Pain around the teeth, gums, and the jaw bone is referred to as a toothache. Even if you take good care of your oral hygiene, you can still suffer discomfort from dental pain. If you are experiencing persistent tooth pain in one of your teeth or the surrounding area, do not ignore it. You should schedule an appointment with us immediately so that we can handle this problem and restore your oral comfort. Here’s what you should know about toothaches:
What Causes Pain in Teeth?
A toothache can be caused by numerous issues. Some reasons behind a toothache include:
- Gum and Periodontal Infections
- Teeth grinding habit
- Temporomandibular joint problems
- Inflamed soft tissue around an impacted tooth, or peri-coronitis
- Tooth decay
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped or dislodged teeth fillings/crowns
- Inflammation of the pulp
What are the Different Types of Toothache?
Tooth pain can be felt in many sensations, each has a specific origin and cause.
- Sharp, Shooting Pain – this type of severe toothache indicates hypersensitivity of the teeth. Teeth sensitivity occurs when the protective enamel layer around them is damaged or worn down and the pulp is exposed. This pain occurs after drinking any hot or cold beverage, and goes away once it is not being stimulated. This pain is typically relieved with over-the-counter pain medicine.
- Severe, Long Lasting Pain – this usually occurs because of an irreversible inflammation of the pulp or the periodontal tissue, and usually can not be relieved by taking pain medication. This pain often lasts for many hours, and can only be relieved by treating the underlying problem.
- Lingering Pain – This type of pain happens because of an underlying chronic infection of the pulp or periodontal tissues. This pain is not as severe as the pain caused by sensitive teeth, however, it usually lasts for a longer time.
- Throbbing Pain – this occurs due to an abscess surrounding the teeth or gums. Throbbing pain can also last for a long time, and requires treatment with antibiotics ias well as pain medicine.
- Pain of Biting – this type of pain happens with inflammation of the periodontal tissues, which hold and support the teeth to stay in place. This pain only occurs while biting or chewing.
- Grinding Pain – This occurs due to excessive teeth grinding in both the upper and lower jaw.
What Happens During a Toothache?
As mentioned, our teeth are enclosed with a hard enamel layer. Inside the enamel, the inter-connected dentine and pulp layers are present. The dentine is a semi-soft layer of the tooth that contains numerous dentinal tubules, which are filled with dentinal fluids. These tubules also contain multiple nerve endings that come from the pulp tissue. The pulp is a soft tissue that has many nerve fibers that detect stimuli such as temperature and chewing stress.
This stimulation results in the movement of dentinal fluid, causes the nerve endings to activate inside the dentine, which causes pain. If the enamel layer of a tooth is no longer present, the dentinal tubules are exposed and teeth develop hypersensitivity to even a small change in temperature, pressure, and/or humidity. Sensory nerve fibers in the pulp transport signals from the stimuli to the brain. The brain then interprets the message, and another group of nerve fibers, the motor nerves, take response signals from the brain which is what causes the tooth to ache until the stimulus is removed.
For more information on our dental services, give us a call so we can relieve you from pain. Make an appointment with our office. We are near Bristol Farms on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and we serve the entire South Bay. For more information about what services we offer, click here.