Tooth pain is one of the most unpleasant sensations the human body can produce. But dental pain serves an important purpose: it's your body's way of telling you that there is a problem with your oral health.
Teeth pain can indicate all sorts of dental maladies. Painful teeth can be a result of tooth decay and dental cavities. Swollen and painful gums suggest gingivitis or periodontal disease. Jaw pain may come from TMJ disorder. Sensitive teeth could be a result of crooked teeth that need braces or orthodontics.
Your general or family dentist can help you discover the source of your oral pain, decide on a course of treatment, and recommend a dental specialist if you need one.
A tooth abscess is a bacterial infection inside of your tooth and oral tissues, and it's a common cause of oral pain and swelling. It happens when bacteria are able to creep inside the tooth as a result of injury, decay, gum disease, or damaged dental work.
Once the inside of a tooth -- the "tooth pulp" -- gets infected, it needs to be removed so the infection does not spread further. This is the goal of root canal therapy.
During root canal treatment, a root canal dentist or endodontist opens up the infected tooth, exposing the pulp within. The infected tissue is manually removed. The inside of the tooth is then filled with endodontic material that cannot get infected.
Once a dental crown is attached to the top of the tooth, your tooth is almost as good as new! It will look and feel like the rest of your teeth, and it's still totally attached. You'll just need to practice good oral hygiene to prevent any future dental infections.