Toothaches happen out of the blue, but obviously, it’s never without a reason. Treat the cause and you can get rid of it forever. Nevertheless, toothaches that are not symptomatic of other serious illnesses are preventable with optimum dental hygiene.
A toothache is characterized by acute pain in the tooth or the area surrounding it and can be caused by a range of conditions from dental cavities and tooth fracture to gum diseases like gingivitis. We have outlined briefly the top ten causes of a toothache:
- Cracks in teeth: Cracks are fissures that develop on your tooth due to some kind of fatal contact or habits like bruxism*. They leave your tooth nerves exposed, which results in pain while chewing. Hairline cracks are often hard to diagnose and your tooth can get chipped off in course of time if left unattended.
- Poor dental procedures: Dental braces, filling, and crowns can sometimes land you in soup, if they are not properly done. These are excruciatingly painful situations that need immediate dental assistance.
- Exposed tooth roots: Reckless violent brushing can cause your gum line to recede and teeth root to get exposed. Exposed tooth roots are at risk of sensitivity leading to toothache.
- Cavities: Cavities occur when demineralization of your tooth happens due to bacterial attack. It is a painful condition that can only be resolved with dental filling or root canal.
- Tooth abscess: Abscess is a critical dental condition, where pus gets collected in the gums or tooth bone due to bacterial attack. It is notorious for the pain it renders while chewing or touching.
- TMJ Disorder: Temporomandibular Joint or TMJ is a movable joint connecting your skull to the jaw bone. Conditions like bruxism, over-bite, crooked or missing teeth can develop TMJ disorder over time. This causes excessive pain in the jaw, which even radiate to your teeth.
- Gum diseases: There are two types of gum diseases: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gum problems start with gingivitis and can progress to periodontitis, if not timely treated. Both these conditions are caused by plaque build-up and can be painful.
- Impacted tooth: If the pain happens to be at the farthest end of your dental arch and you find no visible culprits like cavities or fracture, then beware, it could be your impacted wisdom tooth. When your jaw bone has no sufficient space for the wisdom tooth to push itself out, it gets impacted resulting in pain.
- Ludwig’s angina: It is a serious infectious condition that usually develops after an abscess at the base of the jaw, just beneath the tongue. Though rare, it needs immediate dental care as it can prove detrimental to your life.
- Pulpitis: Untreated cavities or trauma can lead to pulpitis, where your pulp gets irreversibly inflamed. This is often painful and needs immediate care.
Normally, toothaches disappear if your tooth is not exposed to stimuli such as hot or cold substances or with the intake of some over-the-counter painkillers. But, if it persists for more than a day with facial swelling and fever, don’t hesitate to fix an appointment with your dentist immediately.
*involuntary clenching of teeth while sleeping