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Diagnosing Toothache: 6 Types of Tooth Pain to Know About

Tooth pain is distressing and difficult to ignore, whenever it strikes. Even if the pain is not intense or it’s coming in waves, a sore mouth can be annoying. On top of thatwith so much activity going on in the mouth, teeth problems can quickly progress to becoming much more serious.  

That’s why going for dentist examinations and check-ups regularly are important. Dental checkups help with identifying dental issues earlywhich helps avoid unnecessary complications that may arise from any tooth pain. Although our hectic schedule often prevents us from keeping up with our regular dentist visits, the fact remains that maintaining a healthy dental routine can significantly lower your chances of suffering because of a toothache.  

If you are suffering from a persistent toothache that lasts for more than two days, the first step you need to take is consulting your dentist and getting your teeth examined. Taking prescription medications can help alleviate the pain but they will not resolve the problem. Medications can only mask the symptoms of your tooth problem, they won’t cure you.    


Self-Diagnosing Tooth Pain 

As a matter of fact, self-diagnosis of tooth pain or any other physical pain is only for short term purposes. Information obtained from self-diagnosis should be treated as rudimentary information only until you visit a dentist, doctor, or specialist. Make sure you never consider any information found online as a substitute for opinion given by a qualified medical practitioner.  

However, collecting information beforehand may help you approach an appointment with less apprehension and fear. It would also help you know what to expect from a dentist regarding diagnosis as well as further treatment. This makes personal research valuable.  

Tooth pain can be of different types and you may find your symptoms not matching with the ones discussed below. Nevertheless, the following guide would help you describe your tooth pain to your dentist and find a way of temporary relief while waiting for your appointment. Ensure that you don’t play with or pick the infected teeth as this would only introduce bacteria into your mouth.  

So, here are the various common types of dental pains: 

1. Intermittent Sharp ‘Jabbing’ Pains 

This isn’t really a consistent type of pain in your teeth, it’s more of a stabbing or jabbing sensation occurring irregularly in one or multiple teeth. One usually feels this sensation in response to stimulus, such as eating cold foods, chewing, opening the mouth, etc. This type of tooth pain usually goes away after some time, but it’s quite painful whenever it occurs. The source of this type of toothache may be an abscess, cavity, or crack 

2. Dull Nagging Tooth Pain 

Even though this is the most common type of tooth pain, it’s one of the most frustrating. It’s persistent and comes with a deep, dull sensation, which can make it difficult to deal with. Over the counter painkiller medications can help temporarily eliminate this pain, however, they should not be used as a replacement for treatment. This type of tooth pain may be the result of tooth decay or nerve damage, which is why we recommend getting in touch with your dentist immediately. People with a habit of grinding teeth often suffer from this type of toothache.  

3. Sharp Tooth Sensitivity 

This toothache feels like the intermittent sharp ‘jabbing’ pains we discussed earlier, but with this type of pain, people typically only feel it when their teeth are subjected to temperature changes (like when consuming hot or cold foods such as coffee or ice cream).  In extreme cases, pain can even be caused by cold air. Like the stabbing pains, sharp tooth sensitivity could be caused by a dental abscess or cavity, but it could also be a result of gum recession or rough brushing too.  

4. Extreme Throbbing Pain 

In case you are suffering from extreme tooth pain, consider calling your dentist’s emergency number and booking an appointment for the next day. This is especially critical if you have a swollen face since that is an indication of an abscess or infection developing in your mouth. Such an issue must be treated immediately.  

5. Pain at the Back of Jaw 

This isn’t a very common type of tooth pain, but pain at the back of jaw usually indicates an impacted wisdom toothHaving problematic wisdom teeth can be quite frustrating as some people don’t face any complications or pain while developing them. In case you experience such dental pain, consider getting your teeth examined by your dentist. Leaving the problem untreated may cause the pain to increase in the future.  

6. Pain Only While Eating 

If you only experience tooth pain while eating, the cause is probably a dental fracture or tooth decay. In case of such pain, book a dentist’s appointment as soon as you can. You can control such pain using over the counter medications, but certainly avoid delaying your dental examination.  


What to do for Tooth Pain? 

If you have an intermittent tooth pain that comes and goes, you can choose not to rush to your dentist immediately for a dental examination. However, it’s important to schedule a dental appointment as soon as you can. Contrastingly, if you are suffering from an intense and persistent pain, you need an urgent dental examination.  

In case of tooth decay, the pain is quite common and involves some identifying characteristics. The pain usually worsens in the evening and the morning. The pain may also flare up while eating hard foods.  

During an appointment, your dentist will most likely use one or more techniques for diagnosing the issue. This takes only a few seconds in most cases. For example, if there’s a tooth with severe decay, the dentist will identify it as soon as he/she has a look inside your mouth. Identifying issues like root infections may be a bit trickier, so the examination may involve some prolonged contact with your teeth and gums. 


Des Moines Dental Group can Offer Expert Dental Care for Tooth Pain 

If you are suffering from dental pain and thinking about what to do, the dentists at Des Moines Dental Group can help you by treating the problem and relieving your pain. Our dentists have expertise in curing dental problems and helping people recover fast. Schedule an appointment online at one of our dental offices at the Airport location or the Urbandale location, oyou can just give us a call! 

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