When you have a toothache or dental pain, it can be debilitating. Even normal daily activities can become unenjoyable, affecting your overall quality of life. Dental discomfort makes it difficult to focus on anything else, which can have a dramatic impact on your production at work, home, school, and more. Our doctors at Smile Time Dental in Houston, TX provide a number of dental services to help patients alleviate their pain and discomfort, and begin enjoying life again.
Causes of Tooth Pain
When dental pain is present, it is an indication that something is not quite right. There are a number of reasons this type of discomfort can occur. Some of the most common causes of tooth pain include:
- A dental abscess
- Tooth decay
- A fracture or crack
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Gum disease
- A damaged dental restoration
Diagnosing the Problem
To obtain a clear idea of what is happening, our doctors can perform a thorough assessment of your teeth, gums, and surrounding structures. X-rays and scans may be taken as well to evaluate the health of the underlying bone.
After determining the source of your pain and discomfort, our doctors will discuss your treatment options with you. We adhere to a philosophy of comprehensive care, and strive to find a treatment that is conservative, predictable, and long-lasting.
Addressing a Dental Abscess
If you are experiencing severe or sudden dental pain, you may have a tooth infection. This can often be accompanied by obvious swelling on the outside of the jaw. If the pulp of the tooth has become infected, the tooth may be savable with root canal therapy. During this treatment, the infected tissues and nerves inside the tooth will be removed, and the surfaces will be thoroughly disinfected. The root canals will then be filled with a flexible dental material called gutta percha, and the tooth will be restored with a filling or crown.
We prefer to save teeth whenever possible. In cases of severe infection, however, a tooth extraction may be necessary. If a tooth must be removed, our doctors can discuss replacement options with you.
Repairing Decay, Cracks, and Fractures
Small cavities and minor fractures can be repaired with composite resin. This high-quality dental material is strong and resilient, and can be precisely color-matched to your surrounding teeth for a beautiful smile.
Larger fractures and cracks can often be addressed with dental crowns. Crowns fit over the entire tooth structure to restore your normal function and bite. They are an excellent choice for back teeth that require strength and resilience. Crowns can be crafted from an array of materials, including metal, porcelain, zirconia, and more. Most of the crowns we place are fabricated from tooth-colored materials so they blend in with your smile for a natural-looking result.
Alleviating Jaw Pain from Teeth Grinding
Patients who suffer from bruxism – or teeth grinding – may find that they wake up with severe tenderness and pain around the jaw joints. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can be treated with a custom-made oral appliance. This mouth guard is typically worn at night to keep the teeth slightly apart and hold your jaw in a more favorable position while you sleep.
Repairing Damaged Dental Restorations
Occasionally, bacteria can cause infection under a dental filling or crown. This typically occurs after a restoration has been in place for many years. Small hairline cracks in the restoration can allow bacteria to seep through. If you notice pain or discomfort around an old dental restoration, the issue may be addressed by removing the restoration, removing the damaged portions of the tooth, and placing a new crown or filling.
Schedule a Consultation with Us
If you are experiencing dental pain, the solution may be easier than you think. Drs. Hamidi and Tum can help determine the source of your discomfort, and find ways to eliminate it. To schedule an appointment, call our office at (281) 245-0711.