I have been having a problem with a tooth, and I am not sure what kind of dentist to go see about it. One of my upper front teeth feels sensitive, and there is some pain in my gums, too. The pain comes and goes, but it causes pressure behind my nose and eye. I am not sure what is causing the problem, so I am not sure which type of dentist to go see for it. Do I need a root canal? Can I see my regular dentist, or do I need to see a specialist? Can a dentist help me, or do I need to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) instead? I was hoping this problem would clear up on its own, but it has been a few months now, so I figured I should see someone.
Basil, from Waltham, MA
Your best option is likely to go see a general dentist. From what you have described, it is likely you are having a toothache or infection. The pulp inside your tooth sounds like it is dying off, and when it dies it loses blood flow. If blood cannot flow to the tooth, it cannot flush out bacteria, so an infection can grow. The off-and-on pain is a sign that the tooth is likely dying, and this can spiral into a serious infection quickly. Your tooth can have an infection even if it does not have any external signs of trauma, and even if it does not have a cavity.
A tooth can cause spikes of pain upwards towards your eye and nose, especially if one of your front teeth has an infection. A dentist will be able to help you with this problem, so you will not need to go see a specialist or an ENT. If your teeth have long roots, the pain can travel up the root and into your sinuses. Conversely, sinus infections can cause sensitivity or tooth pain when they flare up.
Since it has been a few months already, it is best to see a dentist as soon as you can. Your tooth will likely need a root canal if the inner pulp has died, but your dentist should be able to take care of it, or refer you elsewhere. If you have a general dentist, you can schedule an appointment, or look for a highly-rated one in your area that accepts new patients. Putting off your tooth pain for too long can cause the infection and pain to worsen, which may cause you to end up in a trip to the emergency dentist.
This blog post is brought to you by Enfield dentist, Dr. William Cummiskey, of Generations Dental Care.