Toothache is unpleasant for everyone and is most usually associated with tooth decay. But … did you realise that there are many other reasons why your tooth could be hurting? These include:
- Cracked tooth
- Cracked filling
- Sensitive teeth
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Non-dental causes such as a pinched nerve or sinus congestion
Ignoring tooth pain will not make the problem go away and will most probably worsen the situation. Immediately upon noticing tooth pain, even if you cannot identify which specific tooth it is, book an appointment with us.
We will work with you to get your teeth pain free again by:
- Doing an examination
- Taking an x-ray if required
- Discussing your options to resolve your sore tooth
Fixing Cracked Teeth & Fillings
Your tooth may be painful simply because an existing filling has cracked or is beginning to ‘leak.’ Once this happens, the tooth is no longer sealed, allowing bacteria and fluids access to the area between the filling and your tooth. This is an easy fix by just replacing the old filling.
Teeth often become cracked if they have had large silver fillings (amalgams) in them. Over many years of biting and chewing, the side of the tooth becomes weakened and flexes more. A crack then appears and often pain occurs too. However, it is possible for a crack to be pain free and unnoticed until one day literally the side of your tooth comes away. Incredibly frightening and distressing, this is one event a regular dental check-up aims to avoid happening.
A crack in your filling or tooth is often painful when exposed to hot or cold food and drinks, as well as with bite pressure and releasing the bite force. Your tooth can look fine on the outside and be fully intact, but have a crack invisible to the naked eye within it.
Once we have identified the cracked tooth or filling, we can begin fixing it. If we are unable to fix your tooth with a filling, then the best solution is most likely to involve a crown or onlay. These are made using stronger materials to support the tooth’s structure and include gold or porcelain (ceramic) options. We can talk over options with you as to what would be best for your circumstances.
Sometimes though, the crack can work it’s way down into the root or nerve regions of your tooth. This is where things start to get more complicated and the tooth may then require a root canal. To stop your tooth from hurting, we will need to remove the nerve and then strengthen the top part of your tooth. This is costlier and more time consuming compared with replacing a filling, which is why we recommend regular check-ups to prevent dental decay/ cracks reaching this stage.
Modern dentistry has not yet found any solutions for fixing badly cracked teeth with root involvement. Because of this, removing the tooth is sometimes the only option. This is when we would consider a replacement tooth option such as a bridge, dental implant or denture.
Being proactive about your dental pain is important. It is far better to deal with a small problem early than let it fester into something bigger and which costs more money to fix.