Causes of Tooth Pain and What to Do About Them
Tooth pain can be a highly unpleasant experience. As is self-evident, everyone would rather avoid pain, but tooth pain is also unpleasant because of the way it makes us speculate as to its possible causes. When a person is experiencing tooth pain, they often experience not only pain, but worry about the cause of the pain.
Not knowing the cause, it can be challenging to know what to do about your pain. As we will explore in this article, the answer is typically that you should visit your nearby dentist.
Tooth decay – a common cause of tooth pain
Tooth decay is the process whereby acid that is caused by bacteria in the mouth, decays the enamel and dentin of your teeth. This is produced when a diet is eaten that is high in sugar, and build up of plaque, particularly in areas that form a natural collection point for plaque – which also happen to be the areas that are hard to brush. This can occur around the gumline, in the folds between overlapped teeth or gaps between teeth, and in the fissures on top of molars.
If decay eats away a cavity in the enamel of the tooth, this decay may then be able to reach the nerve – either directly or indirectly. This then means that the sensitive centre of the tooth can be impacted, and caused to feel pain, by outside influences such as biting or food and drink consumption.
Possible cause of this erosion
It is also possible that excessively acidic beverages, like certain sodas, fruit juices and energy drinks, may result in tooth erosion. Similar, regular vomiting or reflux may create a high level of acid in the mouth that can eat away at the teeth in this way.
It may seem that the dental pulp is well sheltered in the centre of the tooth, but the truth of the matter is, if the decay manages to reach the dentine, it will spread faster. This is because dentine is softer in nature, and more porous, allowing the decay to travel down into the root cavity. When decay reaches the nerve, an inflammatory reaction may occur, resulting in toothache.
This may even kill the nerve which can result in an abscessed tooth, usually at the root tip. This is actually the body’s way of preventing the spread of infection but can be very painful, and even dangerous if infection is to spread.
Another common type of tooth pain that many people experience is a sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages – for example, coffee or ice cream, or potentially even cold air during the middle of winter. This may present as an ache and may even encompass multiple teeth at once.
It is possible that you may be experiencing pain as a result of gradually worn-away enamel. Which is to say, it is not always a process of decay that eats away at the tooth, but it is sometimes also a process of wear and tear. This may occur through continuous grinding, or even the act of eating over a very long period of time.
It may also occur as a result of the gumline receding, and exposing parts of the root which were once under the gum line. The root is always a bit more sensitive to hot and cold. As you age, gum tissue often begins to wear, leaving the roots exposed, and increasing vulnerability to gum disease.
Another influence that may gradually wear away at the surface of the teeth may be brushing too vigorously, which is why many dentists will advocate for a softer brushing technique using a soft bristle brush. This process may also occur from tooth grinding. Poor sleep and high stress may contribute to a habit of tooth grinding, which may be unconscious or occur without the patient being aware that they are doing it.
There are certain tell-tale signs that your Brsibane dentist will be able to identify that may indicate that tooth grinding is the cause of your tooth pain or toothache.
Other possible causes of tooth pain include:
- Misaligned teeth, which can create inequitable distribution of pressure in the mouth, and place pressure on certain teeth or tooth roots in a way that results in irritation.
- A cracked tooth or crown. You may assume that it would be obvious that your tooth was cracked or broken, and while it sometimes is, this is not always the case. The crack may be so slight that it is impossible to see or feel. It may occur without you noticing.
- Gum infection or gingivitis or gum disease.
- Recent dental work, such as a filling, may temporarily irritate your nerve endings and result in pain. Teeth bleaching products can sometimes increase this risk of temporary sensitivity as well.
- Wisdom teeth are another common cause of tooth pain. Sometimes referred to as third molars, wisdom teeth are teeth numbers 29, 30, 31 and 32, and they appear at the back of the mouth, commonly erupting in late teenage years or during a person’s early 20s. Quite often, there is insufficient room for the emergence of the teeth. This can result in them only emerging partially from the gum, or being forced to emerge at an angle (which is referred to as impacted wisdom teeth). Wisdom teeth can also cause pain when they result in inflammation or infection, or when they begin to displace the surrounding teeth as they force their way through. There is a risk of developing an infection as bacteria builds up in places that are hard to clean through brushing. Wisdom teeth eruption can also sometimes result in cysts.
It is another common type of pain that your dentist may assist with. It is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint, which is a joint that connects the jawbone to the skull.
TMJ disorders result in pain in the jaw joint and the muscles surrounding it. Bruxism or teeth grinding, genetics, arthritis, or a direct jaw injury may be responsible for disorders such as these which may also present with symptoms such as jaw tenderness, earache, jaw locking or clicking, and inability to chew or painful chewing.
Pain in the teeth may not actually always indicate a tooth problem. This may occur in instances of neuropathic pain when there is an issue with or impingement on a nerve; referred pain from muscles; or referred pain the sinuses, particularly during the allergy season.
Why should you go to your Indooroopilly dentist if you are experiencing tooth pain?
The online environment contains a significant amount of information on dental pain. However, this information is not equally reliable. Some sources are not to be trusted and it can be hard to distinguish what is a reliable source of information and what is unreliable.
Searching online is not the best method to cure your tooth pain. To resolve your tooth pain effectively, the most reliable and clinically appropriate course of action is to visit your dentist.
Their knowledge base is vastly more reliable than what you can find online for a number of reasons. Firstly, they have undertaken years of specialised study which forms the foundations of their dental knowledge. This theoretical expertise is backed by years of practice, both during study and in the years or decades of dental experience spent supporting patients to achieve positive dental health, as well as proactive professional development.
Through these years of experience, they have developed an in-depth wealth of experience. They will be able to examine your teeth to observe any damage that has occurred and to form a picture of your dental habits, which will also be informed by their line of questioning.
Another significant argument
Any searching you do online is a purely one-way process. During a consultation with your dentist, on the other hand, your dentist will be able to undertake an examination of your mouth and follow a line of questioning to arrive at the probable causes of your pain. Moreover, they will be able to implement treatment that is safe and reliable.
Some people may not be inclined to find answers about their tooth pain but may be more inclined to ignore it in the hope that it will go away some day. However, your tooth pain may be giving you an important signal, one which you shouldn’t ignore.
What can your dentist do to resolve your tooth pain?
This will depend almost entirely on the cause of the pain. However, your dentist will be able to make general recommendations of finding relief from your pain when you are experiencing it. This may include pain medications and certain routines or procedures you can follow at home to make yourself more comfortable when you do experience pain. This may include gargling salt water, painkillers, the application of ice, and other methods. However, these are not a substitute for proper treatment and are also less effective. The foremost priority of your dentist will be in reducing the pain you are experiencing right now, and reducing the recurrence of this pain into the future.
Here are a few treatment methods
- A filling may be used by your dentist Indooroopilly if a cavity is causing the pain. This will reseal the area and prevent irritation to the sensitive parts of the tooth.
- A root canal procedure may be necessary, to remove the infected dental pulp that is causing pain. If infection is causing pain, this infection must be eliminated through this procedure to restore wellbeing.
- In some selective instances, your dentist may prescribe antibiotic treatment, particularly if fever or jaw swelling has occurred. However, antibiotics are only recommended when necessary.
- Removal of wisdom teeth.
- Straightening of teeth through treatments such as braces or clear aligners.
- Reinforcing of teeth with a dental crown that offers structural protection.
- Extraction of highly problematic teeth that are cracked beyond repair or infected.
- Fluoride treatment of teeth to help restore their strength.
- Determining a preventative strategy. Your dentist will be able to help you to identify triggers for your tooth pain. Then, you will be able to actively avoid these triggers in your day-to-day life to minimise your experience of pain. They will also be able to help you improve your diet.
- Thorough teeth cleaning to remove plaque that may ultimately lead to tooth pain.
- Advice on dental hygiene. Your dentist can recommend new equipment such as sensitivity-reducing toothpastes and new brushes, as well as advice on whether you need a corrective procedure such as a filling or extraction to relieve pain.
What if it’s a dental emergency?
Sometimes dental pain will be so extreme that it is considered a dental emergency. If you fear that you are suffering from a dental emergency, you should contact your emergency dentist to discuss your options and to see whether you can arrange an emergency appointment.
Extreme pain, particularly pain associated with gum swelling and face swelling and fever, may indicate an abscess and constitute a dental emergency. Pain resulting from a direct impact to the mouth, a tooth that has come out the socket or broken or cracked from dental trauma or spontaneously, will also usually be considered an emergency.
In such circumstances it is important to seek treatment immediately because the speed of treatment may help to relieve pain faster and could also impact your dental and overall health outcomes. So let us have attractive smile everyday.
You might also like our Facebook page