Creative Dimensions in Dentistry
Dentists located in Castro Valley, CA & San Leandro, CA
“Ache” may seem like an understatement when you’ve got a painful tooth. The dentists and other members of the care team at Creative Dimensions in Dentistry, located in Castro Valley and San Leandro, California, understand just how painful a toothache can be. When you call requesting an urgent appointment, they do their best to see you quickly and resolve your pain as well as the underlying issue causing your toothache.
What is a toothache?
Toothache is a general term used to describe pain that occurs in or around a tooth. Initially, it can be a mild ache that comes and goes. If left untreated, however, whatever is causing the discomfort usually progresses or worsens over time. This can leave you with significant pain that may be throbbing or constant in nature.
Although some home remedies may help decrease your discomfort, moderate to severe tooth pain rarely responds well to warm compresses and over-the-counter analgesics. To avoid the kind of pain that causes you to consider pulling the offending tooth out yourself, it’s best to see your dentist at the first hint of trouble whenever possible.
What usually causes a toothache?
Toothaches are often related to decay infecting the inner structures of your tooth. Your teeth are comprised of several layers of tissue:
- Enamel, which is the hard surface you see above the gum line
- The dentin, a second layer that’s softer than enamel and somewhat sensitive
- The pulp that lives at the center of your tooth and is very sensitive
- The cementum, another hard, inner layer below your gum line that protects the nerve root
Plaque that builds up on the outermost layer of your tooth contains bacteria that can erode the enamel and create a “cavity.” This allows bacteria to access the sensitive inner layers of your teeth, where they continue their destructive efforts and create the pain you experience during a toothache.
What else can cause a toothache?
Other causes of tooth pain include:
- An abscessed tooth
- A fractured tooth that exposes the sensitive dentin or pulp and sometimes causes pain every time you chew
- Dental work that’s irritated the nerve
- Gum disease such as gingivitis
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Exposed root surfaces responding to cold or heat
Many patients are surprised to discover that a sinus infection (sinusitis) can also cause tooth pain. Your upper molar roots are naturally quite close to the maxillary sinus cavities. Inflammation in the sinuses can cause discomfort in these molars that feels like a toothache.
Your Creative Dimensions dentist first determines the cause of your tooth pain and then creates a customized treatment plan that’s designed to relieve your pain and restore your oral health.
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