Toothache is one of the most unpleasant sensations for every person. We can suffer from the symptoms of many ailments, but when teeth ache, even the most ardent supporters of self-treatment go to the doctor. Painkillers, in this case, can relieve the pain for a while, but will never eliminate it completely, because they do not treat the cause of the disease, but its symptoms.
In this article, we will analyze in detail the exact causes of toothache. For the dentists in our clinic, it is very important that the patient is properly informed about the nature of the disease that has arisen and, accordingly, about the treatment methods.
What is a toothache and how does it occur?
An acute toothache can surprise you and spoil all your plans, but a chronic one can significantly worsen the quality of your life. What should you know about toothache, how to help yourself and how to prevent painful attacks?
Nerve endings in the area of inflammation can be irritated by an increase in intrapulpal pressure, a change in pH, the release of inflammatory mediators, as well as the products of cell destruction. The unpleasant pain also causes swelling, which can press on the nerve in the tooth. Inflamed gums can also cause pain. The more the inflammation progresses, the stronger the effect on the nerve will be.
Why do teeth hurt more often at night?
It is often the case that during the day, when the patient can seek help from a dentist, the toothache is almost not felt. The pain occurs in the evening and becomes almost unbearable at night. A tooth can suddenly hurt a lot during the night, and closer to the morning the pain suddenly subsides.
- Inflammation in the body, including in the teeth, is regulated by the action of the adrenal glands. It is these glands that produce corticosteroids - hormones whose task is to suppress inflammation.
- In most cases, during the day the adrenal glands cope with this task very well, but closer to the night and until the morning, these glands are less active.
- With the beginning of a new morning, the glands are activated, a new portion of corticosteroids enters the bloodstream and the toothache disappears.
Should you always go to the dentist when you have a toothache?
How many times have you thought: it hurts, so it will stop? Moreover, everyone in their household has strong toothache remedies in their home pharmacy that can help.
Yes, the pain can really be alleviated with medication or disappear completely for a while. But symptomatic drugs do not affect the activity of pathogenic microorganisms that gradually damage the affected tooth, even when it stops hurting.
Pathogenic microorganisms will continue their destructive activity in the tissues of the teeth and gums, destroying the teeth. And if the treatment could initially be simple and last only 30 minutes, then in the future you will be faced with a complex, long-term and in most cases expensive treatment. And it is quite possible that you will find yourself in a situation where a diseased tooth can no longer be saved.
Toothache - Common causes
In most cases, toothache is caused by caries. Damage resembling a black dot appears on the tooth enamel and then penetrates deeper into the tooth tissue. Over time, it grows and forms a cavity. Bacteria multiply and grow in it, which will penetrate deeper into the tooth.
Symptoms of caries development:
Initial stage of enamel destruction. There is no inflammation yet, but important substances have already been washed out of the tooth enamel. The tooth becomes sensitive to cold or acidic food. During the first examination, the dentist will be able to see a white spot that differs from the main color of the enamel.
Surface caries. The enamel covering the tooth has already been destroyed, but the carious cavity has not yet spread to the dentin of the tooth. The pathology manifests itself as a sudden pain if the patient enjoys sweets or eats food with a strong sour or salty taste.
Intermediate caries. The painful cavity grows and gradually penetrates deeper and deeper. From time to time, the patient feels short-term pain of moderate intensity. Many patients decide to schedule an appointment with a dentist only at this stage.
Deep caries. This is a complex lesion, the destruction reaches the core of the tooth - its pulp. If the patient eats food that irritates the enamel, the toothache lasts for at least 5 minutes. Terrible throbbing night pains are occurring more and more often. Bad breath appears.
Toothache can also be caused by flux. This is a dangerous complication of inflammatory processes in tooth enamel and pulp. In this case, the infectious process affects the periosteum and the jaw bone. Purulent inflammation can open on its own and this will bring temporary relief. But even in this case, the inflammation will continue to develop, and this will give the person serious complications. Therefore, at the first signs of flux, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Flux symptoms are:
- severe persistent toothache that cannot be relieved by taking medication. The inflamed area hurts and pulsates;
- the pain moves to the neck, ear, shoulder;
- general weakness, increase in body temperature. This is evidence of intoxication of the body;
- inflamed and swollen gums that gradually turn bright red. Often, the face of the patient itself also swells, on the side where the pathology develops. This is phlegmon or abscess; submandibular lymph nodes increase and become hard, because they are also involved in the infectious and inflammatory process.
Pulpitis develops as a result of untreated caries. The inflammatory process involves the soft tissues, arteries and nerves located inside the tooth. It is very painful and if the patient, in this case, hesitates to visit the dentist - he is guaranteed to lose a tooth.
Toothache with pulpitis is difficult to confuse with any other:
- the tooth hurts constantly, not for 2-5 minutes, as with caries;
- the pain is intense, throbbing and long-lasting. With pulpitis, the tooth can hurt continuously all night, exhausting the person and not allowing him to sleep;
- a sharp toothache cannot be alleviated either by taking tablets or folk remedies. After it calms down for a few minutes, it flares up with new energy. The inflammation takes place in the limited cavity of the tooth, grows, increasing the pressure on the nerve;
- the temperature rises, general weakness appears, the patient lives in a state of stress.
Increased tooth sensitivity
Teeth can react with pain to a certain type of food, also if the food is cold or hot. Pain occurs when biting or chewing hard and coarse food.
It is possible that such a reaction is a personal trait of a certain person and is not related to dental diseases at all. However, quite serious problems also manifest themselves in this way. Reasons for increased tooth sensitivity should be identified by a dentist. Depending on his conclusion, a treatment regimen will be drawn up and discomfort can be minimized.
Teeth become sensitive if:
- the dentin on the neck of the tooth is exposed;
- there are erosions or tooth defects;
- disturbed metabolism in the body;
- the patient suffers from a disease of the nervous system, due to which the nerve endings are particularly sensitive;
- there are pathologies of the endocrine system.
- Pain that occurs under a filling or crown
This is not an exceptional situation - sometimes a tooth that has already been treated or treated starts to hurt.
There are several reasons for this:
- insufficient professional work of doctors. In this case, it is necessary to open the filling or remove the tooth crown or tooth facet and thoroughly clean the dental canals;
- reaction to filler materials. The composition of the seal must be replaced;
- the dental canal is not completely sealed, due to the peculiarities of its structure. The tooth must be treated again by a highly qualified dentist in a clinic with modern equipment.
Pain after tooth extraction
Symptoms of pain after tooth extraction:
Unpleasant sensations last up to 2 days, after which the body heals the microtrauma on its own. If the gums are injured during tooth extraction, the pain can last for about a week.
If the place of the old tooth hurts for a long time, do not suffer discomfort and do not treat the pain independently. Visit a dentist, the doctor will assess the nature of the problem and help you.
Pain after tooth extraction can be related to several factors:
- a dry wound has formed. At the place of the extracted tooth, there is no natural protection in the form of a mucous membrane, but a part of the bare bone remains. This happens in elderly patients, smokers and those taking certain types of medication. The doctor will relieve the condition by applying bandages with drugs;
- inflamed dental alveoli. Alveolitis can be associated with a dry wound, this condition is also successfully treated;
- the tooth is not completely removed. A tooth fragment or root particle must be removed from the gums;
- aggravated gum disease - gingivitis, periodontitis, periodontal disease. In this case, it is necessary to start their treatment immediately; In this case, pain, swelling of the gums and itching appear already in the dental chair. The problem is solved by choosing an antihistamine;
- suspiciousness and impressionability of the patient. The psychogenic nature of pain is no reason to simply dismiss human suffering. Properly selected harmless drugs will help restore a positive emotional background.
Cracks in tooth enamel
Despite the fact that cracks in the enamel are not a disease, after consuming cold or hot food, the teeth of such patients are sensitive and painful as intensely as with caries. It is the doctor who must assess the situation and prescribe the appropriate therapy. It is important for such patients to monitor dental health and oral hygiene.
In the event of a blow to the gums, teeth or jaw, the teeth may be injured. However, if you consult a doctor in time, it is possible to save the tooth.
Toothache occurs in the following cases:
- bruised tooth;
- tooth dislocation;
- crown or tooth root fracture.
Toothache during pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman's body goes through colossal changes, the acidity of the oral cavity changes, and diseases of the gums and teeth worsen. If the expectant mother experiences a toothache, she should immediately consult a dentist.
Modern clinics have the necessary equipment and special harmless preparations for performing procedures that will not harm either the mother or the child. In extreme cases, before performing the procedure, dentists will alleviate or completely eliminate the symptoms until the moment when the pregnancy is successfully completed and the teeth can be properly treated.
Toothache in children
In young children, teeth hurt much less often than in adults. But they need regular dental check-ups, that's the only way to avoid problems in the future.
If a child experiences a toothache, he must be taken to a pediatric dentist. The staff of the clinic will do everything necessary so that the child is not hurt and scared. They will also teach you proper oral hygiene.
Babies may experience pain in their gums when they are teething. It is best that this process takes place under the supervision of a pediatrician, who can recommend special aids and anesthetic gels that you can use independently at home.
How to alleviate toothache?
If there is an acute toothache, what can be done? If it is not possible to go to the dentist immediately, and the toothache cannot be tolerated, the simplest solution is to take painkillers. Which medicine and in what dose is suitable for you? The answer to this question can be given by your dentist after a short consultation and a description of the symptoms and type of pain.
Oral medicine does not always work quickly and efficiently. For faster results, the medicine can be crushed and applied to the tooth, or the diseased area can be moistened with the solution from the ampoules for injections.
You can rinse your teeth with a solution of water and salt, chamomile tea, calendula, oak bark, or special preparations that can be bought at the pharmacy.
Antibiotics for toothache can only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. In addition, without dental treatment, the use of antibiotics is useless.
Pain in the teeth and gums if the teeth are healthy
Toothache does not always accompany diseases of the oral cavity. It happens that pain in the teeth and gums is caused by other diseases, complications and problems.
The following diseases can manifest as painful sensations:
- Trigeminal neuralgia. At the same time, the teeth hurt unbearably and painkillers do not help. This disease is treated by a neurologist.
- Migraines and cluster headaches. Migraine is most often accompanied by intolerance to bright light and loud noises. Symptoms can be briefly relieved with painkillers.
- Otitis or inflammation of the middle ear. This disease is a complication of flu or tonsillitis. With otitis media, hearing decreases and a high temperature appears.
- Sinusitis. Pain appears during the treatment of a cold, accompanied by a runny nose, cough;
- Cardiac ischemia, heart attack. Sometimes a heart attack transmits symptoms to the left side of the lower jaw and the person perceives it as a toothache attack.
- Atypical pain. Their causes are not easy to identify, the pain spreads over the jaw and the whole body. The most common culprits are diseases of the nervous system, stress and deep psychological discomfort.
Prevention of toothache
Every person is able to reliably protect himself from an unpleasant phenomenon such as a toothache. Our tips are as follows:
- don't forget to brush your teeth twice a day;
- use dental floss and mouthwash;
- Visit us twice a year for a preventive check-up;
- Perform professional oral hygiene at a dentist 2-3 times a year.