Signs and Symptoms of a Toothache that You Need to Know About

Posted on: February 2, 2018

Toothaches are quite the inconvenience.  If you try to ignore the pain, it will almost certainly grow worse.  An aching tooth is an indication there is a need for treatment.

Here is a look at the many different things your toothache might mean.

A Look Into Toothache Pain

The pain produced when there is a toothache is the body's protective response.  This sensory trigger occurs to inform you that something is wrong.  Dental pain is essentially reactive nerve pain that occurs within the teeth due to the stimuli.

Teeth hurt for all sorts of different reasons.  As an example, teeth that come into contact with particularly hot or cold foods/beverages likely have a minor issue. There might be a loose filling, an area of tooth decay or tooth root exposure stemming from gum recession, abrasion or another oral health issue.

Your best course of action is the clean the bacterial plaque away from your gum line and the rest of your teeth with a soft-bristled brush and a fluoridated toothpaste two times per day.

There Might be an Infection

If you have a cavity that does not receive treatment in a reasonable amount of time, the decay will expand until it reaches the nerve center of the tooth.  The nerve center is also known as the inner pulp.

The infection will spur some significant pain including considerable swelling by the tooth.  The infection might even lead to a discharge from the tooth or a fever.

Tooth Decay is Likely Present

There is a good chance your toothache stems from tooth decay.  In general, the exception is a toothache that lasts 48 hours or less.  Such a brief toothache might be a sinus infection or the result of air pressure alterations while flying.  For the most part, a toothache that lasts any longer than a couple days is likely the result of decay.

If decay penetrates the inner dentin portion of the tooth, this sensitive area of your tooth will spur considerable pain.  Aside from poor dental hygiene and a diet of sugary, acidic and starch-laden foods, something like a sports accident can also spur the formation of decay.

Nerve Issues

Nerve issues are one of the primary causes of toothaches.  If you have a significant toothache, it is an indication the nerve in your tooth has been compromised.  The nerve is in the direct center of the tooth.

It is typically protected by additional layers of the tooth known as enamel and dentin.  However, these layers have the potential to wear away and cause sharp pain.

Your Toothache Might be the Result of Bruxism

Bruxism means a grinding or clenching of the teeth. This typically occurs when one is sleeping.  As time passes, the pressure of the grinding teeth has the potential to crack a tooth.  This force is also likely to wear away at the tooth enamel to boot.

If bruxism goes on long enough, it will eventually wear down one or several teeth to the point that the sensitive dentin layer is reached.  At this point, you will experience considerable pain.

Call (949) 204-3761 to schedule an appointment with Sendero Dental Studio in our Rancho Mission Viejo dental office.


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