Toothaches are not unusual — everyone has a toothache to some degree at one time or another. And while most toothaches pass, if they worsen it’s time to see the team at Dental Arts of Hedgesville. Sometimes, toothaches have nothing to do with your dental health, either.
The key to heading off tooth pain is good home hygiene. Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once per day are basic requirements for your home care. Do a good job at home and odds are you won’t have anywhere near as many problems that we need to get involved with.
You may feel pain when you touch a tooth or when you eat or drink foods that are hot, cold, sweet, or sour. This type of tooth sensitivity usually passes. Mild sensitivity can be caused by slightly receding gums or a worn-down tooth. Other times, such as tooth sensitivity in middle school-aged children, this sensitivity is fleeting as the tooth or teeth develop. Moderate to severe sensitivity, however, can point to a cavity in the tooth, a filling that has fallen out, or a crack. Severe sensitivity dictates a call to us.
Dental reasons behind toothache
The most common cause of a toothache is the presence of decay. In the early stages, the decay won’t be enough to affect the nerves, but it will as the decay progresses.
Here are some other reasons for toothache:
- Either an injury or issues with the nerves in the pulp of the tooth, resulting from trauma to the tooth or from night grinding (bruxism).
- An impacted tooth. This occurs most often with wisdom teeth that have rolled sideways into the adjacent molars, rather than erupting through the gum surface.
- An infection. This could be of the tooth or of the gum tissue around it. There will be a red, swollen, painful bump near or on the side of the sore tooth and chewing will probably shoot pain down into your jaw.
It’s not always dental
Sometimes, toothaches can be a sign of more ominous health problems that have nothing to do with your dental health.
- Diseases such as diabetes will cause toothaches.
- Nerve-related diseases such as trigeminal neuralgia.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Certain vitamin deficiencies, particularly vitamin B1.
- Viral infections such as shingles.
- A heart attack, cluster headache, or sinus infection can send pain down into the teeth and jaw.
If you have anything beyond mild sensitivity to hot and cold foods, it’s wise to call Dr. Smith and our entire team at Dental Arts of Hedgesville, (304) 754-8803, as decay could have invaded your tooth.