When it comes to pain, toothache is one of the most painful feelings ever. It come second to stepping on a Lego Brick, or your little toe colliding with your bedside.
What is toothache?
Toothache is any pain you feel inside or around the tooth. This includes your teeth, your pulp, your gum and the sometimes the inside of your cheeks.
Toothache is common in children and adults alike. For each its own set of toothache causes. Let’s find out more about them
Top ten toothache causes
- Tooth decay.
- Tooth abscess.
- Tooth injury.
- Tooth fracture.
- Teeth grinding
- (inflammation of gum).
- Damaged filling of tooth.
- Wisdom tooth eruption.
- Referred ear pain.
- Referred sinusitis pain.
What are the symptoms according to toothache causes?
Toothache comes in many forms, and although all patients express it as pain in the tooth, the nature of the pain can say more about its cause.
If it is sharp pain then it is probably tooth decay.
If the pain is throbbing in nature then it is a tooth abscess.
If it is constant then it could be due to damaged filling of the tooth or referred from the ear or the sinuses.
The location of the toothache is essential to diagnose its cause!
Toothache in the front teeth is usually due to tooth injury or fracture, it if its at the back of the jaw then it could be due to wisdom teeth eruption. If it is in the upper jaw then it could be referred pain from the ear.
Also, accompanying symptoms are important for diagnosis, toothache with mild fever could mean tooth abscess. If you suffer from toothache and headache then sinusitis is the most probable cause for the toothache. If you have bad breath and pain your teeth, this means tooth abscess or gingivitis.
To correctly diagnose toothache causes, and treat them you must visit a dentist.
You should treat severe and continuous toothache as if it as an emergency especially if it is accompanied with fever, ear pain, toothache when having hot drinks, bad breath or severe pain on opening your mouth wide. Because, the correct diagnosis and treatment prevents infection from spreading to the face, skull or even worse, into the bloodstream and the rest of the organs.
How does the dentist diagnose toothache causes?
First, your dentist will take a full medical history about your general health and your dental health/hygiene. After taking detailed history about your toothache asking questions like:
- When did it start?
- Did it happen before?
- Where is it exactly?
- How severe is it?
- What triggers it?
- What relieves it?
- Do you complain of anything else?
After answering these questions, he will perform a physical examination of your teeth, gums, tongue, jaws, sinuses, ears, nose, neck and lymph nodes. An X-ray of your teeth and jaw may be in order if the dentist sees it is important. Any other tests like blood picture or X-ray of skull and lungs may be recommended in rare cases.
Treatment according to toothache causes
Apart of pain killers, treatment of toothache depends mainly on the main cause of the pain in the first place.
So according to the cause, treatment goes as follows:
- Tooth decay: if the reason is tooth decay and cavity then your doctor will fill this cavity and may install a crown.
- Tooth infection: antibiotics are essential in this case and a root canal may be needed.
- Tooth abscess: like tooth infection but if it wasn’t effective then that tooth may be extracted to avoid spreading of infection.
- Tooth injury or fracture: painkillers are essential till the pain subsides, and if the dentist believes it a teeth filing is important to avoid more pain and to improve the aesthetic look.
- Teeth grinding: wearing a customized night guard to minimize the crushing effect.
- Gingivitis: treating the cause of the gum inflammation and using anti-inflammatory drugs in the process.
- Damaged filling of tooth: this means it needs replacement and a crown too.
- Wisdom tooth eruption: your doctor can help ease its eruption by specific methods.
- Referred ear pain: you will need to pay a visit to an otolaryngologist to diagnose the ear problem.
- Referred sinusitis pain: according to the cause of the sinus problems, your otolaryngologist will treat it, relieving the pain.
Prevention of toothache
The root of all evil in toothache is tooth decay, if we prevent that, then you got yourself healthy painless teeth for the rest of your life.
All you have to do is properly brush your teeth using a fluoride-rich toothpaste
Floss your teeth twice daily and after meals.
Gargle using mouthwash daily especially before sleep.
Visit your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning.
And to diagnose and treat early invisible signs of tooth decay.
Follow your dentist’s recommendations concerning avoiding sugary, sticky food and smoking.
Prevention is better than treatment, to avoid toothache it is best to follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid tooth decay. But if you still feel pain for any reason, then now this visit is mandatory, to properly diagnose the cause of the toothache, treat it accordingly and prevent any other complications. Book your check-up appointment now.