Whether it’s intense and abrupt or dull and continuous, a toothache is difficult to ignore.
More often than not, a toothache is a sign that there’s something wrong with your teeth or gums. No matter the reason, if a toothache is left untreated, both the pain and the cause behind it will become worse.
Toothaches occur when the central part of the tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected and inflamed. This part of the tooth contains nerve endings that are incredibly sensitive to pain, and the only way to relieve that pain is by figuring out what caused the inflammation in the first place.
Causes & Symptoms of Toothaches
Toothache pain can range from mild to severe, depending on how much of the area in your mouth is inflamed. As the inflammation increases, so does the pain, radiating to the cheek, jaw, and ears.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of toothaches are the following:
- Your teeth are sensitive to heat or cold
- Swollen glands
- Swelling of the jaw or around the inflamed tooth
- Sharp pain when you touch the tooth or bite down
Toothaches are caused by the inflammation of the pulp, but what caused the inflammation?
The most common cause behind toothaches is tooth decay. This occurs when bacteria have eaten through the tough enamel on your teeth. If left untreated, an abscess can be created, which is an infection near your tooth or in the pulp.
Although our teeth are incredibly strong, they can still get fractured or chipped when enough force is applied to them. A fracture can be caused by numerous things, such as biting down on a hard substance or getting hit in the face or jaw by something hard.
When a tooth gets cracked or split, bacteria can easily access the pulp of the tooth and irritate or infect it, causing throbbing pain.
A gum infection, also known as gingivitis, is another underlying cause of toothaches. If the gums get infected, it could lead to gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Treatments for Damaged or Infected Teeth
Every toothache is treated differently, as there can be different causes behind each one.
If gum infection is behind the toothache, then your dental professional will likely recommend antibiotics to fight the bacteria and treat the infection. Any plaque that has been created by the bacteria in your mouth can be removed by regular teeth cleaning treatments.
In the case of a tooth fracture, the dentist can repair the crack with dental glue or veneers, but if the crack was deep enough that the nerve got infected, then a root canal is needed.
To treat tooth decay, several procedures need to be conducted. First, a teeth cleaning treatment is done to get rid of all the plaque created by the bacteria. Next, any holes or cavities are filled up, followed by a prescription of antibiotics to clear up any infection around the affected tooth.
If a tooth is abscessed as a result of tooth decay, a root canal in addition to antibiotics are needed to treat the tooth.
Leaving your toothache unchecked and untreated by a professional can have severe health consequences, resulting in tooth loss, infected gums, or having an infection spread to the rest of your body.
Get Pain Relief With Professional Treatment
Have you been suffering from constant throbbing pain in your mouth? It may be a sign of an infected or damaged tooth.
Maintaining a healthy smile protects against infections and other oral health complications, however, you can never know when you’ll encounter a dental emergency.
Whether you’ve chipped a tooth because of an accident or lost your crown biting into an apple, there’s no need to worry. Our team of experts at Costello Family Dentistry is fully prepared to address any emergencies you may have.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about pain relief treatments and don’t hesitate to give us a call in case of an emergency.