You can avoid tooth pain through good oral hygiene, regular dental visits and a healthy diet. However, you may still find yourself experiencing this kind of pain at some stage.
Tooth pain can be a challenge to deal with. Why do your teeth hurt? Do you need to visit your dentist? As your family dentist in Mona Vale, we’re here to help you understand why your teeth may hurt and how to prevent it.
Why Do My Teeth Hurt?
It can be difficult to diagnose your tooth pain on your own as there are many possible causes. At Beaches Dental Mona Vale, we understand that treating the pain itself may be your priority. But, it’s important to identify and treat the underlying cause.
In most cases, severe or ongoing toothache will need dental care.
So, why do your teeth hurt? Below are a few common reasons:
Thin Tooth Enamel
Various factors result in the thinning of the enamel on our teeth. These can include your diet, dental hygiene and even use of some medications. If your teeth hurt, it may be because there is less enamel covering the inner layers of your tooth. Tooth pain due to thin tooth enamel is usually experienced when you consume hot or cold drinks or food.
One of the most common causes of tooth pain is tooth decay. Tooth decay presents itself as cavities in the outer hard layer of your teeth. Tooth decay can go unnoticed for some time before it begins to progress in severity. At this point, you may begin experiencing tooth pain. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that are left to linger and build-up on your teeth. So, good dental hygiene is essential in preventing decay.
In cases whereby decay or a damaged tooth goes untreated, the risk of developing an infection increases. When bacteria penetrate your enamel and enter your tooth’s nerve chamber, your tooth’s tissue (pulp) can become infected. An infected tooth requires treatment. The longer you wait to seek professional dental care, the more major the infection and treatment required may become.
Teeth Grinding or Jaw Clenching
Excessive grinding of your teeth or clenching of your jaw can lead to tooth pain. This is because the force created by the ongoing grinding and clenching can wear away the enamel on your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity. A lot of people are unaware they grind their teeth or clench their jaw, as they do so during their sleep. So, their tooth pain can seem like a mystery. Your dentist can diagnose and help you manage this to avoid doing further damage to your teeth.
Erupting/Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Between the ages of 17 to 25, we generally see wisdom teeth begin to erupt. For some, this is a smooth process. However, for others, wisdom teeth may become impacted. This means they are unable to come through with ease, whether it be due to space issues or the angle of the tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth are often associated with gum or tooth pain. You may experience a sore gum, jaw and tenderness in the surrounding teeth.
In some cases, your wisdom teeth may need removal. A wisdom tooth assessment at Beaches Dental Mona Vale can help you determine if yours should stay or go.
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease. It is a bacterial infection of the gums, tissues and bone that surrounds a tooth. Gum disease can cause you to experience tooth pain in one or many teeth. Generally, signs of periodontitis can include red, swollen or bleeding gums, pain when chewing, loose teeth, general tooth sensitivity and receding gums.
Left untreated, gum disease can wreak havoc on your mouth and affect the rest of your body too. So, maintaining great oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are essential!
In cases of severe sinusitis, it is possible to experience referred pain in your teeth. If your sinuses become inflamed and subject to pressure because of an infection, it can lead to referred pain especially in the roots of the upper back molars that can sit close to your sinus.
The above-mentioned causes of tooth pain are some of the most common we see as dentists. However, several other factors can lead to tooth pain too. Some of them may include:
- Referred pain (like from sinusitis or a migraine)
- Mouth ulcers
- Viral infections
- Diabetes or other conditions that affect your nerves
- Alcohol or drug abuse
Treating Tooth Pain
The most suitable treatment for your tooth pain will depend on its cause. The best people to help you identify the cause of your tooth pain, and subsequently treat it, is your dentist.
When it comes to tooth pain, it’s vital to seek dental care as soon as possible. In most cases, potential dental issues that get caught early on, are far simpler to treat and can save you a lot of money and discomfort down the track.
There are things you can do to relieve your pain leading up to your dentist appointment. They include:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Ice the sensitive area for 10 – 15 minutes a few times a day (this can be on the outside of your cheek near your sore tooth).
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater
Preventing Tooth Pain
Tooth pain can be debilitating. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent your chances of having to deal with it.
- Maintain regular and ongoing dental check-up and cleans to stay on top of your oral health
- Practise good oral hygiene at home (brushing twice daily and flossing daily)
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and try to drink water that contains fluoride
- Have a healthy and well-balanced diet
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
Northern Beaches Dentist
Are you experiencing tooth pain? As your Northern Beaches Dentist, we’re here and ready to help you. Our goal is to help our patients achieve their ultimate oral health to be pain-free and have strong and healthy teeth and gums for life.
Our gentle team of dental professionals love welcoming new patients to our practice. When was the last time you had a dental check-up? Contact us to make an appointment.