Toothaches are rough for anyone. Not only can they be severely painful, they inhibit our ability to think straight, concentrate, and—possibly most importantly—enjoy eating. A toothache can derail your whole day because the pain can be tricky to soothe. In most cases, there’s an underlying cause that needs to be treated by a dentist for the pain to subside. So what causes these pesky problems, you ask? Here we’ll explore some of the root causes of toothaches and let you know when it’s time to see the dentist.
1. Decay May Be To Blame
The most common reason for a toothache is a cavity or tooth decay. If a cavity has worn through the outer protective layer of your tooth (the enamel) to expose the dentin layer beneath, it can lead to a very painful toothache. This is because the dentin layer is comprised of countless microscopic tubules that provide access to the inner pulp of the tooth. The pulp contains nerves and living tissue, so it can cause a lot of pain if exposed to outside stimuli. You can usually tell if decay is to blame because your pain will occur most acutely when drinking hot or cold liquids, or eating something very sweet.
2. You Could Be Over-brushing
Did you know that there is such a thing as brushing too hard? This can wear your dental enamel down and cause your teeth to become sensitive—just as they would from tooth decay! While waiting to address the issue with your dentist, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and be sure to use a sensitivity-formulated toothpaste with fluoride to help strengthen your tooth’s enamel.
3. When The Pain Is Too Much
If you have a sharp, stabbing pain that shoots through your jaw when you bite down or chew, it could be the sign of something more severe like a cracked tooth. If the pain is more like a throbbing sensation that doesn’t seem to stop, it could be an abscessed tooth. In these instances, it is critical that your teeth are checked by a dentist right away to prevent further damage or infection.
4. It Could Have Nothing To Do With Teeth
If you’re experiencing pain on only the upper teeth and it’s evenly spread across your mouth, you may actually be experiencing a sinus infection. If you have this type of pain accompanied by a congested nose or sensitivity in your sinuses, see a doctor to have your symptoms evaluated. Other times, pain manifests in the mouth for seemingly no reason at all. Some people report feeling tooth pain when they’re highly stressed, which surely does nothing to reduce their stress levels! To err on the side of caution, make sure you visit your dentist to rule out any possible oral health issues before assuming stress is the culprit.
Tooth pain ranges from a little annoying to completely unbearable. Oftentimes pain will compound and grow worse and worse when the cause is left untreated, so it’s best to get into the dentist’s office and assess the issue as quickly as you can.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain and would like to have your dentist take a look, give us a call at Manus Dental in Lake Zurich, Hyde Park, or Yorkville today!