What is a Toothache?
A “Toothache” is usually caused when the nerve of a tooth has been irritated. There are many reasons for a person to experience tooth pain. There are also risk factors for a toothache so it is important to make sure that you make an appointment with your Tulsa dentist as soon as possible.
What are the Risk Factors of a Toothache?
There are many reasons that a person could be affected by a toothache. Some of the risk factors for a toothache include:
- Dental Infection
- Gum Disease
- Dental Decay
- Cracked Tooth
- Poorly Placed Fillings
- Poorly Placed Crowns
- Loss of a Tooth (Including Tooth Extractions)
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
- Sleep Apnea
There are times where pain originating from outside the mouth spreads to the mouth, making it feel like the pain is coming from a toothache. This happens when there is a problem with the following:
- Jaw (temporomandibular joint or TMJ)
- Ears, nerves
Is a Toothache While Pregnant Common?
Pregnancy can also be a risk for tooth problems that lead to a toothache. this happens because of the fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy, pregnancy gingivitis and tooth decay can often occur.
What Causes a Toothache?
Toothaches occur from inflammation of the central portion of the tooth called pulp. The pulp contains nerve endings that are sensitive to pain. Inflammation to the pulp can be caused by anything that comes into contact with the tooth. Common causes of tooth pain are the following:
- Dental cavities/tooth decay
- Temperature sensitivity — hot or cold liquids or foods
- Hot or cold air
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Orthodontic movement — braces
- Abscessed tooth
- Impacted wisdom tooth
- Dental crown – a tooth can become sensitive after a crown is prepared or cemented.
- Periodontal disease
- Gum recession — exposure of the root of a tooth that was covered by gum or bone
- Tooth fracture
- Acid erosion
- Damaged or broken fillings or crowns
- Cold sore or canker sore
What are the Symptoms of a Toothache?
Toothaches along with jaw pain are common complaints at a dental office. If the pain is severe or persists for longer than 15 seconds after pressure or temperature exposure, then this could be the result of something more serious. If there is inflammation of the tooth to pain can often spread to the cheek, ear, or even the jaw.
The signs and symptoms that could lead to you needing to seek dental care include:
- Pain with chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold air and liquids
- Bleeding or discharge from around a tooth or gums
- Swelling around a tooth or swelling of the jaw or cheek
- Injury or trauma to the area
When should I seek Dental Care for a Toothache?
You should call your Tulsa dentist for advice or an appointment if you have any of the following concerns:
- Severe tooth pain not calming down when taking medication – If your tooth pain is not relieved when taking over the counter medications, You should see your dentist.
- If you experience severe pain for more than two days after a tooth is pulled – This pain could be caused by a condition known as “Dry Socket Syndrome”. If this is the case you should see your dentist immediately.
- If the pain is associated with swelling of the gums or face – This could be caused by discharge around the tooth. A fever is another sign of an infection. These signs may mean that there is an infection surrounding the tooth, gums or Jaw Bone. Fever and swelling could mean that there is the presence of an abscess. In this case, you would need antibiotics and possibly other dental work like a surgical opening of the abscess (drainage).
- Broken or a loss tooth – are very common for toothaches. You should contact our dentist as soon as possible to seek treatment, as there could be a risk of infection.
- Opening your mouth causes pain – it is likely that there is a TMJ injury or your jaw is inflamed. This can occur from an injury to the jaw. Your dentist should be contacted if the pain continues and they will be able to suggest solutions to the problem.
- Wisdom teeth – when your wisdom teeth are starting to move and come out, inflammation of the gums around the area can occur. The pain from a wisdom tooth can cause pain in the jaw as well as the ears. In severe cases, pain in the throat and the floor of the mouth may it difficult to swallow.
When should I visit a hospital’s emergency department?
History of trauma, chest pain, heart disease, or even rashes may be the cause of tooth pain. The following symptoms in combination with a toothache or jaw pain indicate that you should visit the dentist or the hospital’s emergency department.
- Fever or chills – indicates a larger spread infection that will require medicine that is stronger than oral antibiotics.
- Head or face injury – If you are experiencing headaches, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, or other symptoms after an injury to the face or mouth, you may have a more severe injury in addition to a dental injury.
- Facial rash – Could be an indication of a growing infection related to a toothache. The dentist will be able to decide what the proper treatment should be.
- Jaw pain causing chest pain – People with heart disease, diabetes, or had heart surgery may have jaw pain as a symptom of a heart attack or angina If the jaw or tooth pain is associated with light-headedness, sweating, or shortness of breath, the patient should see a doctor immediately.
- Trouble swallowing or excessive pain or bleeding from gums – If you have a history of a weakened immune system, diabetes, or steroid use, you are more likely to get an infection. Dental and gum infections with these conditions may require more aggressive treatment.
Top 10 Reasons for a Toothache
Braces, retainers and other tooth alignment treatments are a common factor for discomfort and aching pain to your teeth. Pain is common after adjustments that tighten or help move teeth. The pain usually will decrease within a couple days. If the pain doesn’t start to decrease and is still uncomfortable, discuss this with your Tulsa dentist.
Misaligned Teeth or Wisdom Teeth
Teeth that are growing in and start to press against other teeth, and pushing them out of line as well can cause a toothache, aches, and pains. Impacted Wisdom Teeth, known as wisdom teeth that have failed to break through the gum line, can also cause a toothache. These issues should be brought to your Tulsa dentist’s attention.
Improper Brushing or Flossing
When brushing and flossing some people don’t pay attention to the pressure that they are using and this ends up causing tooth pain. It can result in irritated, inflamed and bleeding gums. If this type of pressure is used constantly it can cause gums to recede and can make teeth unstable, resulting in more pain. Ask your dentist to show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth, so issues like this don’t occur anymore.
Teeth grinding is a very common reason for the jaw, tooth, neck, and other related muscle pains. People who grind their teeth generally do while they are sleeping and during stressful situations. Excessive teeth grinding involves clenching of the jaw and grinding the teeth back and forth against each other.
Grinding your teeth can cause many issues like:
- Sore Jawbones
- Sore Joints
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped teeth
Fillings or Dental Sealants Issues
Dental Fillings that cover deep pits, grooves, or fractures in your tooth protect sensitive parts of the tooth. When these are damaged, the sensitive portion of your tooth is exposed to different temperatures, food, and bacteria. This results in a toothache that is mild or a sharp pain.
If you are experiencing sharp tooth pain when your mouth experiences different temperatures, it is usually due to tooth sensitivity. This could mean that your tooth enamel is worn down and the portion of your tooth where the nerves are, are exposed. Call your Tulsa dentist for treatment options
A tooth can be cracked or chipped in many ways, from a fall to biting down on something too hard. If you there is a pain, it means that the fracture made its way to the middle of the tooth where the nerve endings are. Pain may not follow right when the fracture happens but can develop over time as the tooth damage worsens. Call your Tulsa dentist before the fracture worsens.
Gum Disease is a dull pain in the mouth, red, and bleeding gums follow this disease, and sometimes tooth pain. The main cause is the oral bone and gums become inflamed. If left untreated your teeth, gums and bones could become damaged or lost, by surgical treatment to get rid of the infection.
Tooth Abscess is when a decayed tooth proceeds to the point of it affecting the root beneath the tooth. There is a high chance that the root and surrounding tissues have become infected. This ends up resulting in a pulsing pain that may make it hard to determine which tooth is the main cause. This is a very serious condition, contact your Tulsa dentist as soon as possible before it will result in bone and tissue loss.
The number 1 reason of a toothache is tooth decay. For tooth decay to cause an area to hurt, the decay would have to be significate enough to reach the inner layer of the tooth, this layer is called the dentin part of the tooth. Once the dentin is damaged the tooth then becomes sensitive and a cavity has developed.
If the pain becomes less of an ache and more of a sharp pain, the tooth decay has reached the center of the tooth. These issues need to be addressed as soon as possible because they are not only painful but can quickly lead to bigger dental issues.