A toothache is very difficult to ignore. From chewing rice to having those ice creams, if you have a toothache, it can be a very unpleasant experience. You may feel mild to severe pain based on the cause of toothache. The pain or soreness might happen within or around the tooth structure. Whether it’s a sharp, shooting pain or a continuous dull type of pain, you should seek specialist advice immediately. Only a dental professional can help you resolve the pain. Dental infection, dental trauma and tooth decay are considered as the few most common tooth pain reasons. In this article, you will get to know every possible cause of tooth pain, when to see a doctor, how to treat it, and many more.
Feel free to skip if one topic catches your eye:
What causes a toothache?
The most common tooth pain reasons include:
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay or dental decay causes mild to sharp pain while eating or biting on something hard. Initially, gradual destruction of the upper enamel layer happens in tooth decay. Eventually, the cavity may progress into deeper structures that can cause unbearable pain. You need to see your dentist at the very initial stage in order to get a suitable treatment and prevent it from reaching deeper layers.
- Fractured tooth: Tooth injury due to accidentally biting on something hard can cause moderate to unbearable pain while chewing food. Cracked or chipped teeth can cause severe toothache if it has been neglected for long. Do contact your dentist right away and get the necessary treatment done at the right time.
- Gum disease or infection: Gum disease may cause mild to severe pain. Milder pain can be managed by over-the-counter pain medications or lukewarm salt water rinse. Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two conditions that represent inflamed gum. Advanced gum infection causes the worst gum pain.
- A tooth abscess or infection within the tooth itself: A deep dental decay can cause severe tooth infection, and eventually it causes an abscess or pus formation inside and around the tooth. This can cause intense pain and swelling. A patient may feel throbbing pain if the cavity is left untreated. Your dentist might suggest antibiotic coverage and pus drainage for the tooth abscess.
- Impacted teeth: Especially if third molars or wisdom teeth are unable to break out through the gum line; it can cause pain that can extend up to the ear and deep inside the jaw.
- Tooth sensitivity: It lasts only for a few seconds due to exposure to cold liquids, air or ice cubes. It can be caused due to the presence of a receding gum line and eroded or cracked enamel (outside layer).
- Sinus congestion: Due to cold and flu, sinusitis can cause mild to moderate heaviness and pain in the upper teeth.
Below are some other causes of tooth pain that can happen:
- Eruption or removal of teeth
- History of trauma
- Damaged or dislodged filling
- Pulp inflammation or pulpitis
- Tooth grindingz
When to see a doctor?
You should see your dentist as soon as possible whenever you see the following:
- You have a toothache that is not getting subsided after taking over-the-counter medications or through gargling with warm saline water.
- If you have swelling in the mouth
- If you are suffering from fever, unbearable pain around the tooth
- If you are unable to open your mouth widely
- If the pain has extended to the ear and shoulder, and is not getting alleviated even after taking pain relievers.
- If pain keeps recurring at the same site, whether mild to serve.
Apart from getting your treatment done by an experienced dental professional, you should pay regular visits to the dental office for routine checkups and schedule professional dental cleanings. This way you can keep a check on your overall oral health. Proper diagnosis and treatment protocol is required to prevent further spreading of the infection from the mouth to other body parts, especially in the bloodstream (sepsis).
How to treat tooth pain?
There are multiple ways of tooth pain treatment. Apart from the medications, oral rinses, and regular oral hygiene practices, it is the dental treatment that helps to better resolve dental issues . Such treatments may include one or more of the following options,
- Dental filling or restoration of the dental cavity
- For irreversible pulpitis,root canal treatment is done to remove the infected pulp.
- For fractured or cracked teeth, treatment can vary based on the extent of the damage. Filling, root canal, crowns or tooth removal and replacement can be done according to the diagnosis.
- For abscess, your dentist will drain the pus through an incision and keep you under antibiotic coverage.
- If the tooth is grossly decayed, it may need to be removed and replaced.
- For gum disease, scaling and root planing are done with the help of an ultrasonic scaler.
- Other than the above-mentioned treatment options, your dentist can suggest you a process called dental equilibration and ask you to wear a custom mouthguard at night to avoid any kind of sleep-related bruxism (grinding of teeth) that may happen due to stress, anger and anxiety issues.
- You can use dentist-recommended fluoride toothpaste for faster relief from sensitivity.
- Chlorhexidine and fluoride rinses can reduce the bacterial load inside the oral cavity and prevent gum disease, as well as tooth decay.
Whether you are scheduling an appointment for yourself or for a kid in your family who requires dental care, Top Notch Dental Care is here to help. Our doctors and team are dedicated to providing the highest level of care to each one of our patients in the most friendly environment. To make an appointment, please contact us right away.
- How to treat tooth pain at home?
You can use OTC medications, such as pain relievers for temporary relief from pain. You should avoid hot or cold foods for a few days as they can make the pain worse. You can also try to bite on a cotton ball soaked in clove oil, which can give you relief from pain for a few hours. This way, you can manage the toothache before visiting the dental office.
- Can toothache be life-threatening?
Though toothache is not that fatal, if it is neglected or left untreated, it may spread infections in the blood and cause septicemia, which itself is a life-threatening disease. So, do not wait till the condition becomes worse, and consult your dentist as soon as possible.