A sensitivity to hot or cold, which might grow more common as you get older, could be the cause of occasional mouth pain. However, different sorts of toothaches—and the symptoms that go along with them—can be signs that you're developing one of a number of significant health problems that require quick attention.
Don't just take an ibuprofen and hope for the best. Continue reading to discover indicators that your toothache should be taken seriously.
1. You experience an intense throbbing pain
An acute, throbbing ache in your tooth that isn't caused by eating could be a sign that you have a tooth infection. A tooth infection arises when bacteria infect the pulp of the tooth, which is the innermost part of the tooth that contains connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. Infections are dangerous because, if left untreated, they can spread to other parts of your body.
2. Your jaw is sore or clicking
If your jaw is constantly hurting or clicking when you open your mouth, it could be a sign that you're developing temporomandibular joint disease or TMJ. This condition can happen if you clench or grind your teeth often. It could also be caused by arthritis or simply by heredity.
If your jaw is sore, clicking, or causing you pain, make an appointment with a professional. They can help you develop techniques to combat or relieve TMJ problems. They may also take an x-ray to determine the degree of your TMJ, and if severe, surgery may be advised. Plus, if you have a severe TMJ, you may also need a masseter reduction - a treatment used to reduce jaw muscles that often get bigger if you have severe TMJ disorder.
3. You have mouth dryness
Saliva protects you from bacteria and having a dry mouth can exacerbate whatever dental problems you're having because it encourages bacteria to develop in an ideal habitat. Certain drugs might induce dry mouth, which makes it difficult to spit, talk, or speak.
4. Your tooth is loose
It's an indication of advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease if you have tooth discomfort and the tooth itself feels loose. It's critical to take care of it straight away. A loose tooth might also happen if you haven't had a cavity or dental decay repaired.
5. The pain is dull and constant
A frequent and severe toothache is not only uncomfortable, but it could also indicate the presence of something more dangerous. It's possible that you have a foreign substance caught in your gums if your discomfort is centered in one location and accompanied with swollen or irritated gums. Flossing thoroughly may help you feel better.
6. You have swollen jaw or neck
Your jaw may enlarge a little as you heal if you have had dental surgery. However, if you haven't had any treatment done recently and are experiencing swelling in your jaw or neck in addition to tooth pain, you may have a dental abscess. Your tooth has become infected, resulting in an accumulation of pus and germs in your jaw or neck. The infection can spread to your other teeth, adjacent bones, and, in the worst-case scenario, your ears or brain.
7. You feel pressure
If you have dental discomfort that is accompanied by pressure, it's possible that your wisdom teeth are causing you problems. In the United States, 10 million wisdom teeth are pulled each year. When you're between the ages of 16 and 23, your wisdom teeth do the majority of their growth and change.
If they appeared to be growing normally throughout the years, your dentist may have decided to leave them in. They may, however, begin to crowd your other teeth as you become older. If your wisdom teeth come in at an angle, they're more likely to get infected or decay, which can lead to additional issues in your mouth if they're not extracted.
8. You notice a chip
Any tooth can be chipped, however, the lower second molar is the most commonly chipped tooth, according to a study published in the Journal of Endodontics. This could be due to the fact that when you chew or bite down, it takes the most pressure. If you ignore the chip in your tooth, you may experience severe sensitivity to hot and cold foods, as well as a toothache, for the rest of your life. A chipped tooth means your roots and nerves are exposed to the air, making your mouth very sensitive to whatever it comes into touch with.