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“Is it a Cavity?”

Woman Getting a Dental Checkup

Or something else…

While most people think a toothache automatically means a cavity (or the need for a root canal), several other conditions can also cause temperature sensitivity, pain during chewing, and other symptoms typically associated with a toothache. Here are some of those causes:

  • Gum Recession. When patients experience gum recession (which can be caused by periodontal disease, genetics, or neglect) the root surfaces of teeth are exposed. This part of the tooth can be very sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, similar to a cavity.
  • New Dental Work. Sometimes, when you’ve just recently had a cavity filling or other dental work, it will be sensitive for a while afterward. This is reaction is normal and will usually correct itself. Contact us if you feel ongoing pain or sensitivity.
  • Malocclusion. When teeth alignment is disrupted, opposing teeth may strike too hard or cause grinding. This usually happens because a missing tooth has not been replaced, and the surrounding teeth have drifted and shifted out of position.
  • Bruxism (clenching or grinding). People with bruxism place extreme pressures on their teeth, sometimes without even being aware of the condition. It may happen during sleep, or subconsciously during the day. In either case, this habit can weaken tooth enamel and cause teeth to become hypersensitive.

Always pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel ongoing pain, sensitivity, or something unusual going on in your mouth, then contact us to find out the cause and learn the best way to treat it!

About Dr. William J. Black

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the UCLA School of Dentistry where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Black has 8 children, works actively with the Boy Scouts of America, and enjoys gardening.

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