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5 Top Reasons For Toothache And What To Do About It

Ad Min - Monday, January 20, 2020

Toothache is the most common reason that would make anyone visit a dental clinic. It is a signal sent by the body to make you aware that your oral health is not top notch. Proper care and treatment might take care of the pain, but sometimes it will need more complex dental procedures.

Moving on, let us examine some of the main reasons for a toothache.

5 Top Reasons For Toothache

Tooth decay

Unchecked bacterial action in the teeth is what brings about its decay. The outer dental enamel gets eroded and the decay goes into the layers of the teeth and reaches the pulp of the teeth. Food contains sugar and when food debris gets stuck in between the teeth, the sugar also remains in the mouth. This sugary food attracts bacteria, bacteria acts on the food remnants and releases acids. These acids act on the different layers of the teeth and bring about decay.

Cleaning the mouth, brushing, and flossing can ward off this bacterial action. If cleaning is not thorough, then food stays in the mouth and plaque and tartar development will occur. This can also cause tooth decay. Along with daily cleaning of the teeth and tongue, it is also important to have a dental consultation at least twice a year.

Gum diseases

When you develop gum disease, there is inflammation and infection in the soft tissues surrounding the teeth. The gums become reddish and swell. They bleed easily when brushing. This condition is called gingivitis, and when left untreated progresses to periodontal disease. Infection is very severe in this stage. The gum tissues pull away from the teeth and jaw bone and forms small pockets. This space collects food debris and attracts bacterial action. The infection spreads rapidly and the plaque can be seen developing below the gum lining.

As the infection spreads, the gum lining and sometimes even the bone gets destroyed. It can spread to neighbouring teeth as well. The health of the gums will be lost and the jaw bone loses its strength and cannot provide support to the teeth. Dentists provide treatment to reduce the infection and reduce the pockets that are formed in the gum lining. The swelling of the gums and the accompanying pain is treated with antibiotics. The time of treatment and the recovery depends on the stage of the treatment and how the disease reacts to the treatment. The strength of the supporting tissues is regained by proper treatment and oral health is restored.

Fractured teeth

Teeth that are fractured or cracked cause tooth pain. This might not be a continuous pain, but it can strike sporadically. Pain is mostly seen when one is consuming food, or when exposed to hot or cold food.

When dental enamel is broken due to accident or sports injury, it exposes the inner layers of the teeth. The crack in the tooth might be just on the surface or it can go right to the root of the tooth. Cracks can be shallow, a fractured cusp, or it can break the tooth into two either from the root to the tip of the tooth or from the top of the tooth to the root. Some of the cracked or broken teeth can bring pain to the soft tissues of the mouth by cutting into them. They can also bring in bacterial action and infection.

Treatment is focused on protecting the teeth. Options are decided based on the type of fracture or chipping. Some can be helped by placing a crown on top of the affected tooth or it can be taken care of by placing dental veneers.

Tooth grinding

Tooth grinding or bruxism is a condition where some would clench, grind the teeth. This happens unconsciously when one is awake or while sleeping. This is also related to sleep disorders and can occur with snoring or sleep apnoea. Teeth get affected due to grinding and it can cause the teeth to be flattened or fractured or loose. The protective layer of the teeth gets lost and the inner layers of the tooth get exposed. This can cause pain and sensitivity when hot or cold food is consumed.

Besides pain in the teeth, jaw and neck pain are also felt by many patients. Depending on the extent of the problem, different options are explored by dentists to treat this dental concern.

Mouth guards are typically worn to reduce the flattening of the tooth. Some may need to wear dental veneers, sometimes even go for dental implants if the whole tooth is affected. Partial or complete dentures are also suggested by dentists if the tooth cannot be saved and the tooth is fully damaged.

Tooth abscess

A tooth abscess is a collection of pus caused by bacterial action. This can happen at any part of the mouth – at the root of the tooth or in the gum lining. The throbbing pain from the tooth can spread to the neck or jaws. Swelling can also be seen, some will also experience sensitivity to hot or cold food. When there is a tooth abscess, it can also loosen the tooth and there would be a bad odour from the mouth because of bacterial action. It is important to see the dentist when you notice swelling or pain and not ignore it. This will not go away on its own, it will need treatment.

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