to the nerve, or the gums were already infected. Symptoms should subside within a few days. 

However, if the pain intensifies or persists beyond the expected recovery period, it’s essential to contact our Princeton dentist for a follow-up evaluation. 

Temporary discomfort can be managed with the following home care tips: 

Easing Tooth Pain at Home

While it’s important to seek professional care for tooth pain, there are some measures you can take to temporarily alleviate your discomfort. Here are some home remedies that may help before you can get to our office for an appointment:

Rinse with warm salt water: Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the water. 

Apply a cold compress: Place an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas to the affected area to help numb the pain and reduce swelling. 

Over-the-counter pain relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) provide the best solution when it comes to temporary relief from tooth pain. Follow the recommended dosage instructions.

Remember, these home remedies are temporary solutions and should not replace professional dental care. It’s crucial to have our dentist address the underlying cause of the tooth pain so that it doesn’t get worse or keep coming back.

What to Do for a Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth can be an especially scary experience, but quick action can help you save the tooth. If you or a loved one has a knocked-out tooth, follow these steps:

Handle the tooth with care: Hold the tooth by the crown (the part visible in the mouth) and avoid touching the root.

Rinse the tooth: Gently rinse the tooth with water if it’s dirty. Avoid scrubbing or using any soap or chemicals. A light stream of running water is all you should use.

Try to reinsert the tooth: If possible, gently reinsert the tooth into its socket, making sure it’s facing the right way. Apply gentle pressure to hold it in place.

Preserve the tooth: If reinserting the tooth isn’t possible, place it in a sealed container and cover it with milk, saline, or contact solution. Bring it straight to our Princeton dentist. This will increase the chances of being able to reinsert it. 

Seek immediate dental care: Contact our emergency dentist right away. Time is of the essence when dealing with a knocked-out tooth, as the chances of saving it decrease the longer it remains outside the mouth.

Call Our Princeton Emergency Dentist Today

At Canal Vista Family Dental, we understand that dental emergencies can happen at any time. That’s why we have a dedicated emergency plan to provide prompt care when you need it the most.

If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, a knocked-out tooth, or any other dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact our office right away.

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