Most people assume that tooth pain is caused by a cavity and they could be correct in that assumption. However, there are many possible causes for tooth pain and tooth pain could actually be a symptom of a more serious problem. If you are suffering from tooth pain, you should immediately see your dentist to prevent complications that are more serious. Tooth pain can be caused by dental problems, which is the most common; however, tooth pain may also be caused by non-dental conditions. Below are several causes for tooth pain, both dental and non-dental, and the symptoms that are usually associated with the tooth pain.
It is true that the most common cause of tooth pain is cavities (tooth decay) but a more serious issue that can result from tooth decay that is left untreated is an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of the tooth or around the tooth and gum generally caused by tooth decay. Bacteria enter through openings in the enamel and infection spreads. Symptoms include severe pain that does not end, foul smell, swollen neck glands, bitter taste and fever. The tooth root could die and the pain would dissipate; however, the infection would remain. Typically, your dentist my first treat the infection with antibiotics and then will perform a root canal to remove the roots and save the tooth. This lengthy, and costly, process may be prevented by regular dental visits and treating cavities or other causes immediately.
Other common dental causes of tooth pain include damage to exhibiting fillings, a fracture or injury to the tooth, infected gums or possibly repetitive motions. Symptoms could include tooth pain (sharp, throbbing, constant or intermittent), swelling, redness, fever and/or foul tasting mouth or drainage. There are several options for treatment and you should consult with your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the teeth, roots, gums and jaw.
Some causes of tooth pain are not dental in nature. Ear infections can cause tooth pain and swelling. Sinus infections have also been known to cause tooth pain and swelling around the jaw line in severe cases. Not many people are aware but tooth and jaw pain can also be an indication of a heart condition. If your dentist rules out dental reasons for the tooth pain, he will refer you to your family doctor for further treatment and diagnosis.
If you experience severe tooth pain or pain in your jaw accompanied by fever and nausea, see your dentist or family doctor immediately.