Dental pain – causes and treatment
Dental pain and sensitivity are quite common after some treatments or procedures performed in the dental office. This does not mean that you should give up regular visits to the dentist, but you should be informed about the possible causes of the pain and know what to expect.
During a filling, we fill the holes created by dental cavities with substances such as composite or amalgam. It is a simple and fast procedure but afterwards, it leaves many patients with sensitive teeth. Some of them may even experience minor dental pain, especially when brushing or flossing, breathing in cold air, drinking or eating hot or cold liquids and foods. These go away naturally within a few days or several weeks. If you want to speed up the process, your dentist may advise you to take anti-inflammatory drugs, avoid foods and drinks too hot or too cold, chew on the opposite side of the mouth, or use a special toothpaste and brush gently.
You may also experience some dental pain after having a crown placed. It is not unusual, and it normally goes away in one to two weeks. If it does not do so, then you should see the dentist and investigate possible causes. One of the reasons of the pain might be tooth decay under the crown. It could be an infection or a pulpal inflammation, especially if you did not have a root canal treatment before the crown. The most common signs of infection are pain when you bite, sensitivity to extreme temperatures, gum swelling and sometimes a fever. Depending on the cause and intensity of the pain, your dentist will prescribe medications or other treatments. In extreme cases, the affected tooth may need to be extracted.
Thanks to modern anaesthetics, tooth extractions have become pain free procedures. Occasionally, after the anaesthetic wears off, some patients experience sensitivity, pain, swelling or bleeding. After a tooth has just been extracted, these reactions are normal and controllable part of the inflammation process, as the body is making efforts to restore balance in the affected area. The tissues begin the healing process with the help of blood circulation and the dental alveoli narrows. A blood clot forms to close the incision site.
Sometimes, the blood clot fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed. We call that alveolar osteitis or dry socket. It usually occurs within three to five days of an extraction. Symptoms of dry socket may include severe pain that often radiates to the ear or temple, bad smell and taste in the mouth or visible bone at the extraction site. These are clear signs that you should see your dentist as soon as possible in order to alleviate the pain and speed up the healing process. The dentist will flush out the mouth with a saline solution to remove any debris that could cause pain or infection and then apply a medicated gel or dressing to the area to ease pain quickly and permanently.
Dental pain is not something that you should ignore. There are multiple causes that can determine it, but after we figure out which one is it, Pacifica Dental professionals will apply the best treatments for you to have a rapid and successful recovery. We specialize in pain therapy and we offer emergency appointments for patients that are in pain.