A toothache is a common occurrence for adults and children. When you experience pain or inflammation in, on, or around a tooth, this is considered a toothache. Several factors may contribute to a toothache, and it usually is a symptom of an underlying problem or health condition.
What Causes a Toothache?
The most common causes of toothache and pain are related to dental issues such as tooth decay, tooth infection, injury to a tooth, or loss of a tooth. Pain occurring in other areas of the body sometimes radiates toward the jaw and appears in the form of a toothache. This can include jaw pain, sinus pain, ear pain, and even issues of the heart.
Other times, what causes a toothache is a result of a direct impact on the tooth, such as blunt-force trauma. A thorough exam of the mouth and teeth is necessary to determine the underlying cause of the toothache, some of the causes of a toothache include:
- Sinus Pressure
- Migraines or other Headaches
- Infection in the Tooth
- Gum Disease
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
- Trauma to the Tooth
- Abnormal Bite
- Tooth Eruption (as seen in emerging wisdom teeth, or in babies)
- Tooth Decay
In most cases, toothaches are the result of tooth decay. The pain experienced when eating or drinking something hot or cold is typically an indicator of this. If you are exercising proper oral care and taking care of your teeth, you will be able to tell if sensitivity in an area has increased.
Symptoms of Toothache
Discomfort in the tooth or teeth and pain in the jaw are the most common and obvious symptoms of a toothache. The discomfort may be moderate to severe in response to pressure or hot or cold food or beverages.
As inflammation to the pulp of the tooth or surrounding gum tissue increases, the tooth tenderness becomes more severe. A toothache may radiate throughout the entire face to the ears, cheeks, and jaw, and may even cause a headache.
Other symptoms of a toothache that indicate the need to seek dental care include:
- Tenderness with chewing
- Extreme sensitivity
- Bleeding or discharge
- Swelling around the tooth or swelling of the jaw
These symptoms may be directly involved with a toothache, or they may be the sign of a worse and more serious underlying problem, such as decay, tooth loss or fracture, or gum disease. The toothache needs to be differentiated from any other discomfort in the face and pinpointed for accurate treatment.
Treatment of Toothache
When an individual experiences a toothache, no matter the cause, their first goal is typically pursuing toothache pain relief. While over-the-counter local numbing creams can help in the short-term, the most effective way to achieve toothache pain relief is by seeking care from a dental professional.
Your dentist needs to fully assess your situation and take in all considerations in order to provide an accurate diagnosis.
It is essential to treat the cause of the toothache and not just the symptoms.
If gum disease is causing your toothache symptoms, this will need to be addressed first. Your ORC Dental dentist will do scaling and root planing to remove bacteria and tartar from underneath the gums and smooth out the surface of the root to prevent a new buildup of bacteria. In severe cases, you may also need antibiotics, flap surgery, and other interventions to restore gum tissue and bone density.
In some cases, a root canal procedure may be necessary to save the natural tooth if the cause of toothache is infected pulp. The pulp is the series of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that helps teeth grow.
If the pulp becomes infected, your dentist will remove it and replace it with a bio-compatible rubber-like substance called gutta-percha. This helps save the structure of your tooth, and a crown can be placed on the top of the tooth to restore your tooth’s natural look, feel and function.
When to Seek Help
If you are experiencing a toothache, seek help immediately from a dentist. You may also experience other symptoms that indicate you need to schedule a visit, including:
- If the discomfort is not relieved by over-the-counter medicine
- If you are experiencing swelling of the gums or face around the tooth
- If you are experiencing bleeding or discharge around the tooth and gums
- If you have a fever
- If you experience force or trauma that causes you to lose a tooth or causes any broken teeth
- Consistent discomfort at the angle of the jaw, while opening and closing the mouth, or with chewing
- Tenderness associated with the emergence of or existing wisdom teeth
A majority of dental problems can be prevented by daily flossing and brushing and by receiving a dental exam twice a year. However, individuals may experience difficulties with their teeth from time to time. If you are experiencing chronic toothache and seeking toothache pain relief, it is important to seek medical and dental help as soon as possible.
At ORC Dental, we offer our patients preventative care services to encourage and promote excellent oral care and maintenance. In addition, we work with patients who need extra care or special treatment in order to provide the most efficient plans for treatment.
Discomfort and inflammation involved with a toothache are never pleasant. At ORC Dental, we strive to provide the utmost quality of care, whether it be in preventative exams or emergency dental care. Call us today on 07406110333 if you or a loved one are experiencing a toothache or seeking a trustworthy, family-friendly dental professional.