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Hawaii Pacific Dental Group, Inc.

Tooth Pain and Cavities

By Dr. Rohinton J. Patel on December 14, 2017

An iluustration of a cavityThere are many potential causes of tooth pain. Many of these causes indicate that some type of dental problem is present. When tooth pain is caused by a cavity, it is important that you attend your routine dental appointments so any tooth decay can be identified and addressed with an effective restorative dentistry treatment before it progresses.

At Hawaii Pacific Dental Group, Dr. Rohinton Patel can advise you of what type of dental pain is associated with dental cavities, and treat your cavity before it seriously threatens the health of your tooth.

How Do You Know if Your Tooth Pain Is Caused by a Cavity?

The only way to know for sure that your toothache is caused by a cavity is to schedule an appointment with a dentist. However, there are some signals that the pain may be associated with a cavity rather then more generalized pain such as that caused by tooth erosion.

Tooth pain that is caused by a cavity is typically located in one area of the mouth, or more specifically affects just a single tooth. In some cases, the pain can radiate out and make it feel as though a group of consecutive teeth are affected.

A toothache caused by a cavity is usually characterized as a sharp stabbing pain that occurs when pressure is applied to the tooth, such as when biting or chewing food.

If the bacteria that caused the cavity have spread through the tooth, it may reach the root canals of the tooth. This can cause a root canal infection or an abscess. Tooth pain that results from a root canal infection or abscessed tooth typically causes severe, throbbing pain that is felt even when no pressure is applied to the area.

Treating Tooth Pain that Is Caused by a Cavity

To determine the source of your tooth pain, Dr. Patel will take X-rays and perform a visual examination of the affected area. If the tooth pain is caused by a cavity, root canal infection, or abscess, he will recommend the appropriate course of treatment.

A cavity can be treated by cleaning the tooth to remove all signs of infection, and placing a dental filling to replace any lost tooth structure. If the cavity is large, Dr. Patel may recommend an inlay, onlay, or dental crown to restore the tooth.

If the tooth decay has progressed and caused a root canal infection, the root canals of the tooth will be cleaned to remove all of the diseased pulp. The root canals will then be filled with a rubber compound called gutta percha, and the tooth capped with a dental crown.

In the case of a tooth abscess, the abscess will be drained and root canal therapy may also be performed to eliminate all signs of the tooth infection.

In the most severe cases in which the tooth cannot be restored, Dr. Patel may recommend tooth extraction and replacement. The tooth can be replaced with a traditional dental bridge or implant-supported dental crown.

To find out the source of your tooth pain, contact Hawaii Pacific Dental Group today.

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