Whether it’s sharp and sudden or dull and constant, tooth pain is hard to ignore.A toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve in the root of a tooth or surrounding a tooth is irritated. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain.
Bacteria growing inside your mouth can contribute to gum disease and dental decay, both of which can cause pain. Often, gum disease will not result in any pain.
Pritish Kumar Halder discusses about Toothache, its causes, symptoms, and treatment methods. Read about it.
You can prevent the majority of dental problems by flossing, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. The dentist may apply sealants and fluoride, which are especially important for children’s teeth.
Toothache occurs from inflammation of the central portion of the tooth called pulp. The pulp contains nerve endings that are very sensitive to pain. Inflammation to the pulp or pulpitis may be caused by dental cavities, trauma, and infection. Referred pain from the jaw may cause you to have symptoms of a toothache. The first step toward relief is to find out what’s wrong.
- It could be sensitive teeth
- Gum disease can make your teeth sensitive.
- It could be a damaged tooth.
- A cavity or a crack can cause sharp pain and make your mouth sensitive when you bite down.
- If you grind your teeth.
- It could be your wisdom teeth.
The Problem Could Be Outside Your Mouth
- Certain kinds of headaches, like cluster and migraine
- Clogged or infected sinuses
- Problems in the joint or muscles that connect your jaw to your skull
- In rare cases, a heart attack can cause tooth pain. It’s also a symptom of certain nerve diseases.
Toothache and jaw pain are common complaints. There may be severe pain to pressure, or to hot or cold stimuli. The pain may persist for longer than 15 seconds after the stimulus is removed. As the area of inflammation increases, the pain becomes more severe. It may radiate to the cheek, the ear, or the jaw. Other signs and symptoms that may lead you to seek care include the following:
- Pain with chewing in your teeth or jaw
- Your teeth are sensitive to heat or cold. You’ll feel a couple seconds of pain when something hot or cold hits them. Sweet or acidic foods may bother you, too.
- Bleeding or discharge from around a tooth or gums
- Swelling around a tooth or swelling of your jaw
- Injury or trauma to the area
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Swollen glands
These signs and symptoms may sometimes be associated with dental decay, tooth fracture, or gum disease (periodontal disease). Dental decay or an area of redness around the tooth’s gum line may point to the source of pain. If you tap an infected tooth, it may make the pain more intense. This sign may point to the problem tooth even if the tooth appears normal.
Exams and Tests for Toothaches
A thorough medical history and oral exam usually lead to an appropriate diagnosis.
Sometimes, X-rays called periapical and Panorex views (panoramic X-rays of the teeth and jaw) are taken. Rarely, lab evaluation, including ECG tracings of the heart, will assist the doctor. If the cause is something other than a dental or jaw problem, the doctor may prescribe drugs directed at the problem. If the condition is more severe, the doctor may admit you to the hospital for further care. You may be referred to a dentist for further treatment.
Treating a Toothache at Home
- Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used. Take these as directed on the package while you arrange a dental appointment.
- Avoid very cold or hot foods, because they may make the pain worse.
- You may get relief from biting on a cotton ball soaked in oil of cloves. You can get oil of cloves at most drug stores.
- Special toothpastes can make your teeth less sensitive. And you can reverse early gum disease when you brush and floss correctly.
For jaw pain:
- Aspirin may be helpful for problems in the joint of the jaw in adults.
- Acetaminophen (not aspirin) should be used for children and teenagers.
If pain happens every time you open your mouth widely, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may be the source of the pain. Yawning or taking a large bite of food may worsen the pain. An appointment with your doctor or dentist will help you find the cause.
Medical Treatment for Toothaches
In most cases, toothaches or jaw pain signifies a problem that must be cared for by a dentist.
- A referral to a dentist for follow-up will usually be arranged. In some cases, the doctor may try an injection around the tooth for pain control. If there is swelling in the gums or face, or you have fever, antibiotics may be prescribed.
- At the dentist’s office, fillings, pulling teeth, or other procedures may be performed as required. A tooth extraction will be the most likely procedure with a primary (baby) tooth. On permanent teeth if the problem is severe, root canal therapy (cleaning out the nerves and blood vessels and sealing off the root canals of the tooth) and crown procedures are generally performed.
- An antibiotic will usually be prescribed if a fever or swelling of the jaw is present. Such procedures are generally done in stages, with pain and infection being cared for immediately, and reconstructive procedures being performed at a later time (weeks to months). You will be able to return to work or school while you recover. Dentists and oral surgeons may plan additional procedures at the most appropriate time.
If causes other than the teeth or jaw are responsible for the pain, management will depend on the condition.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Bacteria thrive on refined sugar and starch and need this in order to burrow through the enamel on your teeth. Watch what you eat and be careful about food that sticks to and between your teeth. Brush your teeth after eating.
- Establish a good program of cleaning your teeth to remove the food particles. Brush your teeth after eating and brush your gums to encourage healthy gum. Use a soft toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste as recommended by the American Dental Association. Floss between teeth daily. Water jets are effective at removing trapped particles, but flossing your teeth does a more thorough job when done carefully. Rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash to help get rid of bacteria that cause plaque and early gum disease.
- Prevent tooth decay with fluoride. Fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay in children. Fluoride is a natural element and is found in many water supplies and vegetables. Check and see if your tap water is fluoridated. If your water is not fluoridated, your dentist can prescribe fluoride tablets or fluoride supplements for children younger than 10 years.
- Arrange to have your teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year. It may help in preventing both decay and gum disease. Dental X-rays may be needed every three to five years to identify problem areas.
- Keep your bridge or dentures clean. Your dentist can offer suggestions. Even if you do not have all of your original adult teeth, you can prevent new dental problems if you try these preventive tips.
- Wear a protective dental guard or headgear while playing sports to help prevent injury.
- Do not smoke. Tobacco smoking may make some dental conditions worse.