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Top Questions Asked About Tooth Pain

March 7, 2022

One of the worst things anyone has to deal with is a terrible toothache that pops out of nowhere. If you’re suffering from this unbearable pain, you’ll want to see the best dentist in Denver, CO, right away. Before heading down to their office, you should also check out the answers to the most common questions patients ask about dental pain.

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Pain

What Are the Common Causes of Tooth Pain?

  • Cavities

Without a proper oral hygiene routine, bacteria will feed on the food particles that cling onto the surfaces of your teeth. These bacteria produce acids that erode the protective layer of your teeth called the enamel until cavities develop. Tooth decay and cavities can lead to toothaches, gum disease, and tooth loss.

  • Dental Abscess

If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to a dental abscess, or a pocket of pus, that protrudes out of the gums. A dental abscess refers to an infection near the tooth or in the pulp inside it.  

Besides causing the tooth around it to become sensitive or loosen, the infection can also be life-threatening when it spreads to the brain. If you think you have an abscess, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.  

  • Impacted Wisdom Tooth  

Likewise, a wisdom tooth that gets stuck in the gum or bone tissue can also cause tooth pain. An impacted wisdom tooth can lead to swollen gums, jaw pain, cyst development, and difficulty chewing and opening the mouth.  

What Can I Do to Help With the Pain Before My Appointment?

  • Take Painkillers  

If your tooth pain is at its worst and your appointment with your dentist is on the next day, one of the best things you can do is to take over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen.  

  • Rinse Your Mouth with Saltwater  

A saltwater rinse can also help ease the pain. Mix about ½ spoon of table salt with 8 ounces of water and swish the solution in your mouth before spitting it out.  

  • Apply Cold Compress  

You can also put an ice pack or cold compress on your cheek to reduce the swelling and alleviate the discomfort.  

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Can Tooth Pain Cause Headaches?  

Several dental conditions can lead to a headache. These conditions include bruxism, referred pain, and issues with the nervous system.  

  • Bruxism  

Teeth grinding or bruxism refers to the involuntary clenching and grinding of teeth while not chewing. Although this condition usually occurs during sleep, it can also happen while awake. Since bruxism puts excessive pressure on one or both of your jaw joints, it can lead to severe headaches.  

  • Referred Pain  

Referred pain is pain that occurs at a site separate from its origin. In some cases, patients with a problematic tooth experience headaches as the pain from the tooth is referred to the head. As a result, the body perceives the discomfort as coming from the head.  

  • Issues Related to Your Nervous System  

Problems related to the nervous system can also cause headaches. Trigeminal nerves are responsible for helping your face recognize pain and touch sensations. A headache may result from a serious nerve disorder affecting one of the trigeminal nerve branches that give sensation to the teeth, jaws, and head.  

Why Do I Have Tooth Pain When My Teeth Are Completely Healthy?  

A person who has healthy teeth can still experience dental discomfort when dealing with pressure from sinus congestion. Additionally, biting down on something hard, problems with your jaw joints, and irritating or cracking a tooth can also lead to a toothache.  

Why Does My Toothache Worsen at Night?  

  • Fewer Distractions  

Since your daily activities keep you busy during the day, your mind and body become too preoccupied to feel the pain. In contrast, you become more aware of the pain in your mouth because your brain has fewer distractions. Since you feel the discomfort more as you clear your mind to fall asleep, your toothache may seem to get worse.  

  • Forgetting to Brush Your Teeth After Having Late-Night Meals  

Eating sweets for dinner or having sugary midnight snacks will cause food particles to get stuck in between your teeth or along your gum line. Since plaque thrives on sugar, a late-night meal can worsen a toothache if you forget to brush your teeth.  

  • Sleeping Position  

Tooth pain becomes even more painful at night due to your sleeping position. Lying down causes more blood to rush to your head, putting more pressure on sensitive areas, including your mouth. You won’t feel as much pain during the day because you’re mostly standing or sitting.  

  • Bruxism  

Unconscious teeth clenching or grinding at night puts much stress on your jaws, teeth, and gums. If you suffer from bruxism, you may wake up from your sleep writhing in so much pain. Unless you receive proper care and treatment, this condition may worsen and cause more damage to your teeth.  

Is It Better to See an Emergency Dentist Rather Than Wait for a Regular Dentist Appointment?  

You can wait until your appointment with the dentist if you can handle the tooth pain and it doesn’t disrupt your day-to-day activities. However, if the discomfort continues to get worse, you’ll have to contact a local emergency dentist to make an appointment.  

Can a Person Have a Cavity and Not Experience Tooth Pain?  

Yes, you may not experience a toothache even if you have a cavity. Dental issues can occur without you even realizing that something’s wrong. Visiting the dentist at least twice a year promotes early cavity detection and treatment.  

How Do I Know If My Tooth Pain Qualifies for Emergency Dental Care?  

You should come in for an emergency dental visit if you’re unable to tolerate the pain even after taking over-the-counter pain relievers.  

What Causes a Throbbing Tooth Pain?  

You may have a dental abscess if you experience a throbbing type of pain in a tooth. This pain gradually increases in intensity as the pus-filled cavity lesion forms around the tooth’s root. Moreover, the throbbing pain doesn’t go away even after taking painkillers.  

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Are You Looking to Find the Best Dentist in Denver, CO?  

The dedicated dental team at Makowski Dental is committed to providing high-quality dentistry services. If you’re ready to achieve the smile of your dreams, contact us today to make an appointment.

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