Does Every Toothache Mean a Cavity?

Have you ever wondered if it’s time to call the dentist or if you should wait out your toothache a few more days? When we experience a toothache, the first thing most people think of is cavities. Sometimes, other issues can be causing tooth pain, and your Rochester dentists, Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer, will use cutting edge technology to thoroughly examine your mouth and gums and pinpoint the origin of your pain.

Cavities and Other Causes for Tooth Pain

Many conditions besides dental cavities can cause toothaches. A sinus infection or inflammation can lead to a toothache, especially in the back teeth. In particular, pain in the upper teeth is frequently associated with sinus conditions. Our dentists can also determine if the pain is caused by gum disease, tooth grinding, or a dental abscess. A dental abscess is a patch of pus that grows because of a bacterial infection. It can occur in various areas inside the tooth or in the gums as a result of trauma, an untreated cavity, or previous dental work.

At-Home Treatments

Dr. Calcagno and Dr. Heimer work hard to promptly respond to toothaches, but while you wait to see the dentist, you may try these self-care techniques.
• Rinse your mouth with warm water
• Floss to remove any food that may be stuck between your teeth
• Take an over the counter pain reliever. Do not apply aspirin or any other painkiller directly to your gums because this may irritate the gums.

The DIAGNOdent Helps Find Cavities

Dr. Calcagno and Dr. Heimer rely on several methods to accurately detect and diagnose cavities. First, they will visually inspect the teeth and utilize an intraoral camera to view any concealed areas. They will also use a dental probe to examine the strength and firmness of the teeth. If needed, our team may take digital x-rays to assist us in identifying tooth decay. Lastly, the doctors use an innovative tool called DIAGNOdent, a diode laser-based fluorescence detector that can successfully identify even very small areas of tooth decay. If Dr. Calcagno and Dr. Heimer conclude that dental issues are not causing the toothache, they will refer you to your doctor to investigate if an underlying condition is at the root of the pain.

About Your Doctors

Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer proudly treat patients of all ages from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and the surrounding communities. They provide stellar general and restorative dentistry services with a gentle, caring touch. To schedule a consultation, call (507) 322-3419.