• Different Causes of Toothaches

    Pain is not a natural state for your body to be in. However, you have somehow become accustomed to your teeth hurting every time you take a bite of food or drink something cold by chalking it up to having sensitive teeth. So, you switch toothpastes and start eating and drinking everything at room temperature.

    But that may only be a temporary fix for a much larger problem. Sometimes, a toothache is more than just temporary tooth pain. Here are several possible causes of toothaches that should be addressed by an emergency dentist right away.

    Tooth decay

    Tooth decay is the most common cause of a toothache. When you eat carbohydrates like bread or candy, the bacteria in your mouth turns them into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and your saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to teeth and starts dissolving the outer coating (enamel). Cavities form when tooth decay has created a hole in the enamel, which exposes the inner layer of dentin and can potentially reach down into the sensitive, nerve-filled pulp.

    Abscessed tooth

    If tooth decay is severe enough, it may lead to an abscess, a painful infection at the root of the tooth or between the gum and the tooth. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include fever, bad breath, pain when chewing, red or swollen gums, or an open sore on the side of the gum. The toothache may stop if the root of the tooth dies, but the infection may continue to destroy the underlying tissue.

    Fractured or broken tooth

    If you have a chipped or broken tooth, you may be in for some serious pain. The hard enamel and a thin layer of dentin are all that stand between bacteria and the blood vessels at the center of your tooth. If these protective coatings are fractured, it could lead to a dental infection or other health problems.

    Infected gums

    Swelling, bleeding, or redness in the gums are often indicators of gum disease. The early stage of disease (gingivitis) is relatively painless and can most often be remedied by regular brushing or flossing. However, gingivitis can lead to a serious and painful infection (periodontitis). As the disease progresses, you may start to lose gum tissue and bone, which is the leading cause for tooth loss in adults.

    Repetitive motions

    Constant gum chewing or nightly teeth grinding can also be major causes of tooth pain. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can exert so much pressure that the teeth actually fracture. Chronic grinding can not only loosen teeth or wear them down to their stumps, but affect your jaw as well by causing or worsening TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).

    There is no need to suffer from a toothache when you can take advantage of the gentle, yet effective dental treatments at Zen Dental Center. Our state-of-the-art facility utilizes the latest diagnostic equipment and pain management techniques to ensure that you leave smiling at the end of your visit.

    Call Seattle’s best dental team at (206) 324-1100 to schedule an appointment!

  • What Can Happen to Your Teeth if You Skip Dental Appointments

    For as long as you can remember, you have been told that a visit to the dentist every six months for a routine teeth cleaning is the key to long-term oral health. However, you are unconvinced. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss after every meal, drink fluoridated water, and avoid eating sticky candies and popcorn seeds to keep your teeth in perfect health.

    So, regular checkups with the dentist are completely unnecessary, right?

    Nope, try again!

    Here are just a few things that could go wrong if you skip your dental appointments

    Cavities develop in your teeth

    Cavities are small holes in tooth enamel that are caused by tooth decay. While brushing your teeth each day helps get rid of bacteria and plaque, there will inevitably be some spots that get missed. What once started as a small cavity will continue to grow, destroying tooth enamel and exposing the sensitive, nerve-filled dentin below. Once the infection has spread, all that’s left to do is schedule a root canal and kill the tooth. A routine dental cleaning prevents this from happening by using special tools to get in between teeth, behind those hard to reach molars, and underneath the gum line to completely remove harmful plaque and bacteria.

    Gum disease sets in

    Your gums protect your teeth and help keep them firmly rooted in place. As tooth decay progresses untreated, however, more and more bacteria get underneath the gumline and invade the dental pulp. The resulting infection, known as gingivitis or periodontitis depending on severity, can spread all the way down to the tip of the root, causing inflammation, bleeding gums, and gum recession. You could end up with a tooth abscess or your teeth may start loosening in your gums and falling out altogether. If you had gone to your regular checkup, the dentist would have pointed out the early stages of gum disease, performed a thorough cleaning to minimize the damage, and recommended treatments to start you on the road to recovery.

    Missed early diagnosis of oral cancer

    The key to treating oral cancer is to catch it at the earliest possible stage. If caught early, survival rates are good, but they drop rapidly the longer the cancer is left unchecked. Early signs of oral cancer may include unexplained bleeding, lumps or rough spots inside the mouth, ulcers that don’t heal after 14 days, or even ear pain. Only a dentist would be able to recognize the signs and get you the treatment you need to ensure the best results.

    Long-term ramifications of skipping dental appointments

    •Teeth become severely stained without regular cleaning/polishing

    •Existing dental work like implants, crowns, and bridges start to fail

    •Deep root planing and scaling may be needed to save teeth

    •What Can Happen to Your Teeth if You Skip Dental Appointments Calcified deposits may change the way teeth fit together, making them crooked or crowded

    •Oral surgery may be required to reconstruct the teeth and gums

    All in all, skipping your dental appointment is a bad idea. If you want to keep your smile looking healthy and beautiful for many years to come, contact the experts at Zen Dental Center for a thorough dental exam and cleaning today!

    Don’t skip your next dental appointment! Call (206) 324-1100!