Tooth pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek out dental help. However, the tooth pain itself is a symptom, and our dentist at Albert Street Dentistry needs to identify the cause to help you feel better. As a preventive and restorative dental office in Ottawa, we are dedicated to your health. We focus on forming long term solutions to help alleviate your tooth pain and ensure you go back to enjoying the activities you love.
The Diagnosis Process
When you come to our office with a complaint of tooth pain, our staff will first need to diagnose the problem. This is done in multiple ways. First, if you do not have any on file, we will take x-rays of your mouth and jaws to see if there is internal damage causing discomfort.
After x-rays, our dentist performs a visual and tactile exam of the mouth and teeth. They might use tools to test the enamel of the teeth and see if there are weak spots that could be causing increased sensitivity.
Causes of Tooth Pain
There are three main causes of tooth pain: decay, gum recession, and trauma.
Decay is caused by plaque, a thin layer of bacteria that builds up on the teeth from eating and drinking. When the teeth aren’t properly cleaned, plaque can attack the enamel of the teeth.
The tooth has multiple layers: the hard protective outer enamel and the soft interior nerves and soft pulp. If you feel a sharp pain when the tooth is touched and nothing when it is left alone, then the soft interior is most likely exposed.
The gums are essential for holding the teeth in place and hiding the roots that connect teeth to the jawbone. If the gum starts to recede, it can expose the root. The surface of the root is more sensitive than the crown (the upper exposed part of the tooth) and more susceptible to decay, causing pain.
Finally, you might have pain because of trauma or irritation of the ligaments that hold the tooth in place. This is most commonly caused by a physical injury like being hit by a ball.
Once our staff at Albert Street Dentistry figures out the source of your tooth pain, we can prescribe a personalized treatment plan that suits your needs.