Dental damage and oral infections can lead to toothaches. The ache can take on a constant dull throb or present as a sharp but frequent pain. When the pain presents, you should make an appointment with a dentist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. The solution could be as simple as a filling or as advanced as a tooth extraction, but the earlier you get to the dentist, the better chance you have at a mild treatment.
Is the sharp pain presenting more when you eat or drink -- especially when you ingest something that's very warm or very cold? Your pain could be originating from a crack or cavity that has pierced the protective enamel layer and exposed the sensitive dentin.
If the cavity is fairly small and localized, your dentist can likely fix the problem with a simple dental filling. A filling involves the dentist inserting a silver amalgam or composite resin into the crack to close off the exposed area. Silver amalgam fillings don't look natural but are the better choice for teeth that play a major role in biting. The composite resin isn't strong enough to withstand constant bite force. Eventually, the resin can chip or break and expose the dentin again.
Resin is strong enough for teeth in the front of your mouth that aren't as vulnerable to bite force. And the resin will better match your teeth for a natural look.
Root Canal and Crown
The sharp pain can come from a combination of a cavity and a dental infection -- or from an infection alone. You can have an oral infection without realizing it for quite some time. Visiting your dentist as soon as possible can put you on the road towards infection treatment.
Your dentist will likely want to perform a root canal to clear infected material out of the tooth's center. An access hole is drilled into the top of the tooth. The dentist then uses a special tool to scrape out any infected pulp material inside. The canal is then sealed shut with a biocement. Then the tooth itself is closed up with a dental crown. A crown is an artificial cap that fits down over the tooth's exterior to form an added line of protection.
Dental infections that have progressed unnoticed can cause so much damage to the root canal that the pulp has effectively died. A root canal can't save dead pulp so your dentist might recommend an extraction.
Discuss your dental replacement options before the extraction date. You don't want to leave that gap open for long or the other teeth will shift out of line. Dental implants and bridges are both popular replacement options for a single tooth replacement.
For professional dental care, contact a dental office such as Pinon Hills Dental.