Dental pain is no small thing. In fact, tooth pain can ruin your day or put you in a bad mood. Sharp pain can make it difficult to concentrate at school or work, and extreme sensitivity can ruin mealtimes. What causes these frustrating tooth pains? Let’s take a closer look at the top five reasons for dental pain & toothaches and see when it’s time to visit your dentist!

How Can Dental Pain and Toothaches Be Prevented?

Tooth decay causes most toothaches, so following a good oral hygiene routine can prevent most toothaches.

Good oral hygiene practices consist of:

  • brushing teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • flossing daily
  • rinsing once or twice each day with an antiseptic mouthwash
  • seeing your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning and exam

Gently brushing your teeth with a soft bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste will remove the plaque and bacteria are toothache causes to begin with. In addition to these practices, ask your dentist about fluoride treatments and sealant applications and make healthy food, snack and beverage choices that are low in sugar.

Learn from WebMD: Why Do My Teeth Hurt?
Related Article: Causes of Tooth Pain

Top 5 Reasons for Dental Pain

1. Decay

Plaque and bacteria in the mouth do more than just bother your gums, they also begin to dissolve your enamel on your teeth. When your enamel gets broken down, your teeth aren’t as strong anymore and are more susceptible to weak spots and pain. When bacteria concentrate in an area, you can experience a cavity or holes in the teeth. When this happens, your teeth may feel sore and sensitive.

2. A Dental Abscess

Also caused from an excess of bacteria, an abscess forms when bacteria builds up inside your tooth’s pulp. This causes an infection and leads to swelling and soreness, or a toothache. Pus can also develop around the tooth, so it’s important to visit your dentist right away if you see these symptoms. An x-ray can confirm the diagnosis and often antibiotics are used to fight the infection.

3. Sensitivity

Has a certain tooth developed sensitivity to cold and/or hot temperatures? Tooth sensitivity can happen for a myriad of reasons and is often the indicator of an underlying symptom, so it’s important to let your dentist know if you’re experiencing extreme sensitivity. There are many treatments that can help, such as using a sensitive toothpaste and fluoride. Learn more: Do You have Sensitive Teeth? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments.

4. Chipped Tooth

Although enamel is extremely tough and durable, sometimes we experience a chipped or broken tooth whether it be from an injury or whatnot. Try to not chew on ice, pens, open packages with your teeth, and so on to prevent any breakage. A crack in the tooth can cause extreme sensitivity and pain. Sometimes, a crack may not be clearly visible to you and may be in the back area of the tooth. If you think you may have a crack, visit your dentist right away. Treatment options often include crowns and root canals, depending on severity. Learn more: My Tooth Hurts! Do You Have a Broken or Cracked Tooth?

5. Gum Disease

Gum disease is as worrisome as it sounds, and affects many adults every year. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is when bacteria eats away at your gums. This is most often caused from bad dental hygiene and excess bacteria in the mouth. Gum disease can make your gums feel tender, or sometimes bleed, and cause tooth pain. The earlier you catch gum disease and begin treatment and better dental care, the better. If you notice a toothache and swollen or red gums, come in and see your dentist quickly for an examination. Learn more: Gum Disease: How can I prevent it? How does it affect my body?

Signs that You Need to Schedule an Emergency Dental Appointment

Our goal is to fix any dental emergency as soon as possible and get you back on your feet and out of pain. Accidents can happen, and quick action and knowledge of dental emergencies can easily save a tooth! Make sure to give us a call at Adams Dental as soon as you experience the signs of a dental emergency.

Learn more from this Dental Emergency FAQ.

These are clear signs of dental emergencies, due to injury:

  • Knocked out or loose tooth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bitten tongue or lip
  • Cracked tooth

While these signs are often correlated to a dental emergency, there are other signs and symptoms to also be aware of that aren’t as sudden or apparent. Symptoms such as prolonged pain, or a swollen jaw are major indicators that something isn’t right, even if they do seem more subtle.

  • Constant headaches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Prolonged toothache
  • Metal taste in the mouth
  • Canker sore that will not heal
  • Numb tooth
  • Jaw pain or swelling
  • Sore gums

What Happens When I Go to the Dentist for Dental Pain and Toothaches?

First, your dentist will conduct a dental exam. He or she will ask you questions about the pain, such as:

  • when the pain started
  • where the pain is located
  • how severe it is
  • what makes the pain worse and what makes it better
  • does the pain wake you up in the middle of the night

Your dentist will examine:

  • your mouth, teeth and gums
  • jaws, tongue and throat
  • sinuses, ears, nose, and neck

X-rays may be taken as well as other tests, depending on what your dentist suspects is causing your toothache.

What Treatments Are Available for a Toothache?

Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause or source of pain. If a cavity is causing the toothache, your dentist will remove the decay, fill the cavity or possibly extract the tooth, but only if there is no way to save the tooth.

A root canal may be necessary if the cause of the toothache is from an infection of the tooth’s nerve. Bacteria that have worked their way into the inner areas of the tooth cause that type of infection. An antibiotic may be prescribed if there is fever or swelling in the jaw to get rid of the infection.

Making a Difference One Dental Exam at a Time

Regular dental exams and cleaning is wonderful preventative care to keep you from experiencing dental pain and toothaches. Although you may be brushing and flossing really well at home, tartar and plaque is impossible to remove with regular brushing and flossing, and can build-up over time. Dentists are able to use specific tools to remove that plaque and tartar, keeping our mouth cleaner and our chances of other complications much lower.

We are excited to let you know that we are now offering our very own affordable dental membership plan that covers all your preventative care and gives you discounts on other procedures. It is a simple and budget-friendly dental plan offered directly from our practice — so you can access the care you want and deserve, for less. Learn more: Get Affordable Dental Care with our Affordable Membership Plan

Local dentist, Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our West location (913) 296-8030 or our East location (913) 621-3113 to schedule an appointment.

September 28th, 2021

Posted In: Emergency Dental Care

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Do you realize that water and oral health have a connection? You probably have already been told that drinking water is good for you. It helps give your skin a healthy glow, keeps you hydrated, gives you important nutrients, and gets rid of waste in the body. It also is imperative to our oral health. In fact, drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your teeth! 

Water Fights Dry Mouth

Our mouth naturally produces saliva – also commonly known as spit. Saliva is incredibly important to our oral health as well. It’s our mouth’s very first defense against bacteria and tooth decay. So, when our saliva production is low and our mouths are dry, we lose that defense. That’s where water comes to help keep our mouth hydrated. Water helps wash away bits of food and can help keep your mouth hydrated when dealing with dry mouth. Here’s a great article: How does Dry Mouth effect your oral and overall body health?

Keeps Your Mouth Cleaner

Drinking water helps keep our mouths clean. When we eat and drink other beverages, acid and bacteria can build up in the mouth. Water can dilute these acids and wash away residue that can cause stains and other issues. 

It’s Sugar and Calorie Free 

Many sodas and juices are high in sugar content, which can put us at risk for cavities and tooth decay. It can also contribute to weight gain. Drinking water is always sugar-free, calorie-free and can help us cut calories and stay healthy! 

Drinking Water can Give You a Whiter Smile

Water is one of the drinks that actually whiten teeth. It not only keeps you hydrated, but it also helps prevent the formation of stains on your teeth. Swish some water in your mouth after you eat or drink pigment-rich foods or beverages to maintain a brighter, whiter smile. If you feel that it’s going to take more than water to enhance your smile, learn how you can Brighten and Lighten Your Smile with Professional Teeth Whitening.


July 13th, 2021

Posted In: Dental Health Tips

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Being a mommy-in-the-making is a super exciting time, and can also be a time of great change. Before baby comes into this world, we can become stressed and overwhelmed with all that needs to get done, and we may not take great care of ourselves while being so busy. Oral health effects pregnancy and can make a huge difference for your baby, so it’s important to remember you’re brushing for two!


June 22nd, 2021

Posted In: Dental Health Tips

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