Toothaches can be debilitating. If left without treatment from a dentist, sensitivity in the affected area can spread to other areas of your mouth or jaw, and can make daily activities like eating and drinking challenging. Here are four serious oral health issues that could be the source of the problem.
Why You Might Have a Toothache
Excessive consumption of sugar and acids, poor oral hygiene, and other factors contribute to the formation of plaque. Teeth have three layers: the enamel at the surface, the dentin underneath, and the nerve-rich pulp at the center. The enamel provides a strong protective coating, but the bacteria and acids found in plaque can weaken it, exposing the dentin. Since dentin contains living tissue, it's extremely sensitive to temperature, which can cause occasional discomfort. If left untreated, the decay will eat away to deeper layers of your teeth, leaving pits and fissures and eventually irritating the pulp. The pulp will then swell, compressing nerves and causing consistent pain. If caught in the early stages, your dentist may be able to address the issue with fillings.
2. Gum Infection
Dull pain, redness, tenderness, and bleeding gums are typical signs of advanced gum disease or infection, also known as periodontitis. Inflammation and bacterial infections may eventually spread to your teeth or jawbone, causing pain. In the early stages, your dentist may use scaling to remove plaque and its harder form, tartar. If left untreated for too long, however, gum issues can progress to the point of bone, tooth, or tissue loss, which may require grafts or other surgical interventions.
3. Cracked Tooth
Teeth can crack from trauma, such as a sports accident or biting into hard food. In some cases, the damage will be acute and apparent, requiring a dental cap, crown, or even a root canal. In others, however, the breakage may be harder to detect. Even small chips or fractures can cause toothaches or sensitivity to temperature or spice. Food particles can irritate the crack and may be harder to remove, exacerbating the problem. Stick to soft, tepid foods and beverages until you can visit a dentist for filling or bonding.
If you have a toothache, turn to the dentists at Kaimuki Dental Group in Honolulu, HI, for relief. These caring professionals will identify the underlying cause and provide effective treatments. Their experienced team also provides emergency assistance should you break a tooth. Call (808) 737-7905 to schedule an appointment or view their services online.