Toothache is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of things. The most common cause of toothache is tooth decay. When your teeth’s enamel breaks down, your dentin, which is located beneath the enamel, is exposed. The dentin is full of tiny tubes that lead to the nerve in the center of the tooth. When these tubes are exposed, they become irritated and cause pain.
Gum disease can also cause toothaches. If the gums become inflamed, they can put pressure on the teeth and cause a lot of pain. Infections and abscesses can also cause toothache.
Let’s see the typical reasons in detail.
1. Dental decay: damage to tooth enamel and dentin
There are several different causes of toothache, but tooth decay is the most common. The process of tooth decay begins with the breakdown of tooth enamel. Cavities are then formed on the surface of the tooth.
During plaque formation, bacteria produce acids that lead to cavities. The plaque is a thin, sticky layer formed by the breakdown of sugars retained in the oral cavity by the protein in saliva. If left untreated, holes can become infected and cause serious health problems and pain.
Dental decay is a significant problem in developed countries, where sugary and acidic foods and drinks are consumed on a regular basis.
To prevent dental decay, it is important to brush and floss your teeth regularly. You should also see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Fillings or crowns are used to treat cavities.
2. Gum disease: inflammation of the gums
Gum disease is a common problem among adults and children alike. Gum disease occurs when bacteria build up between teeth and gum tissue, causing inflammation. The most common symptoms include bad breath, bleeding gums, swollen gums, and pain.
Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is an inflammation of the gums. It is a common condition that can lead to more serious problems if left untreated.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can develop into periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that damages the bone and tissues supporting the teeth. This ultimately can lead to tooth loss.
A good oral hygiene regimen can prevent gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing can prevent plaque buildup on the teeth and keep the gums healthy.
3. Jaw joint disorder: pain in the jaw joint
Nighttime teeth grinding often causes pain in the jaw joint and frequent headaches. Family members often notice this issue, but toothaches or neck stiffness may also indicate this problem.
Teeth grinding can be triggered by anxiety or stress, poorly filled teeth, or, less commonly, by taking certain antidepressants or drugs. In addition to these, jaw joint problems can also be caused by inflammation of the jaw joint, injuries, or even poor posture.
The condition usually disappears on its own within a few days without any treatment. However, to get rid of the symptoms as soon as possible, it is advisable to rest the jaw joint, avoid chewy foods, apply a warm water compress and avoid large meals.
4. Sensitive teeth
There are many reasons why your teeth are sensitive.
Foods or drinks with high acid levels can damage tooth enamel and increase sensitivity to cold stimuli. Therefore, avoiding foods with low pH levels, such as citrus fruits and other acidic foods, is advisable.
A tooth can also become sensitive if the enamel is worn away from the surface for whatever reason, such as brushing too vigorously or grinding the teeth. As a result, the sensitive dentin becomes exposed, and the tooth becomes sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
Learning the proper teeth-brushing technique is also crucial. The gum can be pulled off the tooth socket when scrubbing the teeth too vigorously. As a result, the gums recede from the tooth’s root, which also reacts with sensitivity. In this case, the root surface not covered by enamel becomes sensitive.
Sensitivity may also result from overloading the teeth, such as excessive fillings. This constant stress may result in a tooth becoming inflamed, which is why the bite needs to be adjusted to the correct level.
Furthermore, tooth decay causes the internal tissues to loosen, resulting in an increased sensitivity to heat and sweet foods. A tooth that is inflamed may react strongly to heat and also to biting.
Lastly, dead teeth are also sensitive to heat because they contain gases that accumulate during decay and expand when heated.
5. Tooth filling that is damaged
A damaged tooth filling is a common problem that can occur when the filling materials used to repair a tooth become loose, cracked, or chipped.
The damage may occur over time due to wear and tear, or an injury may cause it. A damaged tooth filling can be painful, and it may also lead to further damage to the tooth if not treated promptly. For example, the bacteria can get into the tooth’s center, causing inflammation and pain.
There are several options for treating a damaged tooth filling, and your dentist will recommend the best option based on the damage’s severity. The most important step is to consult your dentist as soon as possible.
Does stress cause toothaches?
There is no definitive answer to this question since every individual experiences stress in a different manner and consequently reacts to it differently. However, some people do report experiencing toothaches when they are under a lot of stress, so it is possible that there is a connection between the two.
Stress can cause various physical and mental symptoms, so it is not surprising that it might also affect the teeth and jaw. Whenever the body is under stress, it goes into fight or flight mode, which can lead to grinding or clenching of teeth. The result may be the development of pain and discomfort in your teeth and jaw over time.
What can I do to stop my toothache?
- Ice compresses – Externally applied to the painful area, ice compresses can significantly relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Cloves or clove oil – Due to their eugenol content, cloves have antibacterial and mild anesthetic properties.
- Saltwater rinsing – Lukewarm salt water has antibacterial, antiseptic, wound astringent, and analgesic properties. Of course, do not use hot water since it increases inflammation.
- Rinse with lukewarm sage or chamomile tea.
- Use painkiller.
- Most importantly, see your dentist.
Sudden toothache: what causes it?
A variety of factors can cause acute toothache. It could be that you have developed a cavity, or there could be an issue with your gums. It’s also possible that you’ve been clenching or grinding your teeth without realizing it, which can lead to pain. If you have a dental problem, it’s best to see a dentist who can determine the cause and provide treatment.
To sum up
Ultimately, toothaches can be caused by a variety of factors, including cavities, gum disease, and even sinus infections. If you are experiencing tooth pain, it is of the utmost importance to consult a dentist to determine the underlying cause and to receive proper treatment. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly in order to prevent toothache.