Toothache is such a nuisance; it will nag at you all day long and won’t subside (long term) until you get it taken care of professionally. As with all things, there are various levels of pain that can be symptoms of other underlying conditions. A small tinge of pain when you drink a cold beverage is a world away from a thudding pain in your jaw day in, day out, right? So, with this in mind it can be hard to know when you should and shouldn’t be consulting your dentist – the short answer here is basically you always need to be bringing these issues up with your practitioner. Here’s what toothache can be an indication of…
A dental cavity is usually a result of plaque build-up, which proceeds to penetrate the tooth’s protective enamel, causing a small hole – or cavity. Poor dental upkeep or misaligned teeth (which prevent proper brushing of nooks and crannies) are common causes of cavities, along with the regular consumption of sugars and fruits. If left untreated, a small hole can lead to much worse infections and cause some serious pain.
Cracked or Chipped Teeth
Fractured, chipped and cracked teeth often occur as a result of impact injury or biting down on a particularly hard piece of food. A small split in a tooth can have big repercussions and very frequently will cause some serious discomfort and pain to those who have suffered the injury. If your fracture reaches the centre of your tooth (where all the nerves live), you’ll be in excruciating pain. Head to the dentist immediately if you fear you have even the smallest chip in a tooth.
Tooth Infection, Decay or Abscess
This is probably the most common cause of tooth pain and the one that people avoid seeking treatment more often than not. Infection, decay or painful abscesses on gums occur when a cavity is left untreated and becomes an infection. This can reach the centre of the tooth and cause decay or gums can experience an infected build up otherwise known as an abscess. Poor brushing, flossing and maintenance can worsen symptoms. It is imperative to get this treated if you fear that your tooth pain is due to infection.
Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures will likely cause you some pain and discomfort over time. Tooth sensitivity can easily be erased with the right maintenance methods and products, your dentist will be able to guide you as effectively as possible to minimise the impacts of your sensitivity.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted or misaligned teeth cause big-time pain, and if your wisdom teeth are acting up it is very important to get a check-up and jaw X-ray done immediately. An impacted wisdom tooth should be removed either in the chair or during day surgery to alleviate pain and keep the rest of your smile safe from infection, cavities or other types of potential damage.
Teeth grinding is very common, it usually occurs during sleep, moments of deep thought or particularly stressful periods. This action often leads to tooth, neck and jaw pain, causing long term damage if not addressed over time. A dentist will solve this issue by fitting a mouth guard to wear at night or when grinding is at its most prevalent. This trains your jaw to relax and minimises the painful impacts of the action.
Swollen and bleeding gums will often result in mouth or tooth pain, and these are most usually a signifier of gum disease. Check-ups and cleans should help to alleviate symptoms and treat infections – if inflammation is ignored, you might even need surgery in the long run.
See your dentist for tooth pain relief and to treat your smile today.