There are basically just two types of toothache a person can encounter. One of which is the kind that comes on slowly, gradually building towards anything from dull ache to intolerable pain. The second is the kind that hits you like a ton of bricks out of nowhere. One minute everything is fine, only for one or more of your teeth to suddenly send a jolt of eye-watering paint through your entire mouth.
In both instances, toothache can be quite debilitating. With one or more of your teeth giving you trouble, it becomes difficult to eat, to talk, and to sleep. It could also be practically impossible to clean your teeth properly, or to use a high-strength mouthwash without it furthering the pain you’re feeling.
Of course, the first and most important thing to do upon encountering to take is to talk to your dentist. If the pain is severe and/or doesn’t dissipate fairly rapidly, there is probably something that needs to be looked at.
In terms of what causes two fake, the overwhelming majority of oral aches and pains are caused by one of seven common factors. Some of which are easier than others to remedy, but can all be turned around by taking affirmative action at the right time.
1. Cavity/Tooth Decay
Most severe toothaches (and those that come on quite quickly) are caused by cavities. The thing about cavities is that without close-up inspection of the tooth concerned, you don’t know you have one until it is quite advanced. At which point, it may have already exposed the incredibly sensitive parts of your tooth beneath the surface, resulting in severe pain.
This is one of the reasons why it is essential for have any toothache checked out at an early stage, as it is the best time to take corrective action to prevent things getting any worse. Correcting a minor cavity is much easier than repairing or removing a severely damaged tooth.
2. Gum Disease
Believe it or not, the vast majority of people will develop gum disease at some point during their life. Gum disease can be prevented by maintaining the highest possible oral health and hygiene standards. Using an electric toothbrush combined with a water-flosser is the best way to keep gum disease at bay.
Most cases of gum disease are not particularly severe, but can nonetheless lead to inflammation of the gums, bleeding, pain, and discomfort. As gum disease gets more advanced, it can heighten the risk of tooth loss, and is associated with bad breath. Even though it may not be considered a severe illness, it can still have unpleasant effects when left to its own devices.
3. Abscessed Tooth
It is highly unlikely that anyone with an abscessed tooth would be able to tolerate the pain for long, without visiting a dentist. This is essentially where the cavity in a tooth penetrates so deep that it reaches the pulp within the tooth, and causes an infection. Typical symptoms associated with abscesses include swollen gums, severe pain, and other typical signs of infection.
Whether or not there is anything that can be done to save the tooth can depend on the severity and extent of the issue. It may be possible to remove the damaged/infected parts of the tooth and rebuild the rest, or it may be necessary to extract the tooth, where the damage has become irreparable.
What many people do not realise is that sensitive teeth can spring a surprise on you at any time in life. Just because you have reached adulthood without ever having experienced sensitive teeth does not mean you have a free pass. For any number of reasons, you can develop sensitive teeth at any time, and the pain can be surprisingly severe.
You will usually know that it is a case of sensitive teeth if you on experience toothache when consuming hot or cold foods or drinks. Sensitivity usually affects multiple teeth at the same time, but can also affect just one or two teeth. As security can be caused by other factors (such as cavities), it is worth having it checked out by a dentist.
Another common cause of toothache is any kind of injury or trauma to the teeth and gums. It is not uncommon to be dealt a glancing knock or impact of some kind, and feel no specific pain or discomfort at the time. Only to find that a little further down the line, you find yourself developing and pleasant aches and pains.
This can occur when a tooth is not slightly out of place, or is cracked so finely that it is not immediately noticeable. As with all traumatic injuries, trauma to the teeth and gums is much easier to repair when it is addressed at an early stage. If you are experiencing toothache and believe the root cause could be trauma of some kind, bring it to the attention of your dentist as promptly as possible.
6. Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing pain and discomfort, as they have a tendency to grow incorrectly. They can also become impacted, leading to intolerable pain. In some instances, wisdom teeth start growing, cause a certain amount of discomfort, and then stop growing entirely. In others, they don’t start growing properly at all – they simply stay hidden and cause no real issues.
But where wisdom teeth become problematic, the pain really can be severe. Only your dentist will be able to tell you if the pain you are experiencing is attributed to wisdom teeth, so be sure to book an appointment to discuss your concerns.
7. Teeth Grinding/Bruxism
Last up, perhaps the biggest issue with teeth grinding is that most people who do it aren’t aware of it. Teeth grinding is something that happens more commonly overnight than during the day. Bruxism is a condition that can be caused by stress, anxiety, alcohol consumption, and some other underlying health issues. Though in most cases, there are no specific underlying causes to speak of.
Your dentist should be able to tell you whether there are visible signs of teeth grinding in your mouth. If so, they will advise accordingly on steps that can be taken to bring the problem under control.