Dental Symptoms

Even with proper brushing and flossing habits, and regular dental checkups, you can have problems with your teeth and gums. Tooth pain, injury, increased sensitivity to hot or cold, and oral or facial swelling are just some of the signs of potential dental problems. Read about common dental symptoms to help you understand the causes and possible solutions for your tooth pain.

Abscessed Teeth

Abscessed TeethAn abscess is an infection in or around the root of the tooth which may or may not be painful. It occurs when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, dies and becomes inflamed and goes untreated.patientendo2 The most common symptom of an abscess is an ache in the bone around the tooth, but you may also experience pain when chewing, swelling of the gums, or other symptoms. If you have ongoing pain or suspect an abscess, see an endodontist, who specializes in treating infected teeth and pulp..

A dental abscess is usually treated with root canal treatment or endodontic surgery. An endodontist will remove the bacteria from the empty canals within your tooth, clean, shape and fill the root canals, and seal the space. You will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After the new restoration, the tooth will continue to function like any other tooth.

Cracked Teeth

Are you worried that you suffer from a cracked tooth? Do you know that endodontic treatment could save your cracked tooth? Before your symptoms worsen, visit an endodontist to see if your tooth can be saved. Endodontists are specialists at diagnosing your symptoms and saving your teeth.

Our smiles are built to last. In fact, tooth enamel — the outer surface of our teeth — is the hardest substance in the human body, stronger even than our bones. That tooth enamel can withstand a lot of wear and tear. But as we live longer, and expose our teeth to stresses like clenching, grinding or chewing on hard objects, we can put our smiles at risk. If you think you have a cracked tooth, it’s important to seek treatment quickly, before the problem gets worse.

Dislodged Teeth

Dislodged TeethA dislodged, or luxated, tooth is one that has been partially pushed into or out of its socket, or sideways, during an injury. If this happens to you, see a dentist or endodontist as soon as possible. He or she will reposition and stabilize your tooth. Root canal treatment is usually needed for permanent teeth that have been dislodged and should be started a few days following the injury. Medication such as calcium hydroxide may be put inside the tooth as part of the root canal treatment.

Children between seven and 12 years old may not need root canal treatment since their teeth are still developing. For those patients, an endodontist or dentist will monitor the healing carefully and intervene immediately if any unfavorable changes appear. Therefore, multiple follow-up appointments are likely to be needed. New research indicates that stem cells present in the pulps of young people can be stimulated to complete root growth and heal the pulp following injuries or infection.

Knocked-Out Teeth

More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year in children and adults. With proper emergency action, a tooth that has been knocked out of its socket can be successfully replanted and last for years. It’s important to see a dentist or endodontist as soon as possible after the tooth is knocked out. Quick action will increase the likelihood of saving the tooth.

Saving a Knocked-Out Tooth

  1. Pick up tooth by the crown (the chewing surface) not the root.

    Locate the tooth immediately; do not leave it at the site of the accident. The tooth should be handled carefully — touch only the crown — to minimize injury to the root.

  2. If dirty, gently rinse tooth with water.
    • Do not use soap or chemicals.
    • Do not scrub the tooth.
    • Do not dry the tooth.
    • Do not wrap it in a tissue or cloth.
  3. Reposition tooth in socket immediately, if possible.

    The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the likelihood it will survive. To reinsert, carefully push the tooth into the socket with fingers, or position above the socket and close mouth slowly. Hold the tooth in place with fingers or by gently biting down on it.

  4. Keep tooth moist at all times.

    The tooth must not be left outside the mouth to dry. If it cannot be replaced in the socket, put it in one of the following:

    • Emergency tooth preservation kit (such as Save-a-Tooth®)
    • Milk
    • Mouth (next to cheek)

    Regular tap water is not recommended for long-term storage because the root surface cells do not tolerate water for long periods of time.

  5. See an endodontist or the nearest available dentist within 30 minutes.

    Bring the tooth to a dentist or endodontist as soon as possible — ideally, within 30 minutes. However, it is possible to save the tooth even if it has been outside the mouth for an hour or more.

Read about treatment for a knocked-out tooth.

Source: American Association of Endodontists