If you have ever had a toothache, you will attest that it is not fun and not a joking matter. Indeed, many mothers comment that toothache pain is worse than childbirth!
A toothache can take many different forms; you may experience a dull, throbbing pain in your tooth or jaw, sharp pains when you eat or drink, or swelling in the affected area. The pain may be persistent or come and go. The pain may prevent you from sleeping and may not be relieved by pain relieving medications. Symptoms can also include headache or fever.
Even if the pain goes away by itself, that doesn’t mean that the issue has been resolved. Toothaches usually return with a vengeance. They are almost always a symptom of an issue that a dentist will need to treat.
- - Tooth decay – this can expose the nerve endings within the tooth and can continue deeper into the middle of the tooth.
- - Gum disease – If plaque/debris remains under the gum, it can damage the bone that supports your teeth and the roots of your teeth as well. This causes teeth to loosen and ache.
- - Abscesses – Tooth decay and gum disease can cause an abscess to form, which causes pain and spreads infection.
- - Trauma – If your tooth gets chipped or cracked, this can also expose the middle of the tooth and put you at risk of infection.
- - Impaction – If a tooth doesn't grow fully from the gums, it can cause pain. This is common with wisdom teeth.
- - Teeth grinding (bruxism) – Grinding your teeth at night or during the day, causes the teeth to wear down or crack. This exposes their sensitive middle layers, and can also strain the jaw and muscles, causing pain.
- - Crooked teeth – This can cause uneven pressure in the mouth.
- - A filling – These are usually fitted in the case of shallow tooth decay.
- - A crown - If a tooth is severely damaged, a crown may be placed over the whole tooth.
- - Gum disease therapy – Thorough and deep cleaning of plaque and debris under the gums. Antibiotics and a mouth wash may also be required.
- - Root canal treatment – This is needed when there is a throbbing toothache where decay has reached the middle of the tooth.
- - Tooth removal – Sometimes teeth are so severely infected or broken, that removal is the only choice.
- - A balanced mouthguard - If the pain is caused by teeth grinding.
Untreated toothache usually leads to excruciating pain, which cannot be controlled by painkillers and causes loss of sleep.
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