Do you have a toothache that is preventing you from eating properly? The basic function of teeth is to help you chew up food so it is a smaller size so it can be swallowed and digested. If you have something inhibiting you from being able to eat, like a painful, aching tooth, you have a real problem on your hands. Eating is an essential part of your day and not being about to eat will not only make you feel terrible, but it can greatly affect your overall health. Tooth pain is also often a symptom of a bigger issue like a cavity or an infected or abscessed tooth that needs to be looked at by a dentist. In fact, not being able to eat properly is a sign that you may be in need of emergency dental care.
Why do I have tooth pain?
There are two main areas where pain can come from that cause a toothache. If that hard, protective outer layer of the tooth called the enamel, is somehow damaged either through decay or broken or cracked through trauma, the layer underneath called the dentin can be very sensitive to changing temperature and pressure, causing pain. The surrounding gums that are attached to the tooth can also be damaged by food or can be red, cut, or inflamed from gum disease, causing sensitivity and pain.
A toothache can be caused by:
- A damaged tooth: cracked, chipped, or broken
- A cavity: a decaying spot on a tooth that gets deeper when not addressed
- Gum disease: causing sensitivity in red, inflamed gums, even causing gums to recede
- An abscess or infection in or around the tooth
Toothaches are nothing to smile about and require a prompt call to your dentist. If the pain is sudden or has steadily grown over time, fixing the problem will be the only thing that brings true relief of the pain. Eating soft foods like yogurt, soup, oatmeal can help you get some nutrients while waiting for your dental appointment. If your tooth pain is severe or if you have constant bleeding from your gums, you will need to seek immediate dental care.
Having a long standing relationship with your dentist will certainly give you peace of mind if your toothache turns into a dental emergency. But if you are new to the area or have yet to become a patient of a local dentist, you may need to search for a dentist who provides extended and weekend hours if you have a dental emergency. A toothache can quickly go from manageable to overwhelming, so having an idea of how quickly you can be seen will help you to create a plan of action.
If any tooth pain leads to swelling or inflammation that affects breathing, call 9-1-1 or make your way to the emergency room.
If you are in Coralville, IA, and have a toothache that is preventing you from eating or even sleeping, call Coral West Dental for an experienced, friendly team that will get you back to enjoying your meals without tooth pain.