Which of These 4 Conditions is Causing Your Toothache?
Toothache is not only painful, but also a source of worry for many people. When your tooth starts hurting, your brain may immediately go into overdrive, imagining the extensive dental procedures you will need to fix the problem. Before you panic, take the time to learn about the common causes of toothache.
1. Thinning Enamel
Sometimes, toothache is a sign that the enamel on your teeth is getting thin. Enamel not only prevents bacteria from getting inside your teeth, but also protects the nerve inside every tooth from painful stimuli. Thin enamel can make your teeth ache when you eat foods that are very hot or very cold, or when you put pressure on your teeth, for example when chewing. If you have thin enamel, your dentist may recommend you use a special toothpaste to strengthen your teeth's protective coating.
Toothache can be a sign of a tooth cavity. Dentists can treat most cavities by filling in the hole with either metal or a tooth-coloured composite material. However, if you leave a cavity untreated, bacteria can access the inner part of the tooth and attack the root, which can lead to you needing a root canal or tooth extraction. Book an appointment with your dentist promptly to avoid a simple cavity developing into something much more serious.
3. Oral Infection
Sometimes, toothache can be a sign of an infection in your teeth or gums. Infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics, so you must see an emergency dentist if you have any other symptoms of an infection, which include red, swollen gums and discharge from the part of your mouth that hurts.
4. Sinus Pain
Occasionally, toothache is actually a symptom of a sinus infection, rather than arising from a problem affecting your teeth or gums. Your sinuses are air-filled cavities around your eyes and nose. Infections can cause tissues to swell, blocking your sinuses and causing pain to radiate through your face and upper jaw. Sinus infections sometimes occur after a cold, so if you have been unwell lately, this could be the cause of your toothache. Many sinus infections clear without treatment, although your doctor can prescribe antibiotics if the infection is particularly stubborn. While waiting for the infection to resolve, you can clear your sinuses by inhaling steam through your nose. If your toothache is related to your sinuses, this simple self-care option should bring some relief.