Are you wondering why your teeth hurt? If you have aching teeth, it may be due to a dental problem such as cavities, gum disease, bruxism, TMJ or a non-dental problem, such as a sinus infection or even stress.
- Sensitive Teeth:
If your teeth hurt during brushing or flossing, or while consuming hot food or cold treats, you may have sensitive teeth. Additionally, some types of toothache pain occur if you are using dental care products like peroxide-based whitening agents that penetrate your teeth causing tooth sensitivity.
If you have aching teeth with no signs of tooth decay or gum disease, you may be experiencing bruxism. Bruxism is the technical term for grinding your teeth. Bruxism is a common cause of aching teeth that affects millions of people of all ages in the United States. If you experience aching teeth and other symptoms of bruxism, see a dental professional as soon as possible. If left untreated, chronic tooth grinding can damage crowns and fillings, and wear away tooth enamel, putting your teeth at increased risk for infection or decay. Causes of bruxism that may lead to aching teeth include crooked teeth, poor jaw alignment, and stress or anxiety. If bruxism is due to misaligned teeth, straightening your bite with orthodontia could help solve the problem. But if bruxism is due to chronic stress, stress management techniques may be needed to help relieve your aching teeth. Your dental professional may recommend a mouth guard to wear at night to help prevent tooth pain associated with bruxism.
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction:
If you're stressed to the point of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth, you can develop tooth pain associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is the joint that hinges the lower jaw to the skull, enabling you to eat and talk. Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth can put additional stress on the muscles of the jaw, which may cause tooth pain. If your tooth pain is caused by TMJ syndrome, your dental professional may recommend a TMJ dental splint to reposition the lower jaw. But in less serious cases, you can simply apply warm compresses to the jaw, eat soft foods, and take measures to reduce stress levels—all these can help alleviate your tooth pain.
- Damaged Teeth:
Your toothache pain could be caused by a cracked or broken tooth. If this is the cause of your pain, see your dentist as soon as possible. A broken tooth can contribute to tooth decay and toothaches.
- Decayed Teeth:
Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of toothache pain. Tooth decay occurs when acids from plaque bacteria penetrate the tooth enamel causing a loss of tooth minerals which, if it progresses, can ultimately cause pain in the tooth’s inner layers, the dentin and pulp.
There are many toothache remedies that you can try at home to help alleviate the discomfort caused by a toothache, these can include saltwater rinses or applying a compress to the side of your jaw. Speak to your dental professional to learn which may be right for you.
You should not abandon your oral care routine due to tooth pain. Instead, look for oral care products designed for sensitive teeth and gums:
- Extra Soft Toothbrush Bristles: Opt for a gentle cleaning experience when brushing your teeth. If you’re brushing with an electric toothbrush, consider using a replacement brush head specifically designed for sensitive teeth and gums. The Oral-B iO Series 9 Electric Toothbrush pairs with the Oral-B iO Gentle Care Brush Head which has up to 4000 high density filaments to better deliver a gentle and effective clean. Plus, the Oral-B iO9 also features a Super Sensitive Mode to gently remove plaque while protecting teeth and gums from irritation.
- Floss that’s Gentle on Gums: Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Floss is designed to be more soft and gentle on gums. Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Floss slides between tight teeth without fraying and is twice as soft as Oral-B Glide Original floss.
- Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: For a comprehensive oral care routine, add a stannous fluoride toothpaste like Crest Pro-Health Sensitive & Enamel Shield Toothpaste , which offers all-in-one protection against painful tooth sensitivity, cavities, plaque, gingivitis, tartar and whitens and freshens breath too.
Everyone has a favorite remedy for toothache pain, such as rinsing your mouth with warm water or applying an over-the-counter topical analgesic to the sore spot. But stopping a toothache caused by a cavity or gum disease will likely involve a visit to your dental professional and keeping up with a regular oral care routine. At a dental visit, your dental professional will diagnose if your toothache requires a filling or if you require a root canal, root scaling, and tooth planning.
Whether or not you need a cavity treatment or gum surgery, you may find that your teeth are still sensitive. But that's no reason to avoid your oral care routine. Following a regular oral care routine, such as using the Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield Regimen, is another strategy to help take care of your teeth for a healthy mouth. Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Shield products are gentle on sensitive teeth and gums, but powerful enough to help prevent tooth decay, manage your toothache, and promote a healthy smile.
Some people are nervous about going to the dentist, and they will postpone a dental visit even if they have a strong toothache or other worrisome symptoms. Dental anxiety is not uncommon, and many dental professionals make an extra effort to make the care of toothache pain less stressful for an anxious patient. The American Dental Association recommends the following suggestions for reducing dental anxiety, whether you're going to your dental professional about a toothache or for routine cleaning.
- Tune It Out: Listen to any type of music that puts you at ease without distracting the dentist, dental hygienist, and staff.
- Time It Right: If possible, schedule a dental visit for a time when you don’t have to rush to or from work or when you feel pressured. That might mean an early appointment before work or the last spot at the end of the day when you are on your way home.
- Talk About It: Tell your dental professional that you're nervous. They are accustomed to dealing with nervous patients, and the staff can adjust your treatment accordingly. For example, some dental offices use sedatives to help relax patients before a procedure.
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