We are so caught up in our daily lives and work schedules that we generally pay no attention to a minor ache here and there in our teeth. If the toothache is troublesome, we just pop in an over-the-counter pain reliever and set off about our work, as usual, sparing no second thought to the lingering pain in the tooth.
However, many times it happens that this sort of callous attitude towards certain aches and pains might actually lead to serious problems in the future. A toothache is one such thing that we should not ignore. It could be that your aching teeth are trying to convey a more serious message to you. Seemingly small problems with your teeth could actually be a silent cry for help from your body. From the common tooth pain to sore gums to yellow stains on your teeth, every dental problem has a deeper meaning and can lead to a bigger problem if not addressed in time.
Causes of Tooth Aches
Some of the common causes of toothache and tooth sensitivity include:
- Cavities that have to lead to the tooth to become decayed from inside.
- Fractured tooth due to some accident.
- Gum disease that has led to your teeth becoming exposed as the gums recede.
- Worn fillings that have to be replaced.
- Tooth decay due to bacterial infection.
Types of Tooth Aches & What Are Your Aching Teeth Trying To Tell You?
Sharp Tooth Pain
Pain is usually your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you have ever felt a toothache, you know that it is hard to ignore. Usually, toothaches tend to get worse during the night or while eating. Even extreme temperatures or hard foods can aggravate an existing toothache. Usually, if you experience a sudden toothache in one or more of your teeth, it indicates tooth decay or presence of cavities. Tooth decay happens when certain bacteria that are present in your mouth attack the sugar from your diet and change it into acid, which leads to decaying of the tooth, or even causing holes in your teeth. When these holes become deeper, they cause sensitivity, pain and eventually lead to cavities. If you experience tooth pain once in a while, or if the pain is not restricted to a single spot, then it usually means there is nothing serious going on. However, if the tooth pain becomes consistent and is centered on a particular area, then it is time to pay a visit to the dentist.
Throbbing Tooth Pain
If it only lasts a day or two then a throbbing or an achy kind of a tooth pain is not a cause for concern. However, if the pain lasts for more than a week, then it points to the fact that you are clenching or grinding your teeth. If this is the case, then you might benefit from using a night guard before going to sleep. An abscessed tooth, that is a tooth that has an infection, could also cause a throbbing, persistent pain, along with swollen gums or glands. This definitely warrants a visit to the dentist as only a dentist can diagnose it correctly for you.
Yellow teeth or stained teeth are usually not a sign for concern. Stains generally develop on the teeth from drinking tea, coffee, or other dark or staining liquids. These can go away with the use of whitening toothpaste or strips, or even having a whitening session done at the dentist. In order to prevent your teeth from getting stained, it is a good idea to rinse or brush your teeth after having such types of liquids. Sometimes, medications also lead to staining of the teeth. Medications usually leave a brownish stain on the teeth. While this does not mean any damage to the teeth, your dentist can, however, take certain cosmetic steps to help you get rid of these teeth stains.
Red or Swollen Gums
Many times, bleeding or swollen red gums can be a side effect of pregnancy or hormonal changes in women. However, if you are not pregnant, then this can also be due to a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. If you find that even after 2-3 days of diligent brushing your symptoms are not going away, then a trip to the dentist needs to be scheduled.
Mouth sores are quite common. Painful mouth sores usually happen when we eat too much of spicy foods, hot foods or citrus items. If the pain does not disappear in two to three days, then it could be a sign of vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is required by the body to create collagen and connective tissues, what your tongue is made up of. Increase your consumption of foods rich in vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, and carrots. If even after a dietary change, the mouth sores still do not disappear, then schedule an appointment with the dentist.
Crooked Teeth or Falling Teeth
Well, if your teeth become loose or crooked suddenly, or begin to fall out, then you can perhaps already determine that there is a major problem with your teeth. This is usually a sign of periodontal disease that leads to bone loss around your jaw and teeth. Periodontal disease happens when you are not cleaning your teeth properly. Due to improper cleaning of the teeth, a thin film called plaque forms on them. Over a period of time, such habits will lead to hardening of the plaque and become tartar. Tartar can spread into your gums and also to the bones around your mouth. If you find any crooked or loose teeth in your mouth, then you must visit a dentist immediately.
If your gums or the sides of your teeth pain when you drink hot or cold liquids or even breathe in cold air, then the likely reason is a cavity. Another reason behind this could also be that your gums have been drawn back and the roots of your teeth have been exposed. There are many reasons why this happens. It can either be due to bacteria or due to the clenching and grinding of your teeth. Brushing too forcefully with a hard toothbrush can also lead to painful gums. If the gum pain is also accompanied by red or white spots on the gums and the does not go away within a week, then it is highly recommended that you consult a dentist.
Treatments for Toothache & Tooth Sensitivity
If you continue to suffer from toothache and tooth sensitivity, then there are several treatment options that your dentist might suggest to deal with the problem. These may include:
Using A Desensitizing Toothpaste: This is a special type of toothpaste that provides a layer of extra protection and blocks the transmission of painful sensations from the tooth to the nerves, thus lessening the sensitivity and pain of your teeth.
Application Of Fluoride Gel: Fluoride gel is applied to the teeth to strengthen the tooth enamel and also decrease the transition of sensations from the tooth surface to the nerves.
Surgery To Put In A Gum Graft: If the tissues of the gum are already infected, then a surgery allows a dentist to put in a gum graft that protects the roots of the teeth from pain and sensitivity.
Root Canal Treatment: This is usually the last procedure that a dentist recommends to get rid of the persistent and severe pain in the tooth. RCT helps in eliminating all types of tooth problems.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to avoid any problems with your teeth. While random aches and pain associated with your teeth are quite normal, do not ignore them if they tend to persist for over a week. Getting timely treatment will save you from a bigger problem, as periodontal disease is not something to be taken lightly.