The most common cause of tooth pain comes from an infected tooth. When the soft, inner parts of the tooth are decaying, the tooth becomes sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages. Depending on the extent of the damage, removing the decay and filling the tooth may be sufficient. If the root of the tooth is involved, root canal therapy may be indicated in order to save the tooth. While decay is one of the major causes of tooth pain, it is not the only cause.
You may feel pain in your tooth and jaw for other reasons. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause excruciating pain in the jaw and back teeth. Extraction of these teeth is often recommended before they have the opportunity to cause too much discomfort.
Jaw and tooth pain can also be caused by clenching and grinding your teeth. When you clench your teeth, you put added stress on the temporomandibular joint. This causes the muscles in the joint to become fatigued and overused. Pain can be felt in the area of the joint, and it can also radiate into the ear, neck and shoulders. Some people experience headaches as well.
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, adds unnecessary pressure to the temporomandibular joint, and it can damage the teeth. Teeth become sore from the constant pressure and grinding. Some people clench and grind with such force that a tooth may crack or break under the strain.
Treatment for Jaw Pain
When you experience tooth and jaw pain, a thorough oral examination can reveal the root cause of the discomfort. Treatment for the pain depends on the diagnosis. In the case of a decayed tooth, it will be cleaned out and filled. Pain from wisdom teeth calls for extraction, and pain from clenching or grinding your teeth may require a nightguard to cushion the teeth and prevent them from coming together.
To discover the source of your tooth or jaw pain, contact Family Smiles Dental, and schedule an appointment. We can help relieve your pain and restore your oral health.