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Family Dentistry Advice: Different Types of Toothaches and What They Mean

Toothaches can range in pain from being dull and persistent to sharp and throbbing. It can be the result of an infection or nerve damage. Toothaches can be so painful that they can affect your daily life.  They can also be an indicator of a more serious health condition. ***

When a toothache occurs, schedule an appointment with your dentist. They will do a thorough examination, which may include x-rays, and make recommendations.

There are four common types of toothaches:

  1. Sharp pain: This toothache usually means that something may have happened with one of the teeth.  A tooth can be chipped, a crown may be loose, or a filling could be dislodged.  It may also be caused from a cracked tooth or a cavity.  This can be caused from eating hard or crunchy foods or from clenching or grinding.
  2. Persistent aches: This toothache is the most common one that we see. Most toothaches are caused by simple things. They can be caused by the following: food lodged between teeth, tooth grinding, items stuck in the gums, or an gum disease.  Regular dental checkups and daily dental care may help resolve some of these issues. Brushing teeth after meals, flossing, drinking water, and eating a proper diet are important.  Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body.  It is important that we take care of it. 
  3. Hot and cold sensitivity:  Most people have a sensitivity to hot or cold in their teeth. Be alert to what may be causing it. Does it happen while drinking a cold liquid? Does it occur while chewing hot food? Make note of the triggers and how long it lasts. It may be due to gum disease or worn-down enamel.  Persistent sensitivity should be evaluated as it can be caused by tooth decay, worn fillings, exposed roots, tooth fractures, or even gum disease.  Try not to use desensitizing toothpaste for more than 2 weeks as it may be hiding a more serious, chronic condition.  
  4. Throbbing, severe pains: Unbearable tooth pain may indicate a major dental issue. A dentist should be consulted immediately. If it is not an emergency, the dentist will give the patient instructions on treating the pain. Bleeding or discolored gums or strange tastes in the mouth may need emergency care.  It is important that the pain be addressed as dental infections can spread to the rest of the body.

If the toothache is not listed above, please let us know.  Many times, the source of dental pain is quite simple and can be easily addressed.  We do not want to let minor problems manifest into severe emergencies

If you are experiencing either minor tooth pain or chronic tooth pain that is not going away, contact All Smiles Bethesda. Our dental care staff will see you to help address and diagnose the cause of the problem.  

All Smiles Bethesda has experienced dentists and dental hygienists who can take care of your emergency dental needs.  If you would like to schedule an appointment at our family dentistry, please call us at 301-984-9646 or  info@allsmilesbethesda.com or lorraine@allsmilesbethesda.com. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, and the Washington, DC area.

*** For more information on toothaches, go to this link.




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