A toothache is caused when the nerve inside the tooth or the surrounding teeth or gums is irritated or inflamed. The most common causes of toothache is dental decay, infection, injury or loss of tooth. Sometimes toothache pain in your teeth can be caused by jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or commonly known as TMJ), ear infection, sinuses, migraines and heart problem.
What are the causes of Toothache?
- Tooth decay – If bacteria in plaque erodes the enamel surface of your teeth, the nerves in your teeth are irritated and become sensitive, the deeper the decay the worse the pain.
- Sinus Infection – Sometimes sinus infection can cause pain in upper teeth.
- Gum Disease – Gingivitis or periodontal disease can cause pain in your teeth. Plaque and calculus build up damages the bone and gums that support your teeth. This causes teeth to loosen and you will feel pain in your teeth.
- Bruxism or Grinding your teeth – If you are grinding your teeth at night or in the daytime, you will experience pain from worn down teeth, sore jaw and headache. Grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel exposing the dentine and leading to tooth sensitivity.
- Wisdom Teeth crowding or impaction- If your wisdom teeth are coming through the gums, you will experience pain and discomfort. Sometimes, absence of space for teeth to come through can give you toothache.
- TMJ or Temporomandibular joint Disorders- TMJ disorder not only causes jaw pain but can also cause toothache and sore teeth.
- Infected tooth or abscess- Abscess on the teeth can give you toothache.
- Loss of part of tooth or filling- Losing a part of your tooth or filling can expose the dentine of the tooth resulting in sensitive sore tooth.
- Mouth or jaw injury- If you have a mouth or jaw injury or trauma while playing a sport or working, this can cause toothache too.
- Something stuck in between your teeth (food Debris)- If while eating you have something stuck in between your teeth, it will cause pressure on the surrounding teeth and cause toothache.
- Misaligned teeth- Misaligned and uneven teeth can cause uneven pressure and bite resulting in sore teeth.
When you need to see the Dentist?
Toothaches are preventable as long as you are cleaning and flossing your teeth (proper oral hygiene) and seeing your dentist regularly.
If you are experiencing toothache or jaw pain, you should see the dentist asap. Even if the pain subsidies that does not mean the underlying issue has been resolved. Do not leave toothaches for too long, see your dentist immediately and get it fixed.
You should see the dentist if the pain is getting worse, toothache lasts longer than 24 hours, broken tooth, you have headache, pain when opening your mouth and trouble breathing or swallowing.
Dentist will examine your teeth and jaw to determine the cause of the toothache and will recommend treatment options and preventative measures.
Some common symptoms of toothache are as following:
- Sensitive teeth – Feeling hot and cold
- Pain while chewing food
- Swelling – Around the tooth or jaw
- Feeling unwell due to toothache
- Fever, earache or pain in the mouth
- Visible injury or trauma to teeth
- Bleeding from or around gums or teeth
How to prevent toothaches?
- Visit your dentist regularly – As recommended by your dentist, see your dentist every 6-12 months for check-up and scale &clean.
- Proper brushing and flossing technique – Brushing your teeth twice a day using soft toothbrush for 2 minutes and flossing at least once a day. Next time you visit your dentist, ask them to demonstrate how to brush and floss properly.
- Preventative measures – Getting fissure sealants on molar teeth can prevent decay in kids and adult’s teeth. Fluoride treatment helps harden up the enamel and prevents teeth from decay or cavities. Gum disease can be prevented
- Wear a Mouthguard – Wearing a mouthguard can save your teeth from impact and trauma while playing sports and performing martial arts.
- Don’t wait till it hurts – Once you start feeling some pain or discomfort, please contact your dentist. Your dentist will be able to figure out what’s causing the pain and fix it avoiding any unwanted pain, costs or discomfort. Once it starts throbbing, that means the nerve in your tooth is inflamed and your dentist needs to fix it immediately.
- Maintain a healthy Diet – Healthy nutritious diet keeps your teeth and body healthy. Avoid acidic sweet drinks and sweet sticky foods. Bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugars, remember to drink water and brush your teeth.
- Avoid smoking – Avoid smoking and tobacco as it can make your dental problems like gum disease, healing after dental extraction worse.
- Keep your dentures clean – Remember to take your partial or full dentures out at night-time, giving your gums time to heal. Clean your dentures as recommended by your dentist.
- Look after crown and bridgework – Remember to clean your crowns and bridges. Your dentist can show you how to floss and which floss to use to keep the area around your bridges and crowns clean.
How to ease discomfort or toothache?
If it is not possible to get to the dentist immediately, here are some simple home remedies you can try to relieve some discomfort before you get to see the dentist. These remedies only work temporarily, you need to see the dentist to treat the root cause of your toothache or dental problem.
- Apply cold pack – Try to apply ice to your cheek on the side you have toothache. Do not put ice straight on the tooth as this may cause sensitivity.
- Take over the counter painkillers – You can also relieve pain and sleep with over the counter painkillers like Panadol, Neuorfen or Aspirin. Take as recommended on the box. Do not put painkillers straight on your teeth as this may burn your gum tissue.
- Gargle with saltwater – Warm salty water helps remove bacteria from your mouth, mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and gargle for 5-10 seconds. Do not swallow the salty water.
If you have any questions regarding your oral health, please do not hesitate to contact us on 38783384