Sometimes our teeth may ache as a result of a chill in the air, or maybe due to a sinus infection or particularly bad allergies. However, when this happens the pain fades after a few hours. But what if you have a toothache that lasts? What if your teeth really ache when you enjoy something hot or cold? In these situations, your discomfort could be linked to a serious oral health issue, including tooth decay or even a dental infection! In today’s blog, your Richardson, TX, dentist looks at how we treat the causes of aching teeth, and the steps we’re taking to keep our patients safe when they visit our practice!

The Causes of Sensitive Teeth and Toothaches

Our teeth are coated in tooth enamel. This thin but powerful layer helps protect the inner layers of dentin, the pulp at the center of your tooth, from injury and bacteria. However, when various factors weaken and erode the enamel, this exposes the inner dentin. A cavity then forms, one that will grow with time. At this stage, people may begin to notice tooth sensitivity occasionally. As the cavity worsens and reaches the pulp, your tooth’s nerve center, decay threatens to become infection. The tooth now is under substantially greater discomfort, and the risk of eventually losing the tooth altogether increases significantly.

The enamel could become damaged if you chip or crack your tooth due to an injury, or even biting down on hard objects like pens, pencils, or ice. Teeth grinding could also wear away enamel. When we consume foods and drinks high in sugar, and don’t brush and floss properly, this allows plaque buildup to accumulate on the surfaces of the teeth, eroding enamel with time.

The Dangers of Ignoring Your Discomfort

Once the pulp is exposed to bacteria, the tooth becomes infected. Treatment is then crucial. Aside from toothache, people could experience swelling near a tooth, a discharge from it, headaches, and jaw pain. Unless treated with a root canal, which extracts the infected tissues, the tooth could die and allow infection to spread to other teeth. The tooth may require extraction, or could fall out on its own, and leave the rest of your smile vulnerable to misalignment and further tooth loss. Remember, as soon as you have aches or sensitivity that lasts more than 48 hours, you definitely have cause to contact our team and schedule your next dental appointment.

Schedule Your Checkup and Cleaning

If you notice your tooth hurts, let us know so we can examine your smile and see if you need treatment. We also suggest making time to see us for a checkup and cleaning every six months. A routine checkup means we can use advanced digital technology to examine your smile and identify issues like decay in the earliest stages. We then treat your smile with restorations like fillings, crowns, or dental bonding to repair the tooth and protect your smile. We also clean your teeth, which removes all plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from the surfaces of your teeth. Removing this layer lowers the risk of eroded enamel, and also helps prevent gum inflammation, safeguarding teeth against cavities and even gum disease. If you haven’t had your 2020 exam and cleaning, now is a great time to schedule one. Remember, these visits also benefit kids as well! Bring your little one in now before school starts, or before they become bogged down in homework and extracurricular activities.

We’re Taking Steps to Keep You Safe!

Many people have put off seeing us for a checkup and cleaning out of concern about COVID-19. We understand, but we also don’t want this to mean your smile develops cavities, stains, and other serious complications. We’ve made major changes to our health and safety precautions to help keep our patients and team members safe from the spread of COVID-19, enabling people to see us and enjoy peace of mind too! Our team is wearing PPE (masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns) and we’ve made changes to our protocols, such as limiting the amount of people allowed in the waiting room, and offering touchless payment. We also have advance technologies, such as the HOCL disinfectant fogger, air purifiers, and special units to capture aerosols in the air. These help scrub the air, and clean surfaces throughout the office several times a day!

Healthier Smiles From Home

In addition to seeing us for treatments, you can also avoid toothaches by caring for your smile from home. Kids and adults alike help fight cavities by brushing their teeth when they wake up and again before going to bed. Each session should last about two minutes, and all ages benefit from a toothpaste that contains fluoride. The fluoride content helps strengthen the outer enamel! You also need to floss before going to bed at night, as flossing removes what a toothbrush alone cannot reach. Changes to your diet could help as well. Cutting back on sugary foods and drinks deprives harmful bacteria of the fuel they require to create plaque buildup. If you have any questions about our checkups and cleanings, or the steps needed to avoid the onset of a toothache, then contact our team today. We’re ready to see you and your entire family (although, not all at once for social distancing reasons) and help everyone enjoy strong, healthy, and beautiful smiles.

Talk to Your Richardson, TX, Dentist About Restorative Dental Care

Don’t let your sensitive or aching teeth develop a cavity or an infection, one that could potentially risk complications like tooth loss, talk to our team about possible treatment options. Not only can we help halt cavities and infection with treatments like our natural-looking fillings and root canals, but we can also discuss helpful preventive care such as a checkup and cleaning visit. For more information on our approach to preventive and restorative dentistry, then schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). We want to make sure your smile stays strong, healthy, and beautiful!