Toothaches

1. Symptom: Momentary sensitivity to hot or cold foods.

Possible causes: If this discomfort lasts only a few seconds before it completely goes away, then most likely it is not a sign of serious problem. Usually it could be a signal of a cavity, loose filling, or exposed root.

What to do: Please call for an appointment, so we can determine the exact cause of pain. Meanwhile, you can use "Sensodyne" toothpaste and avoid unnecessary irritation by eating extremely hot or cold foods.

2. Symptom: Pain in teeth that recently have had dental treatment.

Possible cause: This could be due to transient irritation of the tooth nerves by the dental work.

What to do: Allow a few days or weeks (depends on the level of discomfort) for discomfort to disappear. If pain is going away, then there is no reason for alarm. However, if pain persists or is getting worse, please call your dentist.

3. Symptom: Sharp pain on biting down on food.

Possible causes: This problem may be due to decay, a loose filling or a cracked tooth. It is also possible that the nerve could be damaged due to fracture and/or infection and the tooth will require either root canal treatment or extraction.

What to do: Please do not wait to call our office, thinking that "it will go away". Most likely it will become progressively worse leading you to an emergency situation. Meanwhile, avoid eating on the problem side and, if pain becomes severe, take Ibuprofen OTC, 600mg to 800mg every 6 to 8 hours correspondingly (assuming you are not allergic to NSAIDs) until you see your dentist.

4. Symptom: Lingering pain after eating/ drinking hot and cold foods.

Possible cause: Dying nerve.

What to do: Please call your dentist ASAP and take pain medications (see above).

5. Symptom: Constant severe throbbing pain, swelling of gum, cannot touch the tooth.

Possible cause: There is infection in your tooth and surrounding bone.

What to do: Call your dentist ASAP and start taking pain medications (see above).