We’ve all felt it—that little stab of pain that makes us wince. Uh – Oh – We have a toothache. It could be something minor like a piece of food that has gotten wedged in between two teeth, and simply flossing will fix our problem. But if the pain is more severe and seems to be up in the gum, you may have a cavity. If you are sensitive to hot or cold foods or drinks—your tooth hurts when you drink or eat these things—this tells us that the root of your tooth is sensitive and most likely tooth decay is present.
Don’t avoid the dentist if you have tooth pain, because if there is bacteria and decay, the problem will only get worse. The longer you avoid the dentist, the worse the cavity can get and you could end up needing a root canal, which means seeing an Endodontist – who specializes in root canals and saving decayed teeth.
If you have never had a root canal but you have had cavities, then your dentist fixed your tooth decay by using a filling. Dentists can remove all the decay and place permanent filler into the tooth to seal it up. But when the decay goes up into the root of the tooth, this is when a root canal is required. Whenever possible, your dentist and Endodontist want to save your natural tooth. This is always the best choice. Man has still not been able to manufacture anything as strong and durable as the natural teeth that we are born with.
Remember, your dentist or Endodontist will completely numb the area around the tooth that they are working on. You may have some mild pain after the procedure but sometimes you don’t experience pain at all. Many advances have been made in treating tooth pain and dental problems. Don’t hesitate to call your dentist and ask questions. Explain the pain that you are having and make an appointment so that you can find out what your options are for treatment.
Getting a filling or a root canal have become minor procedures that are practically pain-free. If you are having to the discomfort and you have brushed and flossed thoroughly and rinsed energetically with Listerine or a similar product—and you still have pain—don’t just live with it. Contact your dental office and get your tooth worked on as soon as possible so that the tooth can be saved.
Remember, tooth pain products (gels) that you apply to the tooth and gum are only designed for temporary use. Do not use them for more than two or three days – if you need to do this, you need to be in the dentist’s chair and let a professional take your pain away.