Have a toothache? Know its different causes

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Toothaches can be either minor or excruciatingly painful depending on its causes. Something as simple as a popcorn hull stuck between your gum and tooth, to an infection can be some of the many toothache causes.

If your toothache is extremely painful, it is most probably because the sensitive nerves inside your tooth, or in the pulp present in your tooth, are irritated or infected. These nerves are some of the most sensitive nerves in your body.

What does toothache feel like?

You may have a sharp, throbbing, or consistent pain in your tooth or it may hurt only when you apply pressure on it. When you have a toothache or a tooth infection, you will most likely experience the below symptoms.

  • The area around your tooth is swollen

  • Your toothache is accompanied by fever or headache

  • Increases and painful sensitivity when consuming hot or cold drinks or food

  • The infected tooth secretes a bad-tasting drainage, leading to bad mouth odor.

Causes of toothaches

Toothaches can be caused due to many reasons – ranging from harmless to serious. Here are some of the most common causes of toothaches.

  1. Tooth decay


    One of the most common causes of toothaches is tooth decay. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to an abscess. An abscess is a tooth infection inside the tooth or around it. You may also have a toothache due to an emerging tooth, usually a wisdom tooth that is stuck in your gum and cannot grow out.

  2. Sinusitis


    Sinuses are the cavities near your nose, and sinusitis is a condition when your sinuses are infected and become inflamed. This inflammation adds pressure on your teeth, leading to toothache. Because your upper teeth are closest to your sinuses, they are most likely to be affected.

  3. Heart and lung disease


    If you have a heart disease or even lung cancer, toothaches are a symptom. This is because of the location of the vagus nerve which connects the brain to all vital organs of the body, including the heart and lungs, and passes through the jaw. In some cases, a toothache can even be a warning sign of a heart attack

  4. Neurological conditions


    In rare cases, certain neurological conditions such as Trigeminal neuralgia and occipital neuralgia cause inflammation of the nerves that function in your skull, face, and teeth. When these nerves get inflamed, it may cause toothache.

Tips to prevent toothache

The wise have maintained that prevention is always better than cure. You can easily avoid toothaches by maintaining proper dental hygiene and care. Read on to know some of the practices that you must follow.

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and use a good fluoride toothpaste. Oral-B’s Pro Series electric toothbrush is perfect for daily deep cleaning of your teeth. With an innovative 3D technology, it oscillates, rotates, and pulsates to effectively remove plaque and tartar. Its round head is designed to be gentle on your gums as well as effectively clean it to provide an all-round cleansing of the mouth.

  2. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal. It is recommended to use a good fluoride mouth rinse to get rid of any food traces. Especially with sugary food that leave harmful acids and result in teeth demineralization.

  3. Floss your teeth regularly and frequently, preferably after every meal. This ensures you get rid of any food particles stuck in your teeth that may cause tooth decay and cavities. Try the Oral-B Essential Mint Dental Floss for your daily flossing needs. It has a brilliant shred-resistant technology that allows you to clean in the tightest of crevices without any worry of it snapping or fibers getting stuck in your teeth.Rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal. It is recommended to use a good fluoride mouth rinse to get rid of any food traces. Especially with sugary food that leave harmful acids and result in teeth demineralization.

When should you consult a dentist?

At times, toothaches last for a couple of hours or so when it is accompanied or caused by a headache and isn’t a reason to worry. However, there are some telltale signs that indicate you must visit your dentist. They are:

  • If you’ve had a toothache that lasts longer than one or a couple of days

  • If your toothache is excruciating

  • If you have a fever, earache, or if opening your mouth wide causes pain.

In the interim, you can resort to some home remedies for dental pain relief like:

  • Some over-the-counter pain relief medication (prescribed by medical professional)

  • Applying clove oil on the affected tooth.

It is important to identify the cause of your toothache and get it checked. This will help in containing decay or tooth infection if any and prevent it from spreading. Your dentist can suggest the appropriate treatment for the toothache once diagnosed.

FAQs

What is the main cause of a toothache?

Toothache can be caused due to various reasons, however, one of the most common causes of toothaches is tooth decay. If left untreated, it can lead to an abscess

Why do I get toothache all the time?

Toothaches can be caused by something as simple as a popcorn hull stuck between your gum and tooth, to an infection. Some of the primary toothache causes are tooth decay, sinusitis, heart and lung disease, and neurological conditions.

How do I know if my toothache is serious?

If your toothache lasts for longer than a day or two, or if it’s accompanied by fever or earache, you must see the dentist.