Treating a Toothache

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Treating a toothache require determining whether the source of the problem lies in the gums or the with the teeth. Deep cleaning, tooth extraction and root canals may all be used to cure a toothache. Visit a dentist to discuss the options for treating a toothache with advice from a general dentist in this free video on dentistry and oral health.

Part of the Video Series: Dental Health & Information
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Video Transcript

There are many different ways that a dentist can treat a toothache. The most important thing that a dentist does prior to the treatment is to determine the source of the problem. The reason why this is so important is sometimes the toothache can originate from something else. So, you could possibly have gum disease or something trap between the tissue that can help mimic the symptoms of what a toothache may really be. Having said that, again, there are different ways that a toothache can be treated; but it's important to understand what the source of the toothache is. And again what that means is, we have to distinguish between whether or not, it's a tooth originated problem or a gum originated problem. Determining which sort of problem it is helps dictate how we're going to treat it. For example, if this is a toothache as a result of a gum infection, we may do something like specialized deep cleaning right around the area where we go in and remove any sort of debris that's packed below the tissue that helps contribute to the toothache. So again, gum problems, gum soreness can also lead to a toothache. But the more common one that we see with the toothache is truly from a tooth origin, that being, such as like a large cavity that's got into the nerve or possibly a fractured tooth where the underlying nerve is exposed. Typically we find those situations with the toothache that we see symptoms such as biting sensitivity, cold sensitivity, throbby pain, more pain when you lay down versus sitting up, pain that just can't be calmed down with topical anesthetics and things such as over the counter medications. What we typically do is once we've determined that it's a tooth pain in origin, then we'll typically take an x-ray of the tooth and that x-ray will kind of help verify, again, where the source of the problem begins and whether or not the tooth is fixable. It's with this information that we dictate what sort of treatment is prescribe. The two most common treatments for eliminating a toothache; one is obviously an extraction, where we can go in, numb the patient up and remove the tooth which removes the source of the infection or we can do what's called a root canal. A root canal being a special procedure where we put a small hole down into the enamel of the tooth to access the nerve of the tooth. We go in with some special medicine and some special instruments and we will remove the nerve and the infection out of the tooth. The extraction and root canal tend to be the two most common procedures for eliminating a toothache. And as far as determining which one is more appropriate, it really depends on the situation, the condition of the tooth and obviously the expenses that are associated with the either procedure.

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