Even though the pain caused by cavities is very annoying, quite a few people are reluctant to go to the dentist when the pain has subsided. In fact, cavities that are not treated immediately can get worse and lead to toothache that doesn’t heal.
Why do cavities hurt continuously?
Although some pain due to cavities can be subsided by taking over-the-counter pain relievers, usually the pain only improves temporarily and can recur at any time. This is because the underlying condition that causes toothache is not treated.
There are two reasons why cavities can hurt continuously, namely:
1. The damage has reached the dentin
Tooth decay generally starts from the erosion of the outer layer of teeth called enamel. When enamel wears thin, teeth can feel more sensitive. If left untreated, the damage can spread to the inside of the tooth, called dentin.
When the dentin starts to become porous or cavities, the toothache you feel can persist. This is because the dentin layer contains channels that lead to the tooth nerve, so it will feel very sensitive to temperature stimuli, such as cold drinks or hot food, and the touch of food scraps that enter the hole. The deeper the tooth decay, the worse the pain will be.
2. There is a tooth abscess
When a cavity that has reached the dentin is not treated, the damage will spread to the root of the tooth and affect the nerve. If it’s like this, usually the infection in the tooth is severe and is characterized by an abscess at the tip of the tooth root.
A tooth abscess is a pocket filled with pus that occurs due to a bacterial infection. An abscess can cause excruciating pain and even swelling in the cheek area. The pain caused by an abscess also usually does not go away unless you receive treatment from a dentist.
How to treat toothache that won’t go away
Nobody wants to experience toothache even just once, especially if the pain persists continuously. If you are experiencing this, immediately consult a dentist.
Dentists can recommend several treatments as a way to treat cavities that won’t heal, including:
1. Dental fillings
If the hole in the tooth is still relatively small, or only a small part of the tooth is broken, the doctor will usually fill the tooth to close the source of infection, so that the pain can subside and the hole in the tooth can be covered.
Before filling it, the dentist will clean the area of the cavity to remove dangerous bacteria. After that, the hole will be filled with a special material so that the shape of the tooth can return to its original shape.
2. Root canal treatment
If the cavity is serious enough and bacteria have infected the pulp, but the tooth can still be preserved, you may need root canal treatment. This treatment is also usually the first choice for treating tooth abscesses.
When carrying out this procedure, the doctor will remove the inflamed nerve tissue and blood vessels from inside the tooth, then fill it with material that can prevent infection from occurring again. This is a way to treat toothache that won’t go away while preserving your teeth so they can be used longer.
3. Take pain relievers and antibiotics
Taking toothache medicine can also be a way to treat cavities that won’t heal. However, if the tooth has a cavity or infection, it is not enough to treat it with just medication.
You can take over-the-counter pain relievers to relieve pain before going to the dentist. If necessary, the dentist can prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics to destroy remaining bacteria that infect cavities.
If you come in with a severe toothache, or swollen gums and teeth, your doctor may simply prescribe medication first and schedule another medical treatment procedure after the infection has improved.
4. Extract teeth
If the cavity does not heal and the condition is very serious, then the final treatment option is tooth extraction. Extraction is carried out if the tooth crown is brittle and the tooth root is no longer strong.
These are a series of ways to treat cavities that won’t heal. Go to the dentist immediately if the toothache persists after two days, you experience swelling in your jaw and cheeks, and you feel pain or difficulty opening your mouth wide.