Tooth Pain

Tooth Pain in St. Louis

Tooth Pain St. Louis. Tooth pain, or toothaches, can be either dull or sharp, but always make it difficult to chew, sleep at night, or concentrate on basic tasks. If you’ve been experiencing ongoing tooth pain it can be a sign of serious dental problems, and it’s best to see your local St. Louis dentist as soon as possible. Call Plaza Dental Center today at 314-361-1818 or make an appointment online.

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Causes of Tooth Pain | St. Louis Dental Office

Tooth pain occurs when the nerves in the roots of a tooth or surrounding the tooth become irritated. There are a variety of ways that can happen. Some of the most common causes our St. Louis dental office sees are:

  • Gum Disease:

    While mild forms of gum disease, such as gingivitis, often do not cause tooth pain, more serious forms like periodontitis can cause it when the underlying structure and bones in the mouth are weakened.

  • Tooth Decay, like cavities:

    Our tooth enamel is the hard outer layer of our teeth. When it wears down, bacteria and other things can irritate the nerves on the inside of our teeth.

  • Sensitive Teeth:

    Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by damaged enamel or receding gums, though not as seriously as with tooth decay or gum disease. Often, people with sensitive teeth will only feel tooth pain with hot or cold drinks or certain food.

  • Abscessed Teeth:

    While we usually think of teeth as hard, the insides of a tooth are actually made of soft tissue and blood vessels, which can become infected. An abscessed tooth occurs when there is an infection in what’s called the “pulp chamber” inside the tooth, and the infection reaches the root. In addition to tooth pain, symptoms can include red or swollen gums, a buildup of puss, a salty or unpleasant taste, swollen neck glands, or swelling of the jaw or face.

  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth:

    If you still have your wisdom teeth and are experiencing pain in the back and bottom molar area, it’s likely time to get your wisdom teeth extracted. Not removing them can cause other teeth to shift position, cause jaw pain, and even lead to bone loss.

  • Oral Cancer:

    Oral cancer is a very serious dental condition, but fortunately it is highly treatable. It can be a growth or sore in the lips, gum, tongue, cheeks, or throat, and can cause immense pain. Tobacco and alcohol use, along with prolonged sun exposure, are risk factors.

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder:

    Commonly called TMJ, this refers to a number of conditions that affect the joint connecting the jaw to the skull. While the conditions do not directly lead to tooth pain, it can cause misaligned chewing, teeth grinding, and problems with the mastication muscles, which can all lead to tooth pain.

  • Teeth Grinding:

    Also called bruxism, is a common cause of tooth pain. There can be a lot of reasons why you grind your teeth, including:

    • Certain foods, such as caffeine, sodas, coffee, or chocolate
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Chewing on pencils, or anything else that is not food
    • Stress, frustration, or anger
    • Some medications
    • Misaligned teeth

    Treatment for teeth grinding can include fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel, fillings, or dental crowns.

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How is Tooth Pain Treated? | St. Louis Dental Office

When you first make an appointment with your St. Louis dentist for your tooth pain, they will diagnose the underlying cause of your tooth pain and come up with the best treatment plan. Some of the common treatments for tooth pain are:

Fluoride Treatments

When plaque, bacteria, and sugars collect in the mouth, they can wear down the enamel. Flouride reinforces the enamel and is effective at treating sensitive teeth, helping with teeth grinding, and is recommended for people with frequent cavities. Your St. Louis dentist can apply fluoride to your teeth in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish. A professional fluoride treatment is much more effective than fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.

Oral Surgery

Technically called maxillofacial surgery, is necessary in more serious cases. Surgery can be used to:

  • Remove cysts, growths, or tumors that cause pain
  • Treat TMJ
  • Remove impacted wisdom teeth or diseased teeth
  • Treatment of severe gum disease

The St. Louis dental team at Plaza Dental are experienced and distinguished oral surgeons that will help you feel at ease before, during, and after your surgery.

Root Canals

Root canals are usually necessary when the soft tissue and blood vessels inside the tooth become infected. Fortunately, root canals are not much more complicated than a standard filling. Your St. Louis dentist will make an opening at the top of the tooth, remove the infection, and fill the empty space with a substance that disinfects the area. Not getting a root canal for an abscessed tooth can cause the infection to spread to your gums and other teeth, and may eventually lead to you having the tooth extracted.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry with your St. Louis dentist doesn’t just make your smile look great, it can help alleviate tooth pain. Dental bonding and dental crowns can help repair, cover, and protect damaged teeth that are causing you pain. If you’re experiencing tooth pain because of misaligned teeth, Invisalign® can help straighten them out.

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Preventing Tooth Pain | St. Louis Dental Office

Like most dental problems, tooth pain prevention typically comes down to practicing good oral hygiene. Your St. Louis dentist a Plaza Dental Center recommends the following simple steps you can take to protect your teeth and mouth:

Tooth Pain | Plaza Dental Center in St. Louis

A lot of times, we never think about our teeth when they’re healthy. If you’re experiencing chronic tooth pain, or have tooth pain accompanied by a fever, it’s a good idea to reach out to your local St. Louis dentist at Plaza Dental Center for an appointment right away. In addition to oral health, we prioritize patient education and making our patients comfortable in the chair. If you’re experiencing tooth pain in St. Louis, call Plaza Dental Center today at 314-361-1818 or contact us online.