A toothache can show up without warning, and you may not even know what is causing you pain. Oftentimes, the discomfort can quickly make things difficult for you. You might even have a hard time focusing on the simplest day-to-day tasks.
Unfortunately, a painful tooth is almost always a sign of a dental health issue. Things can only get worse if you ignore the pain. A visit to your dentist can quickly unmask the underlying cause and get you the much-needed relief.
Learn about the likely reasons for a toothache and the steps you can take to relieve the pain.
1. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause great discomfort, especially if they haven’t made their way through the gum line. An impacted tooth can be crooked if there isn’t enough room for the tooth to erupt and grow normally.
As a result, the tooth pushes against the neighboring permanent teeth. The resulting pressure can quickly build up and cause great pain around the affected teeth. In addition, you could suffer severe inflammation right below your gums.
However, not everyone will experience pain as their wisdom teeth grow. Sometimes, you might not even notice when you have impacted wisdom teeth. Since teeth alignment differs from one person to another, the experience may completely differ between each individual.
Your dentist may extract the abnormal teeth to protect against misalignment issues if you have impacted wisdom teeth. A misaligned tooth can shift your permanent teeth and cause overcrowding in your mouth.
2. Tooth Decay and Cavities
Cavities or dental caries are often a result of poor dental hygiene or bad eating habits. When bacteria accumulate in between your teeth, they form acids that eat away at your tooth enamel.
Teeth have nerves and blood vessels deep within the pulp. As the erosion of the tooth surface advances, the pulp is exposed to bacterial action and decay. The resulting decay can cause extensive damage to the nerves and blood vessels.
You may develop severe pain and sensitivity once the decay becomes widespread. With time, decay may advance into the innermost layer of your tooth and cause a sharp, persistent pain that requires an emergency visit to your dentist.
You can avoid tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth more frequently. Unfortunately, some people only start to prioritize their dental hygiene when something goes wrong. So, if you’ve already suffered decay, keep a regular brushing schedule, and be careful with the painful tooth. Try not to brush the tooth too hard to avoid worsening the sensitivity.
You can also use an antiseptic mouthwash, but that may not heal your decaying tooth. You should instead see your dentist for a more in-depth dental examination. Depending on the degree of damage, your dentist may place a filling on the affected tooth or remove it completely.
3. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Teeth grinding is a habit that’s often attributed to stress and anxiety. Interestingly, most people with bruxism may not even know about their condition. That’s because they often grind their teeth while sleeping.
Unfortunately, teeth grinding can create a lot of unexpected problems, including:
- Facial pain
- Jaw soreness
Worse still, bruxism can also crack or chip perfectly healthy teeth. The sheer force of the upper teeth grinding back and forth against the lower teeth can easily worsen things like tooth sensitivity as well.
Your dentist may give you a custom mouth guard designed to protect your teeth against stress if you unknowingly grind your teeth. They may also suggest Botox treatment to prevent your jaw muscles from clenching while you’re asleep.
Don’t wait until your toothache becomes too unbearable. Immediately after you notice any tooth discomfort, contact us at Accent Dental and schedule an appointment.