A hole in a tooth, formally known as a cavity, is a common problem for adults and children. They occur when decay has reached the tooth’s inner layers and eroded the hard enamel that protects it. Symptoms may be experienced in the form of pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold substances, a dull ache that increases over time, discomfort when biting down on food or objects, bad breath and even mouth pain unrelated to eating or drinking. If left unaddressed, cavities can lead to infection of the pulp inside the tooth, where blood vessels and nerves are located. In certain cases, this can cause an abscessed tooth which can be extremely painful. As such early detection through seeing the dentist regularly is advised. This will also help prevent any further damage due to tooth decay by receiving treatment, such as dental fillings and fluoride applications, as well as helping reduce associated complications with cavities, such as the increased risk of developing gum tissue inflammations.
Symptoms of a Hole in Tooth Pain
A hole in your tooth, or a cavity, can be extremely painful and lead to more complications if left untreated. To identify the symptoms of tooth decay, it is important to visit the dentist for regular checkups. That way, any early cavity signs can be caught before they become too serious.
Typical cavity pain symptoms include sensitive teeth when eating hot or cold foods, pain when biting down on food, discomfort while chewing, mouth and gum tissue pain, and lost enamel which causes teeth to become more discoloured.
Over time these issues will only become more complex, including possible infection around the infected tooth and root canal needed, as well as tooth loss and abscessed teeth. Remember that how severe and fast your tooth decay depends heavily on what kind of food you eat.
Foods loaded with sugar encourage harmful bacteria like Streptococcus mutants in our mouths. Hence, cutting back on sugary candy or other snacks is essential in preventing cavities from forming in the first place.
Causes of the Hole in Tooth Causing Pain
The most common cause of the hole in tooth causing pain is dental caries, also known as cavities. Cavities are caused by bacteria that live on the surface of your teeth. These bacteria feed on sugary foods and produce an acidic substance that attacks and weakens the enamel on your teeth. This process slowly eats away at the enamel and eventually creates small holes in the teeth. Early signs of cavity formation include increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, mouth pain when eating sweet or sour foods, and discolouration of the affected area. If left untreated, cavities can lead to severe complications, including tooth loss and abscessed teeth.
Trauma or Injury
Another possible cause of the hole in tooth causing pain is trauma or injury to a particular mouth area. This can happen due to an accident, physical altercation, sports-related activity, etc. When trauma occurs, it can damage the outer layer of the tooth (enamel) and the inner layers, which contain vital blood vessels and nerves necessary for properly functioning your teeth and gums. Depending on how severe the trauma is, you may need to see a dentist immediately for treatment, such as fillings or root canal therapy, if there is any present nerve damage.
Tooth Grinding or Clenching
If you clench or grind your teeth often while sleeping or during moments of stress, this can gradually erode your enamel over time due to repeated pressure on certain areas of your mouth. This type of wear and tear can create tiny holes in your teeth, leading to increased sensitivity and, eventually, painful sensations when eating certain foods or drinks with extreme temperatures (i.e., ice cream).
If left unchecked, this condition will continue to worsen until proper treatment is sought from a qualified dentist who can recommend lifestyle changes and other treatments, such as bite guards for nighttime use.
Acid erosion is another possible cause for the hole in tooth causing pain that results from excessive exposure to acidic substances, such as sodas, juices, sports drinks, energy drinks etc. The acids in these beverages are strong enough to break down enamel over time, leading to weakened teeth with small holes appearing where decay has occurred due to the lack of protection provided by healthy enamel layers surrounding them. To prevent further damage, you must limit your consumption of these fluoride-free products while increasing your water intake daily and brushing twice daily using fluoride-containing toothpaste recommended by your dentist.
Complications of a Hole in Tooth Causing Pain
When left untreated, a hole in your tooth can create an environment where bacteria can grow and spread. The bacteria will quickly break down the enamel surrounding the cavity and continue leaking into your teeth’ deeper layers. This could lead to an infection, which can cause severe pain, swelling, redness and fever. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible for treatment.
An abscess is an accumulation of pus caused by bacteria invading the pulp tissue inside your tooth. A spot usually accompanies severe pain and other symptoms, such as tenderness or swelling near the affected area. If left untreated, a spot can cause serious damage to adjacent teeth, gums, and soft tissues in your mouth due to its ability to spread bacteria throughout those areas. Seeking professional dental care is essential for treating an abscessed tooth and preventing further infection or damage.
Pulpitis occurs when your tooth’s pulp becomes inflamed or infected due to decay or trauma. Symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to hot/cold temperatures or sweet foods.
- Swollen gums near the affected area.
- Sharp intermittent pains when eating or drinking cold items.
- Prolonged throbbing pain lasting for several minutes after eating something sweet or cold.
Pulpitis requires immediate attention from a dental professional; failure to do so may result in permanent damage to your teeth or even tooth loss.
Diagnosis of the Hole in Tooth Causing Pain — The Diagnosis Process
The first step in diagnosing a hole in your tooth is usually a dental exam. During the exam, your dentist will look for any signs of decay or cavities on the surface of your teeth.
If they suspect there is a problem, they may order an X-ray. An X-ray will provide a detailed image of your teeth and help to determine if there is any deeper decay that cannot be seen through a visual examination.
Once the source of the pain has been determined, your dentist can recommend treatment options.
Treatment Options for Hole in Tooth Causing Pain
Several treatment options are available if you have been diagnosed with a hole in your tooth. The most common choice is dental fillings which help to repair any damage caused by tooth decay or cavities. Fillings are composed of materials like porcelain, metal alloys, and composite resin, and they help strengthen the tooth’s structure while preventing further damage. When the infection spreads too far into the tooth’s root canal system, a root canal may be necessary to prevent complications, such as abscesses or tooth loss.
In addition to fillings or root canals, other treatments may include medications for relieving pain and swelling or fluoride treatments for strengthening weakened enamel and helping prevent further infection. No matter which treatment option you choose, it is important to take steps to prevent further damage from occurring. This includes avoiding sugary foods and drinks that can cause bacteria growth and brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing regularly to remove food particles stuck between teeth which could lead to more extensive decay over time.
Additionally, seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings can help reduce plaque build-up, which can lead to gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues over time.
Tooth pain of any kind should never be ignored. Addressing hole-in-tooth pain is the best way to improve dental health, reduce the cost of dental treatments, and prevent more serious dental issues in the future. The cost of dental implants in Australia can be astronomical, so promptly dealing with any dental issue is essential. Seeking professional dental care when a problem arises or when it’s time for regular cleaning is key to maintaining and improving dental health and minimising cost.
Don’t let dental issues such as hole-in-tooth pain go unchecked; get ahead of the problem by seeing our qualified Emergency Dentist for help. Contact us on (08) 7078 8263 now to schedule your first appointment!
Dealing with Tooth Pain