Tooth ache involves a situation of pain and inflammation in and around the jaw and dentures caused by widely varying factors including infection, cracks, additional growth and dryness.

What Causes Tooth Ache?

  • Tooth decay initiated by bacteria such as 'Lactobacillus' and 'Streptococcus mutans 'may give way to pain and inflammation.
  • Dental decay or caries leading to the formation of anatomies in forms of pits and cracks also lead to tooth ache.
  • Cavities formed by bacteria with its corroding influence also cause tooth decay.
  • Inflammation of the pulp of tooth can also cause tooth ache.
  • Cracks and fissure in tooth can also lead to ache.
  • Growth of wisdom tooth may also lead to painfulness and inflammation.
  • Jutting of tooth from the edges of another may also give rise to pain.
  • Sudden exposure to changes in the environmental pressures and temperature also contributes to pain.
  • Inflammation of gum and tissues surrounding tooth may give way to tooth ache.
  • Extraction of tooth causing dryness in socket can also give rise to tooth ache.
  • Corrosion of enamel and recession of gum may also contribute to tooth ache.
  • Disorders in the joints of jaw can also give rise to toothache.
  • It is important to observe that pain in tooth may well be caused by cardiac malfunctioning and may turn out to be a symptom of myocardial infarction.

Types of Tooth Ache

  • Depending on the severity of infection and source of infection, tooth aches can be of various kinds. In general pain can be differentiated into sharp, moderate and chronic types.
  • One may experience acute and sudden pain on account of its increased sensitivity caused by gradual decay.
  • Recession of gum leading to the root's exposure may also cause sharply acute pain.
  • Tooth decay which has penetrated deep enough to affect the nerve endings may cause continuous pain lingering over a long period of time.
  • Crack or fissures in tooth may cause pain while chewing or eating.

Symptoms of Tooth Ache

  • One may experience sharp or lingering pain depending upon the nature and extent of decay.
  • There may be pain on chewing as well.
  • Tooth ache may simultaneously be accompanied by increased sensitivity to hot and chilled.
  • Swelling or inflammation of the gum may also accompany tooth ache.
  • Inflammation of gum may give way to reddening of the surrounding tooth and gum.
  • In addition to tooth ache one may experience discharge tinged with blood.
  • In acute cases of tooth ache one may experience pain in the ear, throat and sinus.

Diagnosis of Tooth Ache

  • It is always desirable to trace the underlying reasons behind tooth ache.
  • Usually visit to a dentist's is accompanied by a thorough examination of the oral cavity. It will be checked for the presence of decay, inflammation and symptoms of redness.
  • X rays or radiographic photograph also serves to highlight the cause of pain; as to whether it is caused by cavities, gum or jaw related reasons.
  • X rays of different wavelengths are used to show the conditions of teeth located in one area as well to highlight the condition of one particular tooth and its adjoining gum.

Treatments for Tooth Ache

  • Tooth ache which can affect any individual irrespective of his age, sex and status is generally treated after ascertaining its underlying cause.
  • In case of the cause being dental decay or pits, the area of decay is covered or replaced by a filing, after proper clearance of the decayed portion.
  • In case worn out or decayed filling contributes to the pain; the same therapy of replacement is resorted to.
  • Root canal therapy is resorted to for protecting the dental pulp in wake of its infection.
  • Root canal therapy is often backed up by the placement of a dental cap.
  • In extreme cases of infection and pain; usually extraction of tooth is embarked upon as the last resort.
  • Antibiotics are usually prescribed to deal with the symptoms of gum or jaw infection
  • For immediate control of pain and inflammation intravenous administration of pain killer containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be embarked upon at the dentist's counter.
  • Medication containing 'aspirin' may be prescribed for controlling jaw related pain.
  • It is not advisable to administer the mentioned drug of 'aspirin' to children below fourteen.
  • A jutting edge causing pain is often drilled by way of a dental drill to ease pain.

Usually milk teeth are extracted, with permanent teeth being treated by other therapeutic measures including sealing, drill, caps and root canal treatment.

Self Care to Prevent Tooth Aches

  • Self care and maintenance of dental hygiene play important parts with regard to avoiding tooth ache.
  • Apart from brushing your teeth twice a day, consumption of sugar based item should be thoroughly rinsed so that the bacteria are not encouraged to work on particles of sweet and gradually bring about decay.
  • In case you are suffering from pain, try to avoid food presenting extremes in temperature.
  • In case you have an attached appliance such as braces, make sure to have them thoroughly brushed so that remaining food particles do not lead to plaque formation- another cause behind dental decay and pain.
  • Diet enriched with Vitamin A, D,E and K will ensure healthy teeth along with healthy gum.