Tooth Pain from Cavities

We all know that some dental cavities (caries) are really painful until they are addressed. We also know that many cavities cause no pain. The difference is how deeply the decay/cavity has progressed into the center of your tooth where the pulp and nerves are located. The deeper into the tooth the cavity reaches the greater the pain tooth cavity - paid - Depositphotos 12012021 s-2019experienced in most cases.

A study conducted in 2011-2012 found that 91 percent of adults in the U.S. had cavities, yet many were not aware of it. Often, new or small cavities are not visible to you. Cavities located between teeth or below the gum level also may not be visible to you.

A very small or a new cavity will typically be small and will affect only the enamel of the tooth. These mild cavities cause tooth sensitivity (stinging or burning), sensitivity on one side of your mouth (particularly when eating hard foods), occasional toothache (that responds to pain medicine), or discoloring of your teeth (perhaps with white, yellow or brown spots).

If damage caused to the tooth by a small cavity is not treated, the cavity will grow larger and extend deeper into the core of the tooth. Sometimes the growth of the cavity causes a tooth abscess (a pocket of pus that's caused by a bacterial infection). Symptoms of large cavities often include intense pain (which may affect only one tooth), a non-specific but constant ache, swelling of your gums or your face, pain that is stinging or throbbing to burning or pounding, fever, nausea, jaw pain, ear pain, pain in your gums, or severe tooth pain that interferes with your daily activities or with sleep.

Occasionally, an abscessed tooth will stop hurting when infection kills the nerve or the pulp of your tooth. To minimize the damage from a cavity it is important to take note of these symptoms and see your dentist. Your dentist may take a digital X-Ray in order to see the size and position of the cavity before filling it.

If you are experiencing pain due to tooth decay, it’s time to schedule a dental appointment. You will want to ensure that the problem is a cavity, and not a sinus infection or TMJD. Your dentist will be able to identify the cause of your pain and help you to prevent the problem from becoming worse. The sooner a cavity is identified and treated, the less damage it can do. Severe cavities require more extensive and expensive repairs.

If you have intense pain, you may need to see an emergency dentist. If you cannot be seen by a dentist within the next 24 hours, you should visit the emergency room if your symptoms include: fever, headache, nausea or vomiting, swelling around your mouth or in your face, swelling behind your ears, pain severe enough to interfere with sleep. Left untreated, tooth decay can damage your gums or enter your bloodstream and carry the infection to other parts of your body.

To prevent cavities, avoid sugary or acidic foods and beverages, brush and floss twice daily, and see your dentist twice each year.

Pain is a warning. If you have tooth pain, don’t ignore it. Call your dentist and schedule an appointment or seek emergency help.