Sometimes a toothache is relatively low in terms of discomfort, such as being a bit sensitive to cold. In other situations, a toothache can be debilitating and keep you from eating, drinking or any of your normal activities. What might be surprising to learn is that not all toothaches are actually toothaches. The good news is that your family dentist can accurately diagnose what is going on and provide treatment even if it turns out not to be related to your teeth.
The most common situation in which toothache pain is actually a toothache is a cavity or damaged tooth. Obviously, your family dentist can resolve these, often during the same appointment. Gum disease is another painful situation that can be anywhere from mildly uncomfortable to more painful. As for things that can feel like a toothache but not be tooth-related, there are some things that your family dentist might be able to help with and some they won’t, but at least you’ll have an idea of where to turn to next.
Some examples of non-tooth-related causes are shingles, oral herpes, maxillary sinusitis (sinus inflammation), trigeminal neuralgia (extremely rare), and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ or TMD). In most of these cases, you will be referred to a physician that deals in these types of cases.
Here at Goodall Family Dentistry in Cary, North Carolina, most of the patients who come to see us with a toothache have an actual toothache, but we have the experience necessary to make an accurate diagnosis in that regard or send you to a specialist if it is not something a family dentist would handle. Contact us today with any questions you might have.