From irritating to OUCH!
First of all, if it’s really really bad pain, you should phone us straight away to help you! If its bearable for now and you want to know a bit more… read on! Most dental pain is one of two types:
1) Short, sharp quick pains that last seconds or at most up to 30 seconds. These usually are from decay, cracked teeth, leaking fillings or areas so worn down that the more sensitive parts of the tooth are exposed. Once identified these are usually straight forward to fix.
2) Long drawn out aches that typically last minutes to hours! These are normally from some form of infection. It might be an erupting tooth, an impacted wisdom tooth or even an abscess where the nerve (pulp) of the tooth is dying. Usually these are a bit more involved and may need an extraction or root canal treatment to try and save the tooth. Sometimes it’s simply food impaction. A thorough check, a few tests and often an X-ray will normally identify the problem and your options will be discussed.
There are other types which can be forms of neuralgia, joint aches (TMD) or even early manifestations of a virus or cancer. It’s always important to check that the cause is identified! The warning here is of course that most of the problems we find in the mouth… there is no pain with them! Regular and thorough checks are there to help find things early before bigger treatments are needed.