Tooth Ache in Palos Heights, IL

What can you do for a toothache? It’s a scenario we hear often in our dental practice, and we know how to help you ease the terrible pain and suffering caused by a toothache.

First things first.

Often, toothaches occur after you have ignored the earlier symptoms and signals that your body gave you. For example, the tooth might have hurt before but the pain went away — but now the pain is back and worse than ever!

The first thing to do: decide if you need emergency treatment immediately — or if you can wait until your schedule enables a visit to our office in the near future.

The level and length of the pain is one determining factor in that decision. Pain that lingers more than a few seconds and worsens is a serious situation — so you need to at least call our office and describe your symptoms to us. Depending upon the urgency of the problem, we will get you into our office at the soonest possible time to determine what exactly is happening. We will likely do an exam and x-ray to develop a plan of action to resolve the problem.

The sooner you allow us to identify the problem in our office, the better the possibility of achieving a resolution and easing your pain.

How to Determine the Signs of a Serious Tooth Ache in Palos Heights

Here are some typical symptoms of a toothache:

  • Pain that is spontaneous.
  • Teeth or jaw hurts when you sleep, sit still, watch TV, read a book and similar activities.
  • It hurts worse when you have hot or cold liquids or foods in your mouth. Note: if hot temperatures makes it feel worse, but cold actually makes it feel better — then that’s a signal that the tooth’s nerve might be dying.
  • Candy and sweet foods make it hurt.
  • You experience pain when you bite.
  • Pain occurs after food gets trapped in the tooth. A sign of trouble is an area where food collects in a place it didn’t collect before.


Toothache due to decay (cavities):

When a cavity enlarges in a tooth and starts to get very close to the nerve inside it, the result will be pain. Sometimes the pain initially seems like sensitivity to cold or hot. However, it usually progresses quickly — and you also may start having pain from sweets or from biting.

When one of your cavity causes pain like this, it typically means that decay is close to infecting the nerve — which eventually causes an abscess.

Dental abscess

If the cavity is not treated quickly enough and becomes an abscess, then the resulting pain can be extreme and the infection can be very serious. You should consider urgent treatment. If not treated, the infection will travel into other areas around the tooth — sometimes within only a few hours.

Temporarily, the abscess can usually be controlled by antibiotics — but it can’t be eliminated entirely without removing the infection’s source inside the affected tooth. This process and treatment is called a root canal. If a root canal is not sufficient and the tooth can’t be restored, the sometimes the only alternative is to extract (pull) the infected tooth.

Cracked tooth

Typically, the causes of a cracked tooth range from a large filling or large cavity that weakens the tooth, to a traumatic event affecting the tooth. Symptoms of a cracked tooth typically start as a sharp, split-second pain that occurs occasionally when biting. The pain gradually become more frequent and lasts longer. Remember that bacteria can sometimes penetrate a crack in the tooth and then infect the nerve. In these situations, abscesses can also form through those cracks — just like those that form when there is a deep cavity.

Each case of a cracked tooth is unique, because each crack is unique — and unpredictable. Some cracks are easily to repair; abscesses will form in others, and still fewer will be unreasonable and thus have to be extracted. Whatever your situation, remember this: it is best to handle and address the problem at the earliest possible stage. Working on the problem earlier will increase the likelihood of a satisfactory result — which is to preserve a comfortable, functional tooth.

Broken tooth

Most broken teeth usually start as cracked teeth. If the crack results in a break that is not very deep, then the symptoms of a cracked tooth usually goes away. However, if the break goes deeper, or is caused by a large cavity — then you may suffer significant pain. does go deep, or if it is due to a large cavity, it may trigger significant pain. Whether you have pain or not, a broken tooth needs to be checked immediately to decide the urgency and scope of the treatment.

Periodontal (gum) abscess

Advanced gum disease can create very deep defects in the gum and bone around the teeth, which can capture and hold bacteria and result in painful infections. These are called periodontal or gum abscesses. Like a tooth abscess, a periodontal abscess is a serious infection that needs treatment immediately. Antibiotics may temporarily prevent it from getting worse for a short time — but antibiotics will not completely eliminate the abscess. To do that, the gum has to be treated to alleviate the problem.

Isn’t it cheaper and easier to just remove the tooth?

Keep in mind that a toothache doesn’t necessarily result in extraction of the tooth. Having a toothache does not mean you have to lose the tooth. In fact, removing the tooth sometimes causes additional consequences — such as impaired chewing, a gap in your smile, and a shift of your remaining teeth. Pain can usually be stopped by saving the tooth just as quickly as extracting it — without causing additional serious issues with your remaining teeth.

Remember, Resolving a Toothache with Treatment Will Usually Cost About the Same as Removing the Tooth.

Even if your tooth needs more than just a filling to save it — and the filling costs more than an extraction — it is still usually less expensive and better to have your own tooth.

There are other reasons and causes for pain in and around your teeth, such as:

  • Sinus infection — which can seem like a toothache in your upper molars.
  • Wisdom teeth that are impacted or infected.
  • TMJ (which stands for temporo-mandibular joint)
  • Jaw joints with arthritic conditions
  • Sensitivity from exposed root surfaces, resulting from recession of gums.
  • Abnormal tumors or growths.

Who can you be sure of the cause of your tooth pain? A visit to a dentist is usually the best approach. The exact cause may not be obvious, so let the expertise and experience of our dentist help bring relief to your toothache, by (call to action/link and phone number).

What you can do to relieve the pain:

  • Clean the affected area and keep it as clean as possible.
  • Use over-the-counter main medicine — the kind you typically take for your other aches and pains. If you have an open cavity, consider using an over-the-counter remedy specifically for toothaches, such as Anbesol.
  • If cold brings some relief to the pain, try swishing iced water periodically over the tooth up until the time you can set an appointment to see the dentist.
  • Don’t delay! Call our office for an appointment ASAP. You will be a priority, so we can address your pain and fix your problem as quickly as possible.

To help you resolve this painful problem, call us at (708) 448-3323 to schedule an appointment.

Contact Us Today

Gambla Dental

Cosmetic Dentist in Palos Heights
7350 W College Drive, Suite 105
Palos Heights, IL 60463
Phone: 708-448-3323
Fax: 708-448-3478

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