Tooth pain is often caused by problems with your teeth or jaw. The degree of tooth pain can range from mild to severely painful. Treatment options for tooth pain may be as easy as improving your oral health care routine, or as demanding as oral surgery.
What Are the Four Most Common Forms of Tooth Pain and Their Causes?
It is very important to pay close attention to the type and duration of your teeth sensitivity. Are you sensitive to hot or cold temperatures? Does the pain stop quickly, or does it last for 30 seconds or more? Sensitivity is often caused by tooth problems. The more consistent, painful, and lasting the pain is, the more likely it is that the problem is serious.
A damaged enamel and gum recession may cause relatively minor sensitivity to both hot and cold temperatures. The pain often subsides quickly. Switching to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and avoiding hot, cold, or acidic foods and drinks should offer you tooth pain relief.
If your sensitivity does not improve within a week, then its cause is probably more serious. Check for tooth decay, worn teeth fillings, gum disease, or exposed roots.
Dull and Persistent Tooth Pain
This is considered to be the most common form of tooth pain. Again, you have to pay close attention to the duration and severity of the symptom. How long does the pain usually last? Is it constant, or does it come in waves? Are there specific times when it is more painful? Is it triggered by movements, foods, drinks, or temperatures? Can you localize the pain? Is it just on one tooth or more?
If the pain is minor and constant with gum swelling, something is probably stuck in your gums or between your teeth. Flossing and brushing should help get rid of the pain.
If the pain extends to the jaw, teeth grinding, especially at night, could be the culprit. You can ask your dentist for a nightguard.
However, dull tooth pain could have a much more severe cause, especially if it is constant. Constant pain is often caused by an abscess due to infection. In this case, it is best to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Inconsistent “Jabbing” Pain
Unlike minor sensitivity or aching pain, “jabbing” or “sharp” pain normally signals a problem that will not go away on its own. Does the pain occur when you are chewing or yawning? Can you trigger it just by touching? Check too if the affected tooth has a filling or a crown.
Jabbing pain is often caused by a loose filling or crown. Sharp pain, on the other hand, frequently comes from physical tooth damage, which includes a cracked enamel, a cavity, or a decay around the gum line. These should be treated immediately to prevent further damage and complications.
Intense, Throbbing Pain
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain that prevents you from carrying out your daily tasks, you must see a dentist immediately. A throbbing pain is often accompanied by gum or face swelling. This can be a sign of an impacted wisdom tooth or a serious infection. Discoloration of the gums, bleeding, and pain when chewing are also signs of infection.
Infections happen when the bacteria that caused tooth decay reaches the pulp inside your tooth or the gums surrounding it. The pulp is made up of living tissues and connective cells. Nerves inside the pulp are very sensitive, hence the intense pain. If left untreated, this infection can spread to the bone. Abscessed teeth or infected roots can only be treated by a root canal while wisdom tooth pain needs extraction.
What Are The Other Possible Causes of Tooth Pain?
Aside from dental problems, your tooth pain can also be associated with any of the following conditions:
- Vitamin Deficiency. Lack of vitamin B12 can cause tooth pain.
- Sinus Infection. Fluid-filled sinuses creates pain in the upper corners of your mouth. Decongestants can help relieve sinus pressure.
- Viral Infections. Shingles is a viral infection that can cause tooth pain.
- Diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar can increase your risk of tooth decay.
- Heart Attack. Pain from a heart attack often radiates into the lower jaw.
- Nerve Diseases. Trigeminal neuralgia is associated with a sharp pain on one side of the face.
- Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). Teeth grinding or clenching can cause TMD and pain in the jaw.
- Drug Abuse. Methamphetamine abuse can cause toothache.
- Mouth Cancer. Mouth cancer causes pain or numbness in the mouth, face, and neck. You may also see swelling, bumps, sores, bleeding, and eroded patches inside the mouth
What Are the Best Home Remedies for Tooth Pain?
Aside from the tips mentioned above, you can do the following home remedies for tooth pain and jaw pain:
- Pain Medications. Over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can give you temporary relief until you see a dentist. Aspirin or ibuprofen is also helpful for jaw problems.
- Medicated Gel. Orajel can be applied to the affected area directly.
- Clove Oil. Biting a cotton ball soaked in clove oil is effective for pain relief.
- Garlic. Garlic contains allicin, a natural antibiotic. This can help prevent the infection from growing and spreading. You can eat more garlic through supplementation or by adding it as a regular ingredient in your meals. You can also crush it and mix it with your toothpaste.
After any type of treatment for tooth pain, make sure you follow your dentist’s recommendation for oral care routine and products. Schedule regular visits to maintain a healthy mouth. Next time you get tooth pain, do not hesitate to call our Durango or Mancos clinics. Our holistic dentists at Sunrise Dentistry are ready and waiting to help you.