Toothaches: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

The term “toothache” describes pain in the teeth and the structures that support them, whether the pain comes from a non-dental disease or is caused by a dental condition. There is a wide range of nerves, tissues, and blood vessels inside the pulp of your teeth. This pulp is extremely sensitive, possibly more so than any other part of the body. Tooth pulp may be found in a very small area, but it’s extreme  sensitivity makes the teeth vulnerable to severe pain if not properly cared for. Any damage to the pulp causes sensitivity and later develops into a toothache. It might be triggered by specific foods or beverages. However, a toothache can be caused by a variety of dental issues, including the following: the decay of the teeth, tooth abscess, fracture of a tooth, a broken filling, repetitive motions such as chewing gum or teeth grinding, dental injury, a gum infection, or acute pericoronitis of the lower wisdom tooth.

A toothache can cause several different types of pain. Tooth pain may be sharp, throbbing, or constant pain. In some people, pain results only when pressure is applied to the tooth, for example, when you bite down on it. Others may be adversely affected by extreme temperatures. Other common signs and symptoms of a toothache include swelling around the tooth, fever or headache, foul-tasting from the infected tooth, and difficulty breathing or swallowing. If any of this is happening to you or someone in your family, you should seek emergency dental treatment right away.

The type of treatment you receive is heavily influenced by the cause of your toothache. After completing a thorough oral examination, dentists will recommend appropriate toothache treatments.

  • If your toothache is caused by a cavity, your dentist will either fill the cavity or extract your tooth. The larger the decayed area, the weaker the tooth. Regular dental cleanings help in the detection and prevention of decay, which can be painful.
  • If a loose or broken filling is causing the problem, the dentist may replace it after removing the decayed or broken one.
  • Root canal therapy may be recommended to treat infected gums and dental abscesses.
  • If a root canal is not an option, tooth extraction can be used to remove the infection and pain. After an extraction, there are several tooth replacements options, including a partial removable denture, a bridge, or a dental implant.
  • Bruxism (or the grinding of teeth) stresses the teeth and can cause them to hurt at the same time. A nightguard is usually prescribed.  It is a mouthpiece made of acrylic that fits over your teeth to protect them from damage and painful muscle tension.

While all the causes mentioned above are potential causes of toothaches, tooth decay is by far the most common. In some cases, such as minor gum irritation, it may resolve on its own within 24 hours. If this does not happen and the pain is severe, make an appointment with your dentist right away. Toothache prevention primarily consists of basic oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice a day with good fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once a day, eating a healthy diet; consuming fewer sugary foods and drinks, and not smoking, as smoking can worsen certain dental problems, and visiting your general dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning and care services. Call Cunning Dental Group today to schedule an appointment if you have a toothache that lasts more than a day or two, or if the pain is extremely severe and not responding to home treatments. You can schedule an appointment by calling (855) 328-6646, and our team of dentists and specialists will gladly help you.

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