Posts for tag: toothache
A toothache is usually caused by some type of infection that attacks the inside of the tooth, the tooth root, or the gums. The nerves in your mouth are irritated and inflamed, causing the throbbing, aching pain. Learn more about what could be causing your particular case of toothache and the best way to treat the issue when you visit a dentist at Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, WI.
Possible Causes of Your Toothache
Persisting pain or intense sensitivity in your teeth or gums is a sign of a dental issue that needs some form of urgent therapy. These are some of the most common causes:
- Tooth decay, which likely started as a cavity.
- Periodontal disease, which is inflammation of the gums caused by the buildup of bacteria-filled tartar and calculus.
- A foreign object lodged in the soft tissues of the mouth and gums.
- An injury to the mouth that caused a tooth to shift out of place (common for sports players).
If you have a toothache, go see your Waunakee, WI, dentist before it worsens. These are the treatments that may be used to help you get relief:
- Root canal therapy (cleans out the infected tissue inside of a tooth).
- Periodontal therapy (deep cleaning, scaling and root planing, medication to get a gum infection under control, and gum surgery in advanced cases).
- Safe removal of an object stuck in the gums or between the teeth that’s causing pain, and wound treatment.
Preventing Dental Issues
Most toothaches can be prevented if you pay more attention to your oral hygiene, check your teeth regularly, and stay in touch with your dentist. Here are some tips to help you prevent dental issues:
- Consider the benefits of investing in a dentist-recommended electric toothbrush that does a more thorough job of cleaning the surfaces of the teeth.
- Use a toothpaste that provides enamel protection and antigingivitic benefits.
- Floss at least once per day, but preferably after each meal.
- Schedule and keep twice-yearly appointments with your dentist.
Call to Schedule a Dentist Appointment Today
If you’re experiencing any degree of tooth pain, consult a dentist at Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, WI. Call (608) 849-4100 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Karls or Dr. Stanley Karls.
A toothache means a tooth has a problem, right? Most of the time, yes: the pain comes from a decayed or fractured tooth, or possibly a gum infection causing tooth sensitivity.
Sometimes, though, the pain doesn't originate with your teeth and gums. They're fine and healthy—it's something outside of your tooth causing the pain. We call this referred pain—one part of your body is sending or referring pain to another part, in this instance around your mouth.
There are various conditions that can create referred pain in the mouth, and various ways to treat them. That's why you should first find out the cause, which will indicate what treatment course to take.
Here are a few common non-dental causes for tooth pain.
Trigeminal Neuralgia. The trigeminal nerves situated on either side of the face have three large branches that extend throughout the face; the branch to the jaw allows you to feel sensation as you chew. When one of the nerve branches becomes inflamed, usually from a blood vessel or muscle spasm pressing on it, it can refer the pain to the jaw and seem like a toothache.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). These two joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull can sometimes become dysfunctional for a variety of reasons. This can set up a cycle of spasms and pain that can radiate throughout the jaw and its associated muscles. The pain can mimic a toothache, when it actually originates in the jaw joints.
Teeth Grinding. This is an unconscious habit, often occurring at night, in which people clench or grind their teeth together. Although quite common in children who tend to grow out of it, teeth grinding can continue into adulthood. The abnormally high biting forces from this habit can cause chipped, broken or loosened teeth. But it can also cause jaw pain, headaches and tenderness in the mouth that might feel like a toothache.
These and other conditions unrelated to dental disease can seem like a tooth problem, when they're actually something else. By understanding exactly why you're feeling pain, we can then focus on the true problem to bring relief to your life.
People who fly or scuba dive know firsthand how changes in atmospheric pressure can affect the body: as minor as a popping in the ears, or as life-threatening as decompression sickness. Pressure changes can also cause pain and discomfort in your teeth and sinuses — in fact, severe pain could be a sign of a bigger problem.
Barotrauma (baro – “pressure;” trauma – “injury”), also known as a “squeeze,” occurs when the unequal air pressures outside and inside the body attempt to equalize. Many of the body's organs and structures are filled with air within rigid walls; the force created by equalization presses against these walls and associated nerves, which in turn causes the pain.
The sinus cavities and the middle ear spaces are especially sensitive. Each of these has small openings that help with pressure equalization. However, they can become swollen or blocked with mucous (as when you have a head cold), which slows equalization and contributes to the pain.
It's also possible to experience tooth pain during pressure change. This is because the back teeth in the upper jaw share the same nerve pathways as the upper jaw sinuses — pain originating from the sinuses can be felt in the teeth, and vice-versa. In fact, it's because of this shared pathway that pressure changes can amplify pain from a tooth with a deeper problem, such as a crack, fracture or a defect in dental work.
Besides problems with your teeth, the severe pain could also be related to temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), which is pain or discomfort in the small joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. There are a number of causes for this, but a common one for scuba divers is an ill-fitted regulator mouthpiece that they are biting down on too hard while diving. A custom-fitted mouthpiece could help alleviate the problem.
If you've been experiencing tooth pain during pressure change events, you should see us for an examination before you fly or dive again. There might be more to your pain — and correcting these underlying problems could save you extreme discomfort in the future.
If you would like more information on the effects of atmospheric pressure changes on teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pressure Changes Can Cause Tooth & Sinus Pain.”