When you experience a toothache, it’s easy to assume that the pain is coming from one of the teeth in one particular side or section of your mouth because that is generally where the pain is coming from.
When you visit your Laurel MD dentist to have it checked out, you immediately see that your dentist isn’t as quick to pinpoint the offending tooth as you expected him to be. As it turns out, tooth pain can come from either an infection of the tooth or of the gums, or even an infection that has spread to both. Pinpointing the actual case is crucial in saving the affected tooth. Proper diagnosis is key to determining whether your pain is rooted from an infection in the gums, a cavity or a root issue.
Can Gingivitis Cause Tooth Pain?
Yes, tooth pain can begin when plaque, a film of bacteria, builds up along the gum line and causes the gums to become infected and inflamed; this inflammation is called gingivitis.
Gingivitis can cause the gum tissue to detach from the tooth surface. This creates pockets through which the infection can travel to the end of a tooth and into the tissues of its dental pulp (the sensitive tissue found inside the root canal).
Does a Decayed Tooth Lead to Infected Gums?
It could happen the other way around, too — damage to the tooth can cause gum disease. Bacteria find their way to the dental pulp inside the tooth, causing infection and pain that can range from dull to sharp, intermittent to constant, or localized to spread out to more than one area.
The tooth decay will have started a gum problem when the infection comes out of the tooth root and into the periodontal ligament. The problem may come in the form of a gum abscess or a periodontal pocket.
Getting the Right Help
It would be best practice for a general dentist to refer you to the right specialist — a periodontist who focuses on diseases of the structures that support teeth, or an endodontist who specializes in performing root canal procedures — in order to correctly zoom in on the problem area and take proper action.
Determining the nature of your tooth or gum pain is crucial because it would translate to specific outlooks. If the problem stems primarily from the tooth rather than the gums, root canal treatment may be all it takes to achieve good long-term results. If the problem is caused by gum disease, however, it’s possible that there may be too much bone loss and saving the tooth may no longer be done.
Schedule an appointment with your Laurel dentist to examine your mouth at the first sign of pain so that the appropriate treatment measures can be employed immediately.