We have all felt that zing that causes you to hunch and grab your face. Nothing brings tears to your eyes quite like a toothache. Tooth pain does not just come and go, it stabs into your jaw and settles in as an ache that is a constant source of irritation. The longer it lasts, the more decapitation becomes a viable option for toothache relief. The continuous pain causes loss of sleep and endless hours of aggravation.
Knowing what causes toothaches can help you steer clear of them as well as help you understand why you might have one already.
- Cavities – Easily the most common cause of toothaches, a cavity is a hole that develops in tooth enamel and dentine. Both these layers protect the pulp center of the tooth that contains nerve endings. A cavity can allow exposure to the nerves causing enormous sensitivity to hot, cold or sugary food and drinks. In many cases a thorough, daily dental hygiene regimen will prevent cavities from developing. Keeping teeth free of bacteria is the first line of defense. However, some people just have naturally soft enamel and no amount of brushing or flossing will completely prevent tooth decay. This makes bi-annual dental checkups even more critical since it would allow your dentist to catch cavities early and fill them before the pain can start.
- Sensitive Roots – Regardless of sensitivity caused by gum disease or just naturally sensitive teeth, prolonged dental “touchiness” can result in sensitive roots. Food and drinks that are too hot or too cold become a constant source of pain. In most cases, however, sensitivity can be counteracted by the use of toothpastes designed specifically for this problem. If using a sensitivity toothpaste does not work, see your dentist. You may need something stronger or have other issues that require treatment.
- Cracked Tooth – Having a cracked tooth permits a direct line to nerves in your teeth that do not appreciate being bothered and make their anger known in the most painful of ways. A cracked tooth needs to be professionally sealed by a dentist to stop the irritation and prevent bacteria from causing decay along the crack.
- Medical Condition – Tooth pain sensitivity can be an indication of an underlying medical condition. Nerve disorders and heart conditions can first manifest as pain in the jaw or teeth without the presence of cavities or cracks. After confirming with your dentist that there are no dental reasons for your pain, see your doctor immediately.
Being aware of the causes of tooth pain can give you the information you need to correct the problems already plaguing you and to avoid future aches. If you currently have a toothache, there are toothache remedies.
- American Dental Association, fact sheets.
- Academy of General Dentistry, fact sheets.
- Journal of the American Dental Association