Why Do I Have a Toothache? Underlying Toothache Causes

A toothache is an oral symptom that may seem common. You can even purchase over-the-counter solutions to ease the pain and go on with your day. But that doesn’t mean it’s something you should ignore and think everything’s fine with your oral health. A toothache can have various underlying causes, and it’s important to figure out if treatment is needed to solve a dental problem and prevent it from worsening.

Minor Toothaches

Sometimes, the toothache truly isn’t a big deal. Generally, this is when the pain is caused from gum irritation that quickly goes away. It could be from a piece of food that got stuck in the gum or some other temporary source of irritation. With this type, good oral hygiene, time to heal and possibly home remedies can help.

Toothaches That Need Treatment

Once a toothache has stayed around for longer than a day or two, it’s time to see your dentist. This is also the case if you have severe pain or the toothache is accompanied by other symptoms of earache, fever or pain when opening your mouth. Most likely, you won’t want to wait for a visit anyway because of the difficult symptoms you’re experiencing.

A toothache could be a sign of an underlying cause such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Damage to a tooth’s filling
  • A broken tooth
  • Repetitive tooth grinding, clenching or chewing
  • Infection of the gums
  • An abscessed tooth, which has an infection inside it

These underlying toothache causes require treatment. Without it, the symptoms will persist and the problem will likely worsen. If you have an infection, it’s especially important to get quick treatment. Infection can become dangerous if it spreads to other parts of the head or the bloodstream.

Treating the Cause

It’s best to have a dentist evaluate your mouth to determine the cause of the toothache. The treatment will vary depending on the cause. For example, you might need a filling for tooth decay, a crown for a broken tooth, antibiotics for an infection or a root canal for an infection inside the tooth. Your dentist will talk to you about the best treatment to solve the underlying problem and relieve the pain in or around the tooth. 

3 Signs of Trouble with an Old Dental Crown

When you have an issue with one of your teeth, a dental crown can restore that tooth’s functionality and aesthetic appearance. While crowns can last a lot of years with proper oral care, they can occasionally have problems. It is important that you can spot the signs of an issue with a dental crown early to have the best chance of full restoration of the crown. Here are a few signs to be on the lookout for with an old dental crown.


The number one sign that there is an issue with an old dental crown is a toothache. The underlying tooth under the crown may be porous or have damage, which is likely why the crown was placed to start with. If the crown is not properly sealing the tooth, you may start to experience some pain.

Swelling or Inflammation of the Gums

Swelling and inflammation of the gums around the tooth that has a crown is almost a surefire sign that something is wrong. Many times, swelling and inflammation can be signs that you are at risk of developing an infection, so it is imperative to get to a dentist for attention right away.

Visible Damage or Failure

Sometimes, the signs that a crown is failing or ailing will not be what you can feel but what you can see. For example, you may notice that the crown:

  • Seems to be out of position with the rest of your teeth
  • Appears to be cracked or chipped
  • is not seated properly next to the gum line

You may not feel anything at all, but if you see these visual signs of a problem, it is best to get to a dentist so they can make the necessary adjustments.

Reach Out to a Charleston Dentist for Help with Your Old Dental Crown

Crowns can be one of the most effective ways to improve and protect your smile. However, when a dental crown has problems, it can really bring in a lot of risks for your oral health. If you have a dental crown that you suspect needs to be replaced, reach out to us at the dental office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta DDS in Charleston, WV to schedule an appointment.


3 Ways Intraoral Cameras May Be Used During Your Dental Exam

Technology has its place in pretty much all types of medical care, but technology is just as important in the dental care field. Intraoral cameras are a good example. These advanced cameras are very small and may be used during a checkup or during treatment as an assistive technology to the dentist’s work.

1. The dentist may use the camera to get a closer look at a problematic spot.

Even though a dentist is specifically trained to know what they are looking at when they see an issue on a tooth or in your mouth, it can be hard to get close enough to get a good visual look at an issue. Intraoral cameras are small devices that easily fit inside the mouth and can be pointedly placed or aimed at a certain area so the dentist can get an up-close look and make a proper diagnosis.

2. The dentist may use the camera to show you certain attributes of your teeth.

The dentist can tell you what problems with your teeth are, but it is so much better if they can actually show you the problems so you can get a look. The intraoral camera can be connected to an external monitor so you can see exactly what the dentist is looking at when they mention an issue. For example, if you have an area of decay in between two teeth where you can’t see, the intraoral camera can be used to show you what the decay looks like and where it is located.

3. The dentist may use the camera to perform certain dental treatments.

Intraoral cameras may also be used during specific dental treatments. For instance, a camera may be held in place while a dentist does a small filling in a damaged tooth so they have a more precise look at the issue and what needs to be done to correct it.

Schedule Your Appointment for a Dental Checkup in Charleston, WV

Whether it is intraoral cameras or other advanced equipment, these tools make it possible for you to get the best of care for your oral health possible. Reach out to us at the office of Michael J. Tupta DDS to schedule an appointment for a thorough dental checkup today.


Why do My Teeth Have Ridges?

You might be concerned about the ridges that form on the edge of your teeth. This condition, known as a mamelon tooth, usually appear as three small but prominent ridges or protuberances on central and lateral incisors, creating a scalloped or even wavy edge to the tooth similar to a serrated knife. The word mamelon is of French derivation,” describing their small, bumpy appearance. Mamelons are made up of enamel, just like the rest of your tooth’s coating. Mamelons don’t have any health implications or other importance, but many people find them visually unappealing. Most dentists believe that the main reason for mamelons is to help new permanent teeth break through the gums. However, there is no critical importance for them once a child’s full set of permanent teeth come in.

How are Ridges Formed?

Mamelons are found most frequently on children as their permanent teeth grow in, but they do get worn out over time which is why they are less frequently seen on adult teeth. They may start as very distinctive, larger bumps, and then lessen to a mild wavy texture over time. Occasionally, mamelons can also be found on children’s baby teeth. While mamelons usually get worn down naturally through typical everyday biting, chewing, and coming into contact between your upper and lower incisors, sometimes mamelons do not get eroded on their own and you may choose to see a dentist to smooth out the mamelon ridges if you find them unsightly. Adults may also find that their mamelons have not worn away if they have an open bite, where their front top and front bottom teeth do not come into contact, or if they have other jaw misalignment issues.

How to Fix Ridged Teeth

A simple dentist appointment is a typical path to remove mamelons if you don’t like the look of ridges on your teeth. Make an appointment with your dentist to discuss whether tooth reshaping, contouring, or shaving might be possible for you. Smoothing down mamelons is quick and non-invasive. It’s considered a basic dental procedure that doesn’t impact nerve endings or causes any excess discomfort. Book an appointment with your dentist now if you have ridges on your teeth that you would like to have removed.


Are You Experiencing Gum Sensitivity? Here’s What You Need to Know?

Gum sensitivity is one of those dental health issues that sometimes sneaks up on people, which is why some patients struggle with pinpointing an accurate time frame for this condition. However, because gum disease is progressive, it’s important to pay attention to the small, initial signs so that treatment measures can be taken. Gum tissue is amazingly resilient, and patients often find that tenderness, redness, and other signs that gum disease may be on the horizon subside substantially and may even disappear with the right course fo treatment. Here’s what you need to know if you’re experiencing gum sensitivity:

Gum Sensitivity May Signal the Onset of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a condition that causes sensitivity in the gum tissues. Gums may also be swollen and red, and sometimes, they bleed during or after brushing and/or flossing. Unfortunately, many people tend to put off seeing their dentist when they first notice the signs that gingivitis may be in the house, especially if the symptoms are mild. This is the absolute wrong approach, however — like many dental health issues, gingivitis can actually be reversed if it’s caught early enough. If you don’t catch it early enough, it can develop into a more serious condition of periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a late-stage gum disease with the potential to result in a variety of adverse conditions. Patients who have developed periodontal disease often experience tooth loss, and if the infection becomes serious enough, it may enter the bloodstream and become systemic, which may possibly affect the body’s major organs.

What to Do for Sensitive Gum Tissue

One of the first things you should do if you notice a sudden onset of sensitivity in your gum tissues is to step up your oral hygiene routine. If your toothbrush is sharp and stiff, exchanging it for one that’s soft may be all that’s necessary. You should also add an antibacterial mouthwash to your oral care routine. If sensitivity doesn’t subside after taking these measures, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your oral health care provider.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience if you have questions about keeping your gum tissues healthy or if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

When to Seek Emergency Dental Care

Knowing when to seek emergency dental care is an important part of maintaining good oral health. If you’re like most people, you already know that you need to see a dentist as soon as possible if you get a tooth knocked out while playing sports or because of an accident. In the event of sudden tooth loss, you can maximize your chances of saving the tooth if you preserve it properly and see an emergency dentist right away. If this happens to you or someone in your family, quickly place the tooth in milk before leaving for your dentist’s office. Keep in mind that the quicker you can get there, the better the chances of the tooth remaining viable enough to be reattached. Here’s what else you need to know about when you should see an emergency dentist:

See Your Dentist if Tooth Pain Becomes Increasingly Painful

Tooth pain that doesn’t respond to conventional home treatments may be an indication of an infection — and it’s important to stem the infection before it goes systemic and affects other parts of the body. If the pain is accompanied by swelling, that may mean that one or more of your teeth has become abscessed, and this means that you’ve developed a serious infection that won’t go away on its own. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, you should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

See Your Dentist if You’ve Experienced Substantial Dental Trauma

Not all dental emergencies involve getting a tooth knocked out or having an abscess or other serious infection. If you’ve experienced dental trauma to the point where one or more of your teeth are significantly loose or you’re in a great deal of pain, you should see an emergency dentist, especially if you have reason to suspect that the root of your tooth has become damaged or separated — you can lose the tooth even if it hasn’t become completely dislodged.

When in doubt about whether to seek emergency care, contact your emergency dentist for advice. Please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience to schedule an appointment or for more information on maintaining the best possible dental health.


Help! My Teeth Are Moving! Find Out Why

Even though most people expect that their smile will always be the same, the teeth can actually shift places in the gums and jawline. When this starts to happen, it can be rather alarming to see, especially if the shifts are leaving gaps or misalignment. Here is a look at some of the common reasons teeth can shift from their usual position.

The issue may be due to changes in the mandible.

The mandible is the lower jaw bone, and it does have the potential to both grow and shrink over the years, even in older adults. These changes can cause your teeth to appear as if they have shifted, but the change will be a very gradual thing. For example, if you notice that the teeth on your lower jaw are getting more crowded than they have ever been, this could be a sign that the width of your lower jaw is changing.

You could be grinding your teeth while you sleep.

Bruxism is the medical term given to teeth grinding, and a lot of people do this without even realizing that they are. One of the unfortunate side effects of tooth grinding is the undue stress on the teeth can cause them to shift and move. If you feel like you have sore jaws in the morning or notice your teeth seem to be moving, talk to your dentist to determine if teeth grinding could be to blame.

You may have issues with bone loss.

Bone loss is actually bone breaking down and becoming less dense, and your jawbones can be affected. If your jaws are suffering from bone loss, it can definitely cause the teeth to shift and move. You may notice that your teeth seem to have sunken downward or tilted back. Even though bone loss can be age-related, it can also be related to certain medical conditions.

Get More Information About Tooth Shifting

It is never a good thing to see your teeth shifting positions in your mouth, and professional attention to the matter is always best. If you have started to notice changes in your teeth and where they are positioned in your mouth, contact us at the office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta DDS.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Procrastinate on Dental Care

When it comes to making and keeping dentist appointments, some people are better than others. If you’re a person who regularly procrastinates on dental care, you may also put off dental problems that come up, or even your personal dental hygiene. Here are X reasons why you should never procrastinate on caring for your teeth and gums.

1. If You Put Off Brushing and Flossing, You Invite Cavities

Experts advise that you brush and floss as soon as possible after each meal. The reason for this is that food gets trapped in between teeth and becomes food for bacteria. As bacteria multiply, they may end up causing cavities in your teeth. The sooner you can remove this trapped food, the better your chances at avoiding cavities. So try to make an effort to brush and floss immediately after eating.

2. If You Avoid the Dentist, Problems Only Escalate

Your dentist has many tools and treatments available to take care of any dental problem that you have. But the earlier your dentist can treat you, the less complicated—and less costly—the treatment will be. When you avoid the dentist, those problems only get worse. Eventually, you could end up with full -blown periodontitis or worse. So why let something small escalate into something more serious? Visit your dentist at least once every six months.

3. If You Ignore Signs of Trouble, You Could End up in Emergency Care

Your teeth and gums always give warning signs when something is amiss. Sometimes it’s swollen or bleeding gums, a tiny throbbing in a tooth, pain when exposed to cold beverages, or something else. These little signs should never be ignored. In other words, they will become big problems, not little ones. They won’t go away on their own. What might happen is that you end up in excruciating pain suddenly and have to rush in to get emergency treatment. And it could have all been avoided if you hadn’t ignored the signs. If you suspect there’s something going on that shouldn’t contact your dentist right away to have it checked out.

Never procrastinate on dental care. These three reasons should help you to see how important it is to have regular dental visits your entire life.


3 Signs You May Have a TMJ Disorder

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the primary connective point between your jaw and your skull. This complex joint bears the responsibility of allowing the jaw to open and close so you can chew, bite, speak, and open and close your mouth. TMJ disorders involve problems with this important joint, and many of these issues do go undiagnosed because people do not realize they have a correctable problem. Take a look at some of the most common signs of a TMJ disorder.

You hear popping and cracking when you open and close your mouth.

Do you hear your jaws pop every time you chew your food? Have you ever had painful pops when you open your mouth really wide or yawn? Do you hear crackling when you speak? All of these could potentially be related to a TMJ disorder. Excess air gets into the joint if there are small pockets inside, and this excess air can cause the popping and crackling sounds you are hearing.

You frequently feel tension or pain in your jaws.

Tension and pain in the jaws are some of the most common symptoms of a TMJ disorder, but this tension or pain constantly gets blamed on other issues. The sensations actually come from overworked nerves and muscles surrounding the joint; they work harder to compensate for the undue stress on the joint. Over time, these sensations can actually grow worse, so early diagnosis is key.

You have an issue with grinding your teeth.

People who have a tendency to grind their teeth can be more prone to also having a TMJ disorder. The grinding, whether you are doing it when you are stressed or when you are simply asleep, puts a lot of strain on the muscles that surround the TMJ and the joint itself. If you have already been diagnosed with bruxism (teeth grinding, clenching, or gnashing), it is important that you talk to the dentist about any symptoms of TMJ as well.

Reach Out to the Office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta for Advice

A dentist can help properly diagnose a TMJ disorder and make recommendations about treatment so you can get some much-needed relief from the symptoms. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta in Charleston, WV for an appointment.

Why Has My Bite Changed?

Have you ever bitten down and felt like your teeth aren’t lining up the way they used to? Or have you ever been surprised to discover that your back teeth don’t meet up anymore when you clench your jaw? These are indicators that your bite has changed. Your bite is the term for the position of your upper and lower teeth when you close your mouth and bring your upper and lower jaw together. The alignment of your bite is important as far as your ability to speak and chew food, but it’s also important for your overall dental health. Persons with a severe underbite or overbite get important treatment to remedy the situation. If your bite has changed, you will also need to get dental treatment. Here are some reasons why your bite may have changed.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a very serious condition in which the mouth is overrun by bacteria, gum tissues have loosened away from the edges of the teeth, and bone loss may have occurred. Due to the extreme nature of periodontal disease and its way of loosening teeth, the bite is usually affected as well. If you feel that you have one or more loose teeth and your bite has changed, see your dentist right away to find out if you have developed periodontal disease.

Jaw Hinges

If you’re an older adult with relatively healthy teeth and gums but your bite has changed, your jaw hinges may be wearing down. Don’t worry – this happens to many people as they age. Certain other conditions can speed up this process, such as arthritis and grinding the teeth at night. Your dentist can do some diagnostic tests to determine if this is the cause, and recommend treatment options for you.

Wisdom Teeth

If you’re a younger adult, you might experience a change in your bite when your wisdom teeth grow in. As you can imagine, room must be made for more teeth at the back of your mouth. The change should be subtle, but if it’s not, or if it’s causing a problem, you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed.

If you notice that your bite has changed, don’t try to figure out the reason by yourself. Make a dentist appointment so you can get a professional opinion on the cause, as well as available treatment options.