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What Is Toothache and What Causes It?

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What Causes Toothache?

The pain that occurs after hot, cold, sour and similar foods come into contact with the teeth is called toothache. It is an oral disease characterized by pain in and around the mouth. This pain can originate from the oral cavity itself or from more distant factors (e.g. from the sinuses or even the ears).

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What is Toothache?

A toothache is usually a symptom of a cavity or oral infection. However, it can also be caused by jaw problems or bruxism, the habit of grinding your teeth at night. Sometimes it is the result of a problem affecting another part of the body. For example, a heart problem in the presence of earache, sinusitis or other symptoms.

The tooth has a central organ, the pulp, which contains both blood vessels and nerves that enter the cavity through a very narrow passage. When the dental pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it can get stuck very easily. At the slightest infection or increase in temperature, vasodilation occurs, which increases blood flow and compresses the nerves. These react by sending a tingling and pain signal to the brain.

A toothache is a pain caused by irritation of the nerve at the root of the tooth or irritation of the gums in general or the parts close to the tooth. Toothache can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common are: injury or loss of a tooth, infections, tooth decay. In some cases, pain in the jaw joints and earache may suggest that you have a toothache.

Why Does Toothache Occur?

The most common causes of toothache are:

  • Gaps
  • Gingivitis
  • Sensitivity due to exposed roots, gum recession
  • Inflamed teeth
  • Bruxism
  • Fractures

Toothache is not a pathology in itself, but can be a symptom of various conditions. In general, tooth aching is caused by gingivitis, decay or infections. Tooth hypersensitivity, overgrowth of wisdom teeth or broken and chipped teeth can also cause tooth aching.

  • Tooth decay: Tooth decay is the most common cause of tooth aches and pains. According to the World Health Organization, almost 100% of adults have tooth decay. The tooth first becomes sensitive to heat and cold before the pain actually occurs. This is due to poor oral hygiene, but there are also hereditary factors.
  • A bacterial infection: Bacterial infections include gingivitis and dental abscesses. Gingivitis or periodontitis are bacterial infections of the gums. This can be caused by the presence of tartar. This gum disease is characterized by inflammation.
  • Mouth trauma: Traumas to the mouth and teeth include a fall that causes a crack, a tooth fracture and a blow to the jaw.
  • Pulpitis (dental nerve disease): A very deep cavity or trauma to the tooth can damage its nerves. In these cases, the dentist may resort to pulpectomy, i.e. devitalization of the tooth. The aim is to numb the tooth.
  • Bruxism, is characterized by grinding or clenching of the teeth, which usually occurs at night. This grinding can cause pain in the jaw as well as tooth aching and toothache.

How to Treat Toothache?

An oral examination by a dentist is the best way to find the root of the problem. The specialist will be able to make a diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment. For example, he or she will try to find out when the pain occurs, its location, its level and even the symptoms that may be associated with it. The use of analgesics can help relieve the pain before the medical appointment.

You can relieve pain by taking painkillers while waiting to go to the dentist. However, the best treatment depends on the cause of the toothache. It may be necessary to take antibiotics, eliminate the cavity and fill the affected tooth, or go into the root canal and cover the tooth with a crown.

Toothache treatment varies depending on the cause of the problem. It may include medications, fluoride application, restoration, root canal, implants, gum grafting and the use of occlusal splints. It is very important to have good dental hygiene to prevent toothache from occurring. Here are our tips:

  • Try brushing your teeth after every meal and brush your teeth for 3 minutes.
  • Use mouthwashes regularly.
  • Change your toothbrush at regular intervals.
  • Use toothpastes containing fluoride.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit very sweet foods.

What Precautions Can Be Taken to Prevent Toothache?

In order to avoid any discomfort due to toothache, it is necessary to maintain good oral hygiene and to visit the dentist regularly for cleaning and preventive examinations to evaluate all structures in the mouth. While waiting to visit the dentist, some remedies and measures are recommended to alleviate toothache. Some of these are as follows:

  • Apply ice to the affected area: Cold can help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water: This solution can help disinfect the area and reduce inflammation.
  • Avoid hard and hot foods: Chewing hard foods or coming into contact with hot drinks can increase tingling and pain.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Regular brushing and flossing can prevent further dental problems.

Can Toothache be Treated at Home?

It is very common to find people who do not go to the dentist out of fear and therefore look for alternatives to alleviate the pain. However, home methods are extremely dangerous. Because a non-technical person can make the situation worse. Home remedies for toothache are not enough to solve the problem. However, they can help relieve symptoms while waiting for a dentist appointment.

What you can do for home treatment:

  • Taking medications such as anti-inflammatory or analgesic drugs that must be taken under medical or pharmaceutical supervision.
  • If there is swelling or abscess, apply a cold compress or ice.
  • When experiencing throbbing pain, avoid lying down to reduce blood pressure in the affected area.

What Are The Symptoms of Toothache?

Depending on the cause, toothache can be worsened by touch, hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods, cold air or brushing. The pain can be sharp, dull, throbbing. It can prevent you from sleeping. Sometimes the pain is localized in red and swollen gums. Toothache can spread to the face or scalp. Often only a dental surgeon can pinpoint the cause.

There are various symptoms associated with toothache:

  • There may be a sharp, persistent or throbbing pain around the tooth and a feeling that the tooth or gum is swollen.
  • Fever or headache may occur due to toothache.
  • Bad breath and foul odors may be present. Even hypersensitivity to changes in temperature or pressure can be a sign that something is wrong.

"When Does Toothache Become a Problem to Consult a Doctor?"

If your teeth have started to ache or become more sensitive overnight than ever before, it is best to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The specialist will recommend a simple treatment, such as toothpaste that reduces sensitivity, but will also need to assess whether your condition requires a corrective procedure, such as a filling or tooth extraction, to relieve your pain.

You should consult a dentist in the following cases:

  • Pain is strong and lasts more than two days
  • Swollen cheeks and chin
  • High fever
  • Ear pain
  • Pain when biting
  • Swollen gums

For a correct diagnosis, a complete examination, specific to the needs of each patient, with the methodology specified, is required. The goal is always to carry out a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.

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