Common Causes of Tooth Pain and How to Find Relief
Tooth pain has many possible causes, the most common of which are often an indication of an oral health problem. When tooth pain is caused by an oral health issue, it can lead to serious dental problems, including tooth loss. Seeking treatment is the best way to prevent further dental damage and alleviate dental pain. Restorative dentistry treatments are available to treat the underlying causes of tooth pain, like tooth decay and other dental damage, improving oral health and the smile's appearance. For more information about the common causes of tooth pain and your treatment options, schedule a consultation with Long Island, NY dentist Louis Buono.
The Common Causes of Tooth Pain
Tooth pain is often one of the first signs of a dental problem. Accordingly, the most common causes of tooth pain are a result of an oral health issue. Some of these common causes include:
- Enamel erosion: The teeth are protected by an outer protective layer, called the enamel. Exposure to acid from foods and drinks, oral bacteria, and friction from teeth grinding can all lead to enamel erosion. Enamel erosion exposes the inner dentin layer of the teeth, increasing dental sensitivity.
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay, including dental cavities, is caused by enamel erosion from plaque buildup. As plaque is left on the teeth, the acids from bacteria found in plaque begin to erode the tooth's structure. If left untreated, a cavity may form, causing dental pain and damage.
- Root canal infection: Root canal infections are another common cause of tooth pain. A root canal infection is a bacterial infection of the blood vessels and nerve tissues, which supply nourishment to the teeth and regulate dental sensitivity. Root canal infections are caused by tooth decay, structural damage to the teeth, or loose fillings.
- Structural damage: Structural damage to the teeth, whether a crack or chip, can cause serious tooth pain. Tooth pain may occur as a result of a root canal infection or from a broken portion of the tooth irritating the tooth's nerve.
- Loose dental filling: Old metal fillings may loosen over time, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth, increasing the risk of painful root canal infections.
- Gum recession: Gum recession is usually caused by gum disease, an infection of the gum tissue caused by plaque and tartar buildup. As the gums recede, the teeth are left vulnerable to decay and increased dental sensitivity.
Treatments to Relieve Tooth Pain
In order to treat tooth pain, it is necessary to undergo a thorough dental examination to determine the underlying cause. Once the cause of tooth pain is determined, the appropriate treatment may be performed. Some common treatments for relieving tooth pain include:
- Dental fillings: Dental fillings are an effective way to treat tooth decay and alleviate dental pain. Loose fillings may be replaced with new, tooth-colored fillings to prevent further damage and treat dental pain.
- Root canal therapy: Dental pain caused by root canal infections may be treated with root canal therapy.
- Dental crowns: Teeth with structural damage and teeth weakened by large fillings may be restored with dental crowns.
- Gum graft surgery: Gum recession may be repaired with gum graft surgery, which is used to rebuild lost gum tissue by transplanting gum tissue from other parts of the mouth.
Find Out Which Treatments Are Right for You
To find out which treatments are right for your tooth pain, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Buono.