Have a tooth problem that is causing severe pain? It could be something as simple as a cavity that needs to be filled, or it could be something more painful and difficult to alleviate. Teeth problems come in all shapes and sizes and can affect us at any age, no matter how good our home dental hygiene habits are. What we physically see is only on the outer surface of our teeth and gums. This provides no clear insight to untrained eyes regarding underlying tooth problems. Usually, acute or chronic tooth pain is not a surface problem but something deep down in the tooth’s root where the sensitive nerve endings live. Only going to the dentist and getting a professional checkup can get you on the path to pain-free teeth.
Tooth Problems Often Occur Beneath the Surface
Even people with pearly white and perfectly straight teeth can experience oral problems. Teeth are complicated and important pieces of human anatomy and like most things, there is more to them than meets the eye. Let’s take a look at an example.
Nora: When You Skip the Dentist for a Long Time, It Catches Up
Nora takes good care of her teeth. She brushes and flosses at least twice a day and does at-home teeth-whitening treatments consistently. Her smile looks great and she’s proud of it. One day she starts to notice a painful sensation in a tooth in the left side of her mouth. She thinks it will go away on its own and lives with the pain. This creates a hard time sleeping, eating, and concentrating at work because the pain will flare up in a throbbing matter. She puts up with this for over a month and one day notices the pain has mostly started to subside. A good thing, right?
Not necessarily! Not long after the pain seems to work itself out, she has severe tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking and starts to experience cracks and chips in the tooth as she eats. One false bite can chip away the remaining tooth and she starts only chewing on the right side of her mouth. That isn’t easy! Eventually, a huge piece of the tooth breaks off and all she has left is a jagged shard. She notices in the exposed tooth bed that the inside is completely black and has rotted out.
Now, she is missing a tooth and what remains is an unsightly rotten stub that she is self-conscious about. She finally gets into the dentist and the dentist asks her, “when was the last time you went to the dentist?” She can’t remember exactly but thinks it is over 10 years.
The dentist says, “you know, if you came in here a few months ago we could have saved the tooth and stopped your pain. Now the process is going to be much more complicated. I’m glad you’re not in pain anymore, but this tooth must be extracted and is not salvageable. After we extract the tooth, we will have to wait a few months and see if the jaw bone fills in enough to consider a dental implant. Or you can choose to live with a missing tooth.”
Nora’s Dental Care Choices Disappeared with Time
From this real-world example, we can see that pain which subsides on its own is not always the end of a problem. In Nora’s case, her waiting out the pain allowed her tooth problems to deteriorate until her tooth completely died. The nerve ending inside rotted away until there was none left, meaning there was no more blood supply to the tooth and it eventually rotted out and chipped away.
If she had gotten into the dentist, she had many more options for care. Now, she is missing a tooth and her only choices left are extraction and dental implant or bridge down the road. The ironic thing is she was trying to save some money by skipping the dentist for so many years. In the end she created a far more expensive problem. One that costs more than years of routine dental visits put together.
If You have Tooth Pain, What Should You do?
First and foremost, get into your dentist! If you haven’t been to the dentist in years or don’t have a local dentist, it’s time to find one. Here in Coney Island, you have different dental practices to choose from on your schedule and within your budget. But here is a quick guide on what to do if you have oral pain:
- Schedule a dentist visit
- Avoid extremely hot and extremely cold liquids or food
- Continue brushing and flossing normally best you can
- Get to the dentist!
Only a dentist with an x-ray and knowledge can find the source of a tooth problem and create a treatment plan. Do not wait until the pain has subsided as this often means the problem is actually worse and not better.
Finding the Best Coney Island Dentist
Skipping the dentist is not a way to save money. It is the exact opposite considering the high costs of problems created by chronic lapses in dental care. A rotting tooth is treatable. Tooth pain is treatable. You have the right to live pain free, on any budget, no matter where you come from.
Call today and let’s schedule your visit.