Having pain of any kind in your mouth can be alarming since it can indicate all sorts of problems going wrong with your oral health. However, if you have pain directly beneath a tooth, you should pay special attention to this condition. Read on to learn what this pain can mean and what you should do about it:
Why It Happens
When pain occurs directly beneath a tooth in the area that's hidden by your gums, it generally means one of two things are happening:
The first possibility is that you have gum disease and the inflammation is causing pain and discomfort in the root of your tooth. The teeth roots are susceptible to what's going on around them, and when your gums become swollen or infected, that can spread to the root of the tooth. In some instances, the swelling action of the gums can simply put pressure on the root canal, which causes discomfort. At this point, the problem is reversible.
The second possibility is that the root of your tooth is dying. This can happen from trauma or a direct root infection, but it can also occur if the above problem goes on for too long. The root of your tooth may have become infected by your gums and is beginning to lose the battle. If the root dies, your tooth will fall out. However, the infection could also spread further to the surrounding tissues and other tooth roots, so it's important to seek treatment from your family dentist.
What To Do
If you suspect that you're having either of these problems, you should visit a dentist. While gingivitis can be reversed at home, if the root of your tooth is already involved, it may not be enough to reverse the gingivitis. Furthermore, neglecting a tooth root that's infected or dying can cause sepsis throughout the mouth. In extreme circumstances, the bacteria responsible for causing gum disease and root death can even migrate into the bloodstream, where it can cause organ failure.
When you visit your dentist and explain your problem, your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, including x-rays. They will be able to determine if the root of your tooth is still alive, and if so, what condition it's in.
If gingivitis putting pressure on the tooth root is the only problem, your dentist will be able to help by thoroughly cleaning and scaling your teeth and gums. This will allow your gums to heal and recover, which will take pressure off of your tooth root.
However, if the root of your tooth has died, a root canal will be necessary. This will allow you to keep the tooth you currently have but will remove the infected pulp of the root that could cause more problems for your mouth.
Avoiding gingivitis and periodontitis is extremely important for maintaining the overall health of your teeth. If you have this problem, visit a dentist right away to prevent it from worsening.