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Five Causes of Tooth Pain
Five Causes of Tooth Pain

What could be more uncomfortable than a persistent tooth pain, which can range from a mild, throbbing sensation to a sharp, unbearable pain that simply won’t go away? Besides being painful, a toothache is a cause for concern regarding its source and what treatment is needed.

Regardless of its severity, pain in your teeth is a symptom that requires prompt dental attention. Here are five common causes of tooth pain and how they are typically taken care of:

Tooth Decay

Poor dental hygiene and/or eating sugary foods causes bacteria and plaque to slowly dissolve protective tooth enamel. Eventually, holes in the enamel (cavities) develop, exposing the dentin inside the tooth to feel sore. To relieve the pain and prevent further tooth erosion, your dentist must clean out the cavity with a drill and fill it with a composite resin.

An abscess

This is an infection – confirmed by a dental x-ray – that occurs when bacteria build up inside a tooth’s pulp chamber. The abscess drains out the tip of your tooth’s root and causes pressure to build up, leading to pain and swelling; also, a pocket of pus can develop around the tooth. An abscess most often is treated with antibiotics, but your dentist may have to cut and drain it as well, depending on the severity of the condition.

A cracked tooth

Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, teeth can crack. If a tooth does crack, it can cause intense pain and sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages. The crack may not even be easily visible if it’s on the root of the tooth. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, treatment by your dentist may be as simple as a filling or a crown. More severe cases, however, may require a root canal.

Tooth sensitivity

Over time, your teeth can develop a sensitivity to hot and cold substances. There are several ways to treat tooth sensitivity, including brushing with a special toothpaste like Sensodyne, which contain numbing agents; or applying more fluoride to your teeth. In any case, you should consult your dentist as tooth sensitivity may be a symptom of an underlying dental problem.

Gum disease

Bacteria due to improper dental hygiene can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis, two types of gum disease that make your gums swollen, tender and bleed easily. Left untreated, your gums may detach themselves from your teeth and form loose pockets that not only fill with bacteria but also expose the roots. Gum disease can be treated with more conscientious brushing, flossing, and/or antibiotics, but only if addressed in the early stages. In more severe cases, periodontitis may require surgery to clean the infected pockets and suturing to make your teeth fit more snugly.

If you have any form of tooth pain or sensitivity, tell your dentist. Since 2006, patients in the Las Vegas area have trusted the team at Dedicated Dental to care for their oral health. We treat patients from age four and up at our office in Henderson, Nevada. Take this important step for your dental health. To speak with one of our friendly staff and to make an appointment, call (702) 566-5509 today.


Blog Dealing with a Dental Emergency
Blog Dealing with a Dental Emergency

Life Happens: What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Things can often happen fast. You can be busy with your day one minute, and urgently in need of dental care the next. A dental emergency can occur any time of the day or night. From a lost filling to a throbbing toothache, a broken or damaged tooth to a lost crown or bridge, dental emergencies happen every day.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is any situation in which you need immediate treatment to prevent the permanent loss of a tooth, alleviate pain or stop excessive bleeding. A dental emergency can also arise from an abscess or infection which needs to be addressed immediately. Many people do not know that severe infection in the mouth or jaw can actually become life-threatening if left untreated.

What to do in a Dental Emergency

Your actions will largely depend on the severity of the injury or illness. For instance, if your face or jaw has swollen, it is likely that you have a serious infection and need to contact a dentist immediately. A dentist can assess the condition and prescribe appropriate medications such as an antibiotic and or medication to reduce pain and inflammation. You should also exercise care if there is bleeding and or swelling and avoid lying down, to prevent choking.

If you Have Knocked Out a Tooth

Call your dentist as soon as possible. Try to recover the tooth is you can. Be careful to pick it up by the top or crown instead of the pointy area on the bottom, which is the root. Your dentist may advise you to try gently replacing the tooth, again without touching the root. You can look into a mirror to see how the teeth on either side are placed. You can also place a tooth in milk to keep it moist or hold it gently between your cheek and gum to protect the tooth.

Cracked or Broken Teeth

If you have chipped, broken or cracked a tooth, you are probably going to need at least a filling, if not a crown. Your dentist will be able to assess the amount of damage and recommend a treatment plan to correct it. If you are in pain, you will want to see your dentist immediately. If you are not in pain, you should still contact your dentist to schedule a visit and advise them of the situation. You may notice some sensitivity if the nerve has been exposed. Try to avoid very cold or very hot food and eat on the other side until you can see your dentist.

If you are Bleeding from the Mouth

Bleeding can be caused by a variety of things. Blood on floss, for example, could mean early gum disease. Bleeding after an injury or a procedure may need to be evaluated by your dentist. If, for instance, you have had a dental procedure that continues to bleed, you will need to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Prolonged bleeding can be a medical emergency. You need to keep your head up, to minimize bleeding, just as you would want to elevate an injured hand or foot.

When in Doubt, Call Us.

As a rule of thumb, when in doubt contact a professional. Dentists are trained to treat all forms of dental emergencies. Dental problems do not go away on their own and the sooner you can get treatment, the better. If you’re in need of expert care for your teeth, call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online. No problem is too big or too small. Our caring dentists are always happy to help you get the outstanding dental care you and your loved ones deserve.

Have a Dental Emergency? Tips for What to Do
Have a Dental Emergency? Tips for What to Do

Dental emergencies can occur at any time, yet many people feel unprepared to handle such situations. In dental emergencies, it can be hard to determine whether you need immediate dental care or you can wait until we open for normal business hours. Here are our tips for what to do in the most common dental emergency situations:

When a tooth is chipped:

The severity of the chip determines the urgency of treatment needed. Minor chips are usually not treated as emergencies, while more severe chipping that exposes dentin, pulp, or roots will need emergency treatment. If a large piece of the tooth is chipped, and you’re able to recover the missing piece, keep it moist in milk or saline solution on your way to our office.

When a tooth is cracked:

Again, small cracks, especially if they’re painless don’t necessarily need to be treated as emergencies; a regular dental visit the next day we are open is fine. More severe cracks, particularly if the pulp or roots are exposed, ought to be treated right away. Also be wary of excessive pain or bleeding.

When a tooth is moved out of position or almost knocked out:

First, attempt to reposition the tooth by using light pressure with your fingers. It’s important to not force the tooth. If you are able to reposition the tooth, the next available dentist appointment will do, unless there is extreme pain or bleeding. If you are unable to reposition the tooth, seek treatment right away to increase your chance of proper healing.

When a tooth is knocked out:

Recover the tooth, if possible. Gently rinse the tooth with warm water to remove dirt or debris, and rinse the mouth and socket as well. Apply gauze or a used tea bag to stop the bleeding and seek urgent dental care. Keep the tooth moist by placing it in milk or saline solution.

When a cut or accidental bite causes bleeding:

If the soft tissues (lips, tongue, cheeks) are bleeding due to an accidental cut or bite, usually they are able to heal by themselves relatively quickly. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or is very severe, seek medical treatment for the wound.

When you notice a gum abscess:

A gum abscess looks like a boil or pimple on the gum, and it is a serious infection. Left untreated, abscesses can spread to other areas in the body through the bloodstream. Swish and rinse with warm water and a pinch of salt to help with swelling and tenderness, but do not attempt to drain the infection site. Emergency dental treatment outside of normal business hours is usually not necessary unless you’re in severe pain, but you should make an appointment as soon as possible.

When there is severe toothache:

There are many causes of toothache: food particles stuck between teeth, gum disease, tooth abscess, or even tension from grinding. Try flossing to dislodge any stuck food particles. This may alleviate the pain immediately. If your tooth looks discolored or gray, it may be an abscess, or infection. See us as soon as possible if pain persists or if you have an infection.

When there is bleeding:

If your gums bleed during brushing, it could be a sign of gingivitis. Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as possible to address this issue.

In dental emergencies, use your best judgment; either the pain can be managed until the next available dentist appointment, or the situation is serious enough to warrant immediate, emergency treatment. Bear in mind though that time is of the essence in many dental emergencies, so err on the side of caution and at least talk with one of our dentists right away. Delaying treatment can result in permanent damage, complications, and loss of the affected tooth.

El Portal Dental Group has emergency appointments available every day, with extended office hours and a dentist on call 24/7 for your peace of mind. If you or someone you care about is experiencing a dental emergency, don’t wait! Our dental professionals are always ready to help.

Khang Nguyen, DDS has been at the top of the field since graduating from New York University College of Dentistry, one of the most prestigious dental schools in the nation. Dr. Nguyen brings over a decade of experience to dental emergency situations. Call (209) 385-1479 today for an appointment with Dr. Nguyen or one of our other amazing dentists.

There are a lot of us who are often delaying dental care since nothing is in pain until experiencing excruciating pain, we rush into a nearby emergency room.

The Rutgers School of Dental Medicine collaborated with the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy on a study of dental ER visits. Researchers found that young adults, ages 19 to 34, have the highest number of ER visits for dental pain and infections that aren’t related to trauma.

According to the American Dental Association, ER dental visits doubled nationwide from 2000 to 2010, rising from 1.1 million to 2.1 million.  The number is getting worse since then.

Many of these “emergencies” could have been prevented with the help of regular dental visits or treated in a dentist’s office for a fraction of the cost to patients and taxpayers. Patients unlucky enough to get a tooth pulled in the ER might be billed as much as $2,500, while it may cost them about $150 to $200 for a dental procedure.

But the most disturbing aspect of the rise in ER dental visits is that treatment is often ineffective. In emergency rooms, there is a lack of diagnostic equipment and tools — such as dental X-Ray machines — and ER physicians are not trained to identify and treat oral health problems. Often, they prescribe painkillers and antibiotics for infections while the underlying problem remains.

To keep your out of toothache, regular visit to your dentist is the solution.  Treat dental visit as one of your semi-annual checkup routine.

If you do have a toothache, don’t rush to your local emergency room.  Give your dentist a call.  Your dentist surely can help you in a faster manner and more cost effective.  At El Portal Dental Group, we always have same day emergency appointment available.  We are located at 3393 G Street, Ste B, Merced, CA  95340.  Our phone number is 209-385-1479.