Toothaches

Rockford Dentist - The Teeth People

Toothache pain is the worst. You can’t see it, it doesn’t go away on its own and you can’t massage it like a muscle knot. It’s also a loud indicator of a serious problem that requires immediate attention from a dentist.
 

Most toothaches are the result of tooth decay, which means you probably have the result of that tooth decay or advanced gum disease. The pain you feel – usually when you eat or drink something sweet, very hot or very cold – is an alarm bell telling you that the pulp is irritated. The pulp is the inside of your tooth, where the tissue and nerves are located, so if something is wrong with the pulp, you’ll feel it in the entire tooth.

What causes a toothache?

A thorough oral exam is the best way to find out why you’re experiencing a toothache, but generally the reasons fall under one of these causes:
 

  • Infection
     

  • Gum disease
     

  • Grinding teeth (bruxism)
     

  • Tooth trauma
     

  • An abnormal bite
     

  • Tooth eruption (in babies and school-age children)

Toothache Symptoms

Toothache and jaw pain are common complaints. There may be severe pain to pressure, or to hot or cold stimuli. The pain may persist for longer than 15 seconds after the stimulus is removed. As the area of inflammation increases, the pain becomes more severe. It may radiate to the cheek, the ear, or the jaw. Other signs and symptoms that may lead you to seek care include the following:

  • Pain with chewing
     

  • Hot or cold sensitivity
     

  • Bleeding or discharge from around a tooth or gums
     

  • Swelling around a tooth or swelling of your jaw

You can prevent the majority of dental problems by flossing, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. The dentist may apply sealants and fluoride, which are especially important for children's teeth.

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