“Love conquers all- except poverty and toothache”
If you ever visited a dentist, you definitely have some memories associated with a toothache. In fact, toothache or tooth pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a dentist. Most often, unfortunately, as a last resort. Before we learn more about the various reasons for tooth pain, let us understand what it is.
What is Tooth Ache?
Our teeth are kept alive and functional by the nerve and blood tissues that are present in the innermost layer of the tooth called the pulp. Our body is adapted to perceive different types of sensations based on the type of nerve endings that are present in different tissues.
In the case of teeth, the nerve endings allow us to mainly feel pain and sensitivity. So, a toothache is caused when the nerve endings around a particular tooth root are irritated or injured. For this reason, individuals report to the dentist’s clinic saying “my teeth ache”.
The most common reasons for tooth pain include tooth infections or cavities, injury to the teeth or gums, or loss of a tooth. Another interesting fact about a toothache is that there are different types of toothache:
- Sharp, stinging pain
- A dull, gnawing pain
- A generalized ache in a particular area of the mouth
- Sudden, sharp shooting pain
- Tooth pain that comes and goes by itself
Symptoms of Tooth Ache
When one is already miserable with a toothache, it is difficult to concentrate on anything else, isn’t it? Due to this, most people are unaware that toothache has its own signs and symptoms.
Observing these signs and symptoms is important because this information helps your dentist determine which of the many reasons for tooth pain is your culprit!
Some common symptoms associated with tooth pain include:
- Pain that arises on chewing
- Pain that is triggered by hot or cold foods
- Pain that lasts a few minutes before subsiding by itself
- Constant, gnawing pain that lingers around for longer
- Pain that subsides when the trigger or stimulus is removed
- Pain that feels more like pressure or heaviness on one side
- Swelling and/or bleeding of gums around the tooth that is paining
- Pain associated with injury or trauma to the area
- Pus drainage
- Mobile teeth or teeth fragments in the case of trauma or injury
Reasons for Tooth Pain
There are many Dos and Don’ts that dentist emphasizes on to keep your teeth healthy and infection-free so you don’t have to go through the harrowing experience of severe tooth pain. While this may take care of toothache caused by bacteria, what about the other reasons for tooth pain?
Yes, you read that correctly- there are several reasons for tooth pain. Based on their origin, they can be classified into two broad cavities – dental reasons for tooth pain and non-dental reasons for tooth pain.
Here are the different and most common reasons for tooth pain:
- Tooth infection- As mentioned earlier on, this is the most common reason for a toothache. When an individual does not brush and flossing properly, food gets remains on and in between teeth. This food attracts bacteria who use it to produce acids, that erode the substance of your teeth, leading to cavities.
As the bacteria make their way deeper into the layers of the tooth/teeth, they finally reach the innermost pulp layer of which contains the nerves. When these nerves are exposed, it results in pain and sensitivity. The pain can vary in its nature based on the stage and extent of the infection.
When this decay and pain are ignored for long and do not get treated by the dentist, it results in the formation of a tooth abscess( a collection of pus in the gums) and can cause severe tooth pain.
- Gum Disease
Among the various reasons for tooth pain, this cause is fairly common among patients who visit the dentist. Apart from dental decay, improper brushing and flossing can also cause gum infections. When this happens, patients experience a dull, pain and discomfort, swollen bleeding gums, foul-smelling coming from the mouth, and tooth pain.
- Tooth Injury of Fracture
Whenever the inner layers of the tooth are exposed, it causes tooth pain. Apart from decay, injury or a fracture of the tooth can also expose or damage the inner layers of a tooth. Common reasons for tooth injury include a fall, sports injuries, biting into hard things etc.
Sometimes, an excessively decayed tooth can also break down by itself to cause tooth pain.
- Damaged Tooth Fillings
Tooth fillings are done to restore damaged or decayed teeth. They form a seal that protects the inner layers of the teeth and keeps the patient asymptomatic. However, many a time, these tooth fillings can break off or wear away, resulting in sudden tooth pain or extreme sensitivity.
- Teeth Grinding Habit
The habit of subconscious teeth grinding is called as bruxism and is very common among people who are stressed. Most people grind or clench their teeth while they are asleep and for this reason, are unaware of their condition.
But, excessively grinding or clenching teeth result in the wearing away of the teeth layers. In severe cases, the individual ends up grinding his/her teeth all the way up to the innermost pulp layer, and this results in severe tooth pain.
- Braces Treatment
While all the above reasons for tooth pain need prompt treatment by the dentist, sometimes toothaches occur during braces treatment. Most often the ‘pain’ felt by the patient is pressure or discomfort. But, when pain does occur during orthodontic treatment, it is usually a dull, aching pain.
No matter the cause of your toothache, the golden rule is – Do not delay your visit to the dentist. At Sabka Dentist, our dental teams at various clinics are experts in treating toothaches and promise to make you pain-free! Struggling with a toothache? Visit us today!