Toothache, most people would agree, is one of the most excruciating pains you'll experience in your life. Almost always, it's much worse than what you suffer when you have stomach pains or headache. As the name implies, toothache is the pain around the teeth and jaws, which is commonly due to a dental condition. Degree of pain can be mild to sharp to unbearably excruciating. It can also be a one-time event but it's often chronic if it's caused by a dental condition. Chewing, cold and heat usually aggravate the pain. Here are the common causes of this painful condition.
Dental cavity, which is a hole in the outer layers of the tooth namely the dentin and enamel, is the most common cause of toothache. The enamel is the white outer surface while the dentin is the yellow layer underneath it. These layers protect the pulp, which is the inner living tooth tissue where you can find the nerves and blood vessels. When bacteria in the mouth turn simple sugars into acid, that acid creates small shallow cavities in the enamel and dentin, which become large and deep as time goes by. The cavities also begin to collect food debris. Toothache occurs when the inner pulp is irritated by bacterial toxins, cold or hot foods. Dental cavities are usually treated with dental filling.
Next on the list is gum disease or periodontal disease, which is the second most common cause. This occurs when the soft tissue or gingiva is inflamed and there is loss of bone that holds the teeth in place. This is caused by the toxins released by the plaque that accumulate in the gum line. Gum bleeding is the early symptom of gum disease, while pain is the more advanced symptom that indicates loss of bone around the teeth. These bacteria can cause infection of the gums, swelling and pain.
Tooth Root Sensitivities
Another possible cause of toothache is exposed tooth root. Usually, the tooth root is buried in the bone. When bacterial toxins dissolve the bone around the roots, this causes the bone to recede and expose the roots. This condition, known as recession, makes the teeth more sensitive to foods that are hot, cold and sour.
Cracked Tooth Syndrome
This refers to the toothache caused by a tooth fracture or broken tooth, usually from a dental cavity or gum disease. When you bite on the area where there is a tooth fracture, this can result in sudden sharp pains. People who love to chew or bite on hard objects such as nuts or hard candies are prone to this condition. Dentists treat this condition with a full-coverage crown.
Impaction and Eruption
There's also dental pain that comes from teeth that are growing out or are impacted. Impaction means that the tooth has failed to grow into its proper position and remains inside the gum and bone. When a molar tooth grows, the gum surrounding that tooth becomes swollen and inflamed. There is pain when there is pressure on the inflamed or infected teeth or bone. Treatment for this would include pain medication, antibiotics, and surgical removal of the impacted tooth.