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: Some types of toothache pain occur if you are using dental care products like peroxide-based whitening agents that penetrate into your teeth causing tooth sensitivity.
- Bruxism: 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 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 put additional stress on the muscles of the jaw, which can cause tooth pain. If your tooth pain is caused by TMJ syndrome, your dentist may recommend a TMJ dental splint to reposition the lower jaw. But in less serious cases, warm compresses applied to the jaw, eating soft foods, and taking measures to reduce stress can help.
- 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.
- Decayed Teeth: Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of toothache pain. Tooth decay occurs when acids from plaque bacteria penetrate into the tooth enamel causing a loss of tooth mineral which, if it progresses, can ultimately cause pain in the tooth’s inner layer, the pulp.
You should not abandon your oral care routine due to a tooth pain. Instead, look for oral care products designed for sensitive teeth and gums:
- Extra Soft Toothbrush: The Oral-B Sensi-Soft Manual Toothbrush features a unique criss-cross bristle design for better cleaning between and behind teeth. The extra-soft bristles remove plaque while protecting the teeth and gums from irritation, even if you have tooth pain. In addition, indicator bristles remind you to replace your toothbrush when they change from blue to white.
- Floss for Sensitive Gums: Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Floss for sensitive gums is designed for people who say that flossing is painful. Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Floss for sensitive gums slides between tight teeth without fraying, and it is twice as soft as the original Glide floss.
- Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: For a comprehensive oral care routine, add 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 combination of a visit to the dentist and a regular oral care routine. At a dental visit, your dentist will decide if your toothache requires a filling or if you require a root canal, root scaling and tooth planing.
Whether or not you need a filling 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 promote oral health, help prevent tooth decay, and manage your toothache.
Some people are nervous about going to the dentist, and they will postpone a dental visit even if they have a toothache. Dental anxiety is not uncommon, and many dentists 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 the dentist about a toothache or for a routine cleaning.
- Tune It Out: Bring your MP3 player (with earphones) and any type of music that puts you at ease without distracting the dentist 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 dentist that you're nervous. Dentists are accustomed to dealing with nervous patients, and the dentist and staff can adjust your treatment accordingly. For example, some dentists’ offices use sedatives to relax patients before a procedure.
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