Oral Pain, Toothaches and Mouth Injuries

The severity of a toothache can range from chronic and mild to sharp and excruciating. It can be a dull ache or intense.  The pain may be aggravated by chewing or by thermal foods and liquids which are cold or hot. A thorough oral examination, proper tooth testing and evaluation, along with appropriate dental x-rays, can help determine the cause.  What we want to know is whether the toothache is really coming from a tooth or somewhere else.

Aren’t All Toothaches Caused By A Tooth Or Several Teeth?

No.  Sometimes, a “toothache” may be caused by a problem not originating from a tooth or the jaw at all. Pain around the teeth and the jaws can be symptoms of diseases of the heart (angina, heart attack), ears (such as inner or external ear infections), and sinuses (air passages of the cheek bones) such as sinusitis (infection of the sinus cavities). For example, the pain of angina is usually located in the chest or the arm. However, in some patients with angina, a toothache or jaw pain is the only symptoms of their heart problem. Infections and diseases of the ears and sinuses can also cause pain around the teeth and jaws. Therefore, evaluations by both dentists and doctors are sometimes necessary to diagnose medical illnesses causing a “toothache.” Do keep in mind, while rare, some chronic toothache like pains is caused by neuralgias and other nerve ailments.

What Are Some Dental Causes Of Toothaches?

  • A dental cavity or decay which has inflamed the pulp.  Left untreated this will progress to an abscessed tooth.  Sometimes, in spite of the decay removal and restoration the pulp has become so inflamed that it continues to degenerate.
  • Decay which has progressed to invade the pulp and cause the pulp tissue to become infected resulting in an abscessed tooth
  • Cracked, Split and Fractured teeth can cause inflammation of the pulp and the tissues around the tooth
  • Periodontal disease and receding gums can expose tooth roots making them more sensitive to hot and cold foods.  Periodontal disease can cause pulpal inflammation via small canals that extend from the outside of the tooth to the inside called lateral or accessory canals.

Symptoms may vary, and some of those mentioned above may not occur.  Tooth aches can be very painful, and abscesses in the head and neck area can be life threatening quickly, so see a dentist soon if you start to have tooth problems.  Similar to most diseases, once pain is felt the problem is usually in the advanced stages.  Treat yourself to comfort by seeing your dentist regularly, and let them help you prevent pain and problems.

If you are experiencing a toothache and are in need of a dentist please give your Minnesota Family Dentist a call. Usually if it’s an emergency they will squeeze you into their schedule.

New Operating Guidelines

During the COVID-9 pandemic, the wellbeing of our staff and patients is our highest priority. For this reason, we have implemented several changes in order to support a safe and healthy environment.

— If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-9 or any other illness, please reschedule your appointment. Dental appointments will be spaced in a manner that allows for proper social distancing between patients.

— When you arrive at the office, please remain in your car, call our office to let us know you are here, and a staff member will come out to meet you. The staff member will take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer and ask some COVID-19 screening questions. We request that you remain in your car until we call to let you know that your chair is ready.

— Please arrive at your appointment wearing your own mask. If you do not have a mask, we can provide one.

— Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering the office.

— We ask that patients do not bring others with them into the office, unless you are a parent or guardian of a patient who is a minor or has special needs. If you need to accompany a patient to the door, you will then be asked to wait in your vehicle or outside the office during their appointment.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this difficult time, and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

George Rizkalla, DDS Team

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