19 Mar 3 Reasons for a Toothache [And How to Get Relief]
Have you ever experienced a toothache that seemed to appear out of nowhere? If so, it may signal a more serious underlying condition. Tooth pain can occur for many reasons, so it’s important to learn why it’s occurring and get it treated by your dentist as soon as possible.
Toothaches can be caused by a number of issues. Infections cause toothaches by making their way to the center of your tooth and eventually to the root or gums if left untreated. While cavities can be spotted by holes in your teeth, you may experience pain before finding one if it’s in a difficult spot to see. Injuries can result in cracked, chipped, or broken teeth which can cause oral pain. You’ll want to know what to do if you have a toothache as well as how you can prevent them.
Tooth infections are often the result of bad bacteria in the mouth and are usually treated with antibiotics. Bacteria is always present in the mouth and on surfaces like your teeth, gums, and cheeks.
It can be harmless if you’re practicing good dental hygiene. However, bacteria becomes a problem when it makes its way inside these surfaces. This is how many dental infections get started, but it’s also possible to get an infection from an injury or dental procedure.
Pain from a tooth infection usually begins once it has made its way inside and to the pulp of the tooth. This is known as pulpitis and may be a sign that you’ve had an infection for longer than you realized. One way to spot pulpitis is if you’re experiencing sensitivity to hot or cold liquids and foods.
If left untreated, pulpitis will worsen into an abscess, which is a pocket of pus. At this point, the infection has spread as deeply as possible into the tooth’s center and will need to progress somewhere else. It can move down to the tip of the root, forming a periapical abscess, or outward into the gums and become a periodontal abscess.
When we think of cavities, we usually think of holes or pits in our teeth. While this is true, it’s not always the best way to spot one since they like to form in areas that are difficult to see without dental tools. Other ways you can tell that you may have a cavity include pain when chewing or pain when eating or drinking. Contact us immediately if you start experiencing these symptoms.
Tooth decay is a gradual process where plaque grows on your teeth and slowly eats away at its enamel. Plaque is a clear and sticky substance, so it can go unnoticed while also doing serious damage to your dental health. It also grows quickly throughout the day, which is why routine dental hygiene is so important.
If you’ve experienced an injury resulting in a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth then you may also be experiencing dental pain. These injuries could be the result of:
- An accident such as a fall or being in a car wreck
- Sudden changes in temperature inside the mouth
- Biting down on foods that are too hard
- Fillings that have weakened the tooth
- Grinding your teeth (bruxism)
These are just some of the reasons your tooth may suffer an injury. Another important factor is age with the majority of chipped or cracked teeth occurring in people age 50 and older. Cracked teeth are also extremely common. According to Dentistry Today, they’re the third-leading cause of tooth loss in the industrialized world. This also means it could be a major cause of toothache.
How to Get Toothache Relief
Toothaches aren’t uncommon. On the other hand, they’re not a normal aspect of dental health and almost always point to a problem. Sometimes the pain is temporary, but it may escalate from a minor annoyance into something much more serious.
This could be when the pain:
- Lasts for more than 24 hours
- Spreads to other parts of your body, like an earache
- Combines with swelling
- Is accompanied by a bad taste in your mouth
You’ll want to know what to do if you experience a sudden case of tooth pain or if it becomes much worse over time.
If You Can’t See a Dentist
Your dentist is your best resource for diagnosing and treating your toothache. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to see your dentist as soon as the pain starts. If you experience sudden dental pain, you should:
- Make an appointment with your dentist immediately
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed on the label
- Use floss to remove any food particles or debris between your teeth
- Rinse your mouth with warm water
- Place an ice pack or something cold on the sore area
Prevent Toothaches Before They Start
You can’t always anticipate tooth pain, but you can do everything that you can to prevent tooth pain from occurring. That’s why maintaining good oral hygiene is so important. Whether it’s a toothache or gum disease, you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing everything you can to prevent and catch problems before they occur.
Make sure that you’re:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice per day
- Flossing at least once per day after eating
- Making your regular dental appointments
Brushing and flossing is your best line of defense against issues that can cause toothaches. By seeing your dentist regularly, you’ll receive cleanings as well as have a professional pair of eyes on the lookout for any problem areas that may need addressing.
A toothache can be the result of different problems. Infections make their way into the tooth, affecting the pulp and eventually the root or gums if not treated. Cavities result from tooth decay and can be difficult to spot depending on their location, but pain can be a dead giveaway. If you have a sudden toothache then you should take immediate action to treat it until you can see your dentist. For the best protection, practice good oral hygiene with brushing, flossing, and dental appointments.
Are you experiencing a painful toothache? Contact us today to get the treatment you deserve!
Knoxville Family Dental has two locations in Knoxville to better serve you. You can call Knoxville West at (865) 691-1121 or you can schedule an appointment online. To make an appointment with Knoxville East, call (865) 544-1711 or make an appointment online.