Ask Mike Allen!

The first in a series of patient questions about their teeth.

Welcome to our latest blogs which attempt to answer questions that we have received from patients at one time or another. The ones that we we select are ones that may be relatively common and useful to other patients too. Some questions may not be appropriately answered here and we may invite you to our Burton dental practice to discuss your case in confidence.

Q. I played in a football match a little while ago ago and received a kick to the mouth. Apart from being a bit stunned initially, everything seemed fine, but now, a tooth in that area is hurting. I have looked and can’t see any damage. Will the pain go away on its own, or do I need treatment?

This is a classic situation where it is impossible to give an accurate answer without examining your mouth. The only way to know for sure, and, indeed, you should, is to pay a visit to Mike Allen’s Dental Practice where we can take a look and offer appropriate treatment.

It is possible that the discomfort that you are feeling is temporary and will go away on its own. This is unlikely however, and is a very big risk to take, and one that could result in losing the tooth, presuming of course that it is only the one tooth that is affected!

Let us take a look at some of the possible causes of your painful tooth.

Given the nature of the accident, a fracture or small breakage is the most likely reason for your toothache, although it could, of course, be a problem that was growing even before this. Presuming that the blow is the reason though, one possibility is that decay has set in following damage to the tooth. This may be straightforward to treat and the use of a dental filling; either amalgam or a white cosmetic filling for natural looking teeth, should be sufficient, providing that the decay is relatively minor. If the decay has spread though and the damage to the tooth is severe, it may be necessary to fit a dental crown instead, in order to give the tooth sufficient strength for daily use.

Another possibility is that the canals of the teeth have become infected via the fracture. These canals contain the soft tissue that include tiny blood vessels and the nerves, and once infected, can only be treated by removing the infected inner pulp. This procedure is known as a root canal procedure. Please do not be deterred by this treatment because of its reputation for pain – this is unfounded and modern anaesthetics and latest techniques combine to minimise any discomfort.

Ultimately though, a painful tooth should not be ignored in the hope that it will go away. If it hurts, it should be taken as a warning that all is not well, and professional dental advice should be sought so that the correct diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment given.

If pain is severe, a phone call made early on may enable us to find an emergency appointment for you the same day. To make an appointment, please call Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345.