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Montreal Smiles®

Eight Common Causes of Tooth Pain or Sensitivity

By Roni S. Berbari, DMD on March 15, 2016

A teen patient experiencing tooth painTooth pain. It may occur suddenly or gradually develop. It may affect a single tooth or a group of teeth. Tooth pain can range greatly in its severity, and it may result from a number of causes, as well. If you are experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, you may be wondering what factors contribute to the discomfort, and how it can be treated. At Montreal Smiles, Dr. Roni Berbari can diagnose the cause of your tooth pain, and offer effective restorative dentistry treatment to improve your oral health and comfort. To learn more about the causes of tooth pain, read on, and then contact our Montreal, QC practice today.

1. Cavities

Cavities develop when patients have a build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums. Dental bacteria feed on these substances, emitting harmful acids that eat away at the structure of the tooth, resulting in a cavity. In their earliest stages, cavities typically do not cause discomfort. However, as they grow, they can result in a toothache. To treat a cavity, Dr. Berbari will remove the infected portions of the tooth, and fill the area with a dental filling, inlay, or onlay. For severe cavities, she may cap the tooth with a dental crown.

2. Root Canal Infection

If a cavity goes untreated, bacteria can reach the central root canals of the tooth. If the root canal becomes infected, it can cause pain in the affected tooth. An abscess may form around the root, causing pain in the surrounding teeth. Dr. Berbari can perform root canal treatment, removing the infected tissues in the root canals, and then filling the canals with a dental material called gutta percha. Finally, she will cap the tooth with a crown.

3. Gum Disease

The dental bacteria that cause cavities and root canal infections can also destroy gum tissue. This condition is known as gum disease, and it can result in pain and inflammation of the gum tissue. To treat periodontal disease, Dr. Berbari can perform the root planing and scaling procedure, removing bacteria, plaque, and tartar from beneath the gum line and smoothing the roots, to restore gum health.

4. Tooth Erosion

Acidic foods and drinks, chronic teeth grinding, and brushing the teeth too hard or with a hard-bristled brush can all contribute to tooth enamel erosion. When this protective outer layer of enamel wears down, it can result in increased sensitivity, especially to hot and cold temperatures, across all of the teeth, a group of teeth, or a single tooth.

5. Bruxism

Bruxism, or chronic tooth grinding, puts excessive pressure on the molars, often causing pain, particularly when eating. To prevent the teeth from grinding against one another, Dr. Berbari may recommend the use of a custom mouth guard.

6. TMJ Disorder

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, results when the jaw joints become inflamed or displaced. This can result in a radiating pain, which often affects the teeth. Dr. Berbari may recommend and occlusal plate or splint to treat TMJ disorder.

7. New or Failed Restorations

A tooth fitted with a new restoration, such as new filling, may experience discomfort in the days following treatment; this should fade within a few days. Failed restorations, such as an old filling, may result in a toothache because the inner structures of the tooth may be exposed to hot and cold temperatures.

8. Wisdom Teeth

Patients may experience pain in the back of the mouth when the wisdom teeth are coming in. This typically occurs in the late teens or early 20s. Impacted wisdom teeth may cause more severe pain. Dr. Berbari can extract the wisdom teeth to treat the pain and maintain the health of your mouth.

To find out what is causing your tooth pain, contact Montreal Smiles today

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