There are few things that are as preoccupying and let’s face it, disruptive, as a constant toothache. It affects your ability to concentrate, sleep, work and get on with life in general. Often there doesn’t appear to be an obvious cause of the tooth pain and a lack of knowledge on the subject can leave most of us wondering what the reason behind it could be.
In this article, we explore the top ten causes of tooth pain, how to identify which might be to blame for yours and what corrective actions should be taken. In all cases of tooth pain however, it is important to make contact with a dentist as soon as possible so that they can give you a definitive diagnosis and begin treatment without delay.
A common cause of achy tooth pain and oral discomfort are dental alignment systems such as braces and retainers. Pain caused due by adjustments which move or tighten teeth is common but usually subsides within a few days.
If you are still experiencing a persistent or and overly uncomfortable level of pain however, it may be worth discussing the matter with your orthodontist. They may suggest readjustment of your orthodontic appliance to make the pain more manageable so that your daily activities are not impacted by it.
Impacted wisdom teeth or misaligned teeth
Misaligned teeth can press against each other and push others out of line. In extreme cases, this can result in excruciating pain and toothache.
Improperly developed wisdom teeth which haven’t been able to break through the gum line (known as impacted wisdom teeth) can also be painful as they may push against other teeth or become infected below the gum line.
If you are experiencing any such issues and you haven’t addressed it yet, it must be brought to the attention of the best dentist in London. It is likely that your orthodontist may recommend an orthodontic solution for misaligned teeth such as braces. They may also propose a surgical procedure to remove the impacted wisdom teeth.
Improper flossing or brushing
Most of us tend to overlook the amount of pressure that we are applying to our gums and teeth whilst brushing or flossing, or assume that harder brushing must be better for our teeth than soft. However, brushing too hard can apply more pressure to our teeth and gums than they can withstand and can result in inflamed, irritated and bleeding gums. Over the long term, excess pressure can make teeth unstable and can also cause gums to recede, resulting in more pain. A dentist will be able to guide you regarding proper brushing techniques. But commonly, dentists suggest using a toothbrush with soft bristles.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is another major cause of toothache and can even result in neck, jaw and related muscle pain. Many of us have a tendency to grind our teeth during stressful periods of our life or while we are sleeping and most times, we’re unaware we’re even doing it.
Grinding the bottom and top teeth against each other and clenching the jaw in a violent manner qualifies as excessive teeth grinding. This can result in chipped or cracked teeth, headaches and even sore joints and jaw bones which can be extremely painful. If you have a similar tendency, the line of treatment for bruxism usually includes the wearing of a custom designed mouthguard when you sleep in order to relieve the stress put on the jaw and teeth.
Dental sealants or damaged fillings
To cover grooves, deep pits or fractures in teeth, dental fillings are commonly used to protect the vulnerable parts of the tooth. In cases where damage is caused to these protectants, the sensitive parts of the teeth become exposed and vulnerable to food particles, extreme temperatures and bacteria.
This can result in a piercing sensation which may vary between anything from a dull ache to a sharp pain. To prevent further decay, you must consult a dentist and get the problem fixed before the situation worsens.
Red or bleeding gums, a dull pain in the mouth or tooth pain can be a sign of gum disease. When the gums or oral bone become inflamed, it can result in gum disease. Failure to get it treated at the right time can result in extensive damage or loss of gums, teeth and bones. In such situations, a dentist will be left with no other choice than to perform surgery to treat the infection.
Tooth decay is the most common, and possibly the oldest, cause of toothache. It can affect any of us and can also escalate to bigger issues.
When decay in the tooth reaches an advanced stage, it reaches the dentin which is the inner layer of the tooth. It can cause extreme pain in your tooth and surrounding areas as a damaged dentin makes the tooth highly sensitive, resulting in the development of a cary or cavity.
You will know when tooth decay has reached the centre of the tooth when the pain escalates to sharper levels. The pain can make you so uncomfortable that you may find it difficult to carry on with your daily life activities. As tooth decay has the potential of causing major dental issues, it must be addressed as soon as possible.
There are several ways by which a tooth can become fractured. You may have cracked or chipped a tooth by biting down hard on something sticky or hard like a toffee. You may have damaged it while playing sports. Or you may have broken a tooth in a fall. If your fractured tooth begins to hurt, the tooth fracture may have found its way to the middle of the tooth. If it has damaged the nerve endings, it can result in an excruciating amount of pain.
This may not happen right away after the tooth gets damaged or chipped, but the damage can worsen over time which is why all chips and fractures should be brought to the attention of a dentist as soon as possible after an incident.
No matter what the cause of your tooth pain, it is important to get it checked out without delay. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, make it a priority to get in touch with a dentist and get the problem resolved as soon as possible. No-one wants their life put on hold by toothache!