Unlike bones, teeth do not have to break to cause pain. In fact, toothaches can be the result of a long list of problems.
Some of these problems can become serious if you do not go to a dentist.
How do your teeth work?
Much harder than bones, teeth are actually the most difficult components of your body. They are also much more than they appear on the surface, since the teeth extend well below the gum line and have several important interior components.
The following are the main parts of your teeth:
- Gum line: this is the point where the gums meet the teeth. If you do not brush and floss regularly, you may find plaque and tartar buildup along the gum line.
- Enamel: this layer covers the entire exterior of the tooth. Although it is the hardest tissue in the body, it can be compromised without proper dental care.
- Crown: This is the upper area of the tooth and it comes in a variety of shapes that determine the tooth’s function.
- Dentin: This layer is under the enamel and is made of living cells that produce a mineral substance.
- Pulp: This internal area of the tooth includes the nerves and blood vessels that help keep the tooth alive.
- Root: this part is embedded in the bone and keeps the tooth in position. Normally you can not see the root, but it is more than half the average tooth.
Although all teeth are made of the same parts, not all teeth are the same. In fact, the 32 teeth that most adults have are divided into four different groups.
Each one is responsible for different tasks to ensure that he can bite, chew and grind the contents of his heart. These groups are:
- Incisors: Most people have eight incisors, which are sharp teeth in the front of the mouth.
- Canines: a normal mouth has four canines, which flank the upper and lower incisors. These teeth are made to cut food.
- Premolars: these eight teeth reside between the canines and the molars, and they do better to crush the food.
- Molars: these are the eight teeth that are found in the back of the mouth and are made to grind food.
- Wisdom teeth: Many people choose to have these four teeth removed, as they often clog the mouth and cause neighboring teeth to move.
Possible causes of Toothache
Toothache or tooth pain usually occurs when the pulp, or central part of the tooth, becomes inflamed. The most common causes of a toothache include the following:
Damaged filler: cavity fillers do not last forever and can be damaged when you bite a hard object or suffer an injury. When a filling is damaged, the affected tooth is no longer adequately protected and may be prone to infections and general malaise.
Grinding teeth: Many people grind their teeth from time to time, but when done regularly, it can cause serious damage to the teeth. When you grind your teeth extensively, you can fracture or break your teeth and even lose one or more teeth.
Cracked tooth: teeth generally enjoy the protection of enamel and dentin , but these hard surfaces can crack or splinter as a result of injury, age or chewing hard objects.
When cracked, hard surfaces can change while chewing, causing pain in the pulp. Over time, a cracked tooth can also cause sensitivity to temperature and even infection.
Caries: This occurs when bacteria from the food you have eaten become acid that wears out your enamel. Over time, tooth decay can cause very painful injuries and toothache.
Tooth abscess: when left untreated, tooth decay can lead to an abscessed tooth, which refers to an infection in the tooth root. This can compromise the enamel, leaving the pulp exposed to possible infection.
Infected Gums: Also known as Gingivitis, infected gums begin with bacterial growth, plaque buildup and inflammation. Gingivitis can be uncomfortable, but the effects are treatable. However, if left untreated, Gingivitis can quickly escalate to periodontitis and tooth loss.
Symptoms of Toothache
Many people experience fleeting discomfort in the teeth or jaws that occur for various reasons, so it can be difficult to know if they are experiencing Toothache. In general, Toothache is revealed with the following symptoms:
- Pain: when it comes to teeth, the pain can be intense, throbbing or persistent. Some people also have pain that only comes to the surface when applying pressure on the tooth.
- Swelling: This usually occurs in the gums surrounding the affected tooth.
- Headache: As the teeth and mouth are connected to the rest of the body systems, it is not unusual for Toothache to cause a headache and even a fever.
- Taste: an infected tooth can cause a bad taste drain that seeps into the mouth. This is a sure sign that you should see a dentist.
How to treat an Toothache?
Not all Toothache require you to run to the dentist. If your symptoms have not escalated beyond what is moderate or you can not see your dentist immediately, you can perform the basic treatment yourself.
First, try flossing between your teeth and rinse your mouth with salt water. To keep the symptom at bay, take an analgesic or use an over-the-counter solution that you can apply directly on the tooth.
You can handle some of the symptoms of toothache on your own, but that does not mean you should skip the visit to the dentist completely, a dentist can locate the root of the problem by examining the mouth, looking for damage to the teeth and taking x-rays.
Depending on the cause of your Toothache, the dentist can fill a cavity, prescribe an antibiotic or perform a root canal treatment. If you think you may have Toothache or want to plan your health and that of your family, there is no reason to worry about the cost of treatment.
A dental insurance policy can cover most or all of your family’s dental needs. Since good oral health is fundamental to your overall wellbeing, having a comprehensive dental insurance policy is key to feeling and looking your best.