Dentistry/Tooth Pain


I've got two cavities both on the same side one on top one on the bottom row. I've had tooth pain coming from the lower and occasionally upper tooth for almost 2 weeks now. However I will also feel it in my lower jaw near the tooth or my ear as well. The pain comes and goes and I have been able to sometimes not feel any pain all day only to feel it again at night. The pain is mild at worst and the tooth is still sensitive to hot or cold. Is there any way to treat this without having to go to the dentist? Right now the only thing that seems to help is brushing my teeth and using Cepacol mouthwash. I have been to the dentist within the last year for similar pain and was basically told that I would have to have my teeth cleaned before any work could be done but the pain went away shortly after and hasn't returned until recently. I don't notice any redness, pus, swelling, or anything else unusual with or around the tooth just a pain that seems to come from inside the cavity and radiates out to my lower jaw and ear.

Hi Steve,

I'm sorry all this is going on. First the good news.....since you can feel hot & cold, you are not dealing with abscessed teeth...YET. However, you certainly have decay and there is no way short of having the decay removed that will fix the problem, so you really need to see a dentist. If you continue to not have the decay removed, sooner or later the hot & cold sensitivity will stop but that is because the nerve inside the tooth has died because the decay has now enter into the inside of the tooth. At that point, you are looking at a root canal and probably a crown or extracting the tooth.......this could become a VERY expensive situation.

I suspect the reason the dentist told you that you needed to get your teeth cleaned is that it very difficult to place a good filling if there is a build-up along the tooth surfaces.

I urge you to not wait. As an endodontist, specializing in root canals, I have seen MANY situations like what you are describing and lots of very sorry patients faced with the decision of extracting teeth or paying thousands of dollars to save them. Obviously it becomes your choice since it's your mouth, your money, and your time.

Hope this helps some anyway.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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