What causes a toothache?
Almost everyone at some time or another will experience discomfort from a toothache. Your toothache pain may be sharp, dull, burning, or cold. You may experience sensitivity to hot/cold foods and drinks, not be able to chew without pain, or find that without pain relief, you can’t get through your day.
But what causes a toothache? The most common underlying issues we see at Chugach Dental include:
- Untreated tooth decay and gum disease
- Damage to a tooth or gum tissue — biting on a fork, a piece of food stuck in your tooth, etc.
- Infection/inflammation deep within the tooth
Does a sore tooth mean I need a root canal?
Just like any ache or pain, a toothache is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. Until it’s been examined by a dentist, you just can’t be sure what treatment you’ll need.
While sometimes tooth pain will go away on its own, some follow-up treatment may be needed.
- Filling – When tooth decay is caught early, a small and natural tooth-colored filling can relieve toothache pain and protect your tooth from further damage.
- Root Canal – As bacteria infects the inner layers of your tooth, the result can be a very painful toothache. A root canal cleans out decay, eliminates pain, and saves your natural tooth.
- Extraction – In some cases, whether due to traumatic damage to the tooth or advanced decay, a tooth extraction may be the best option for your health.
It’s natural to be nervous, but know that regardless of the treatment you need, Dr. Adam Jensen and the team at Chugach Dental are committed to your comfort. We offer a variety of sedation options including prescription medications and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to keep you relaxed throughout your treatment.
How do I know if my toothache is serious?
Be on the lookout for any tooth pain accompanied by symptoms like:
- Spontaneous pain
- Redness or swelling
- Discharge of pus
- Fractured or knocked out tooth
- Bad smell/taste in your mouth
These are often warning signs of an abscess, which can be serious if not treated. If you’re ever in doubt, call our office at (907) 868-3000 for more information.
Why is my toothache worse at night?
You’re not just imagining things! Most people notice their toothaches become worse at night. It’s due to:
- Lying down to sleep directs blood flow to your head and increases the pressure on your head. A sensitive tooth becomes more sensitive!
- Nighttime brushing and flossing can irritate sore teeth and gums or chewing from dinner can cause inflammation in the sore area.
- Unconscious tooth grinding is more common at night, so if you wake up with an extra-sore tooth, that could be the culprit.
- As you lay down to sleep, your brain will hopefully be free of distractions and thoughts. Unfortunately, this can make you extra aware of any discomfort you’re feeling — like your toothache.
Do I need insurance to see a dentist?
At Chugach Dental, we accept all insurances (except Medicaid). However, you do not need insurance to see a dentist for toothache pain treatment.
We’re here to help you.
Bad toothache? Don’t wait to get the care you need. Schedule your appointment today.