Reasons why your tooth hurts
Toothache can have a variety of (sometimes unexpected) causes, from tooth decay to infected gums, sinus infections, and excessive exercise. Our guide describes all the possible causes, as well as ways to treat and prevent the recurrence of pain.
A toothache can be dull and aching or sharp and throbbing, but no matter how it feels, it can completely unsettle you. Toothache can interfere with chewing, talking, concentrating, or even sleeping at night.
There are many reasons why your teeth might hurt, but they all deserve a visit to the dentist. Toothache can eventually even lead to tooth loss. Should I skip the meeting?
You have a cavity
A cavity is a hole in a tooth caused by caries that eats away at the hard outer surface of the teeth, called enamel. At first, cavities may not cause any symptoms, but eventually they can lead to toothache, especially if the cavities become very large and close to the nerves inside the teeth. Caries is the main cause of toothache complaints in his practice, but he would like patients to come forward with complaints even earlier. “The patient used to feel something maybe a few months ago but ignored it and now the pain is really unbearable.”
Serious caries usually causes sharp pain a> which is strong enough to wake you up when you are sleeping and the pain often gets worse. Small cavities can usually be easily filled and forgotten, but when a patient comes in with almost unbearable pain, the dentist may be left with few treatment options other than root canal therapy, a treatment aimed at cleaning the roots of the tooth.
Your stuffing is out
According to dentists, a filling can fall out if too much force is applied to the area or the material breaks down. Decomposition around or under the filling can also cause it to break. Some patients may not even feel that something is missing until they bite. “Food can get into that area when they’re chewing.” “Space can start to pack food where the stuffing has left a void and cause pressure.” The area may also be sensitive to temperature until it is corrected. Be sure to see your dentist right away to fix it.
You have an abscess
The popcorn grain that got stuck in your teeth at the movies may come back to haunt you. When food particles get stuck between your teeth and you continue to chew, you are essentially pushing food further into your gums, according to Dr. Natur. “Over time, this causes inflammation and pain,” and a pocket of space, called an abscess, can even form along the gum line, where food and debris breaks down, causing an infection. You may notice swelling and even pus at the site of the abscess. The sooner you treat one of these, the better, as an untreated abscess can lead to gum disease. Here’s our friendly reminder: floss daily.
You broke a tooth
Toothache can be caused by a cracked or broken tooth. “Usually it’s not a whole tooth, but part of it,” says Dr. Natur, and most often the cause of breakage is biting into something hard. “If it doesn’t separate completely and doesn’t move when you bite, it causes pain.”
Depending on the severity of the fracture, you may need a porcelain crown, a cap to cover a broken tooth, or an implant to replace a badly damaged tooth, he says.
Your wisdom teeth are coming out
If you still have wisdom teeth and they’re trying to come out of your gums in an awkward position or without enough space, you’re definitely going to experience toothache, Estomatology dentists say. Once they erupt, you will be at a higher risk of painful inflammation or infection in your gums, especially because these wisdom teeth are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss. “Patients experience pain and discomfort, but the pain is probably not as severe as with severe caries,” he says.
Many people benefit from wisdom teeth removal, while for others, the procedure may be unnecessary or even risky, depending on the location of the wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, try ibuprofen and then talk to your dentist at Estomatology about treatment options.
You grind your teeth at night
Most night grinders don’t even realize they’re doing it. “People who grind suddenly bite and experience lightning pain.” Teeth grinding has also been linked to symptoms such as headaches, facial pain, and jaw stiffness, according to health data.
You clench your jaw when you’re stressed
Even if you’re not a grinder at night, you can still clench your teeth during the day without even realizing it. This is such a common stress response, dentists say, that dentists know how to help patients by teaching them relaxation techniques. “Something as simple as taking a deep breath, running your fingers along the sides of your face, and then taking another deep breath helps get your body to learn how to relax, and helps your facial muscles relax.” A toothache from grinding or clenching will be felt in all or at least all of one side of the jaw, not in a specific tooth.
Your gums are infected
True, a gum infection does not exactly cause pain inside the tooth. But “it’s hard for the body to distinguish between toothache and gum pain.” In a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis, the gums may become red and swollen, causing some discomfort. Usually regular brushing and flossing can nip this toothache in the bud.
Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease in which pockets form in the gums and become infected, similar to a tooth abscess. If you experience uncomfortable gum swelling, try short-term anti-inflammatory pain medication. “Whatever you usually do for a headache is a good first line of defense.” Estomatology determine if you need antibiotics for treatment of an infection or additional dental treatment of the gums.