Why does my tooth hurt?
The average person will suffer from mild to extreme toothaches several times during his or her lifetime. The severity or pain level usually depends on the cause behind a toothache.
If you’re thinking “Why does my tooth hurt?” every now and then, a trusted Sterling Heights dentist shares some possible reasons below:
The most common cause of toothaches is tooth decay. However, for the tooth and the surrounding area to really hurt, the decay in the tooth would have to be significant enough that it has already reached the inner layer of the tooth — the dentin. Once the dentin is damaged, the tooth becomes highly sensitive and a cavity has already developed.
Tooth abscess or infection
If a cavity has already affected the root beneath the visible tooth, the root and the surrounding tissue will soon become infected. This, in turn, can cause a pulsating and unbearable pain. This is a dental issue that needs to be dealt with professionally as soon as possible since not only is it extremely painful, but it can also result in bone and tissue loss.
If you feel a sharp tooth pain during or after eating or drinking something cold or hot, the pain is usually connected to tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity usually means that your tooth enamel has worn down and your tooth’s dentin (the layer where the tooth’s nerves are) is exposed. This dental issue can also be caused by a recent teeth whitening procedure. To reduce this level of sensitivity, you can try using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. You can also consult your dentist for other possible remedies.
Damaged or dislodged dental fillings or sealants which can expose the sensitive part of your tooth to temperatures, food and drinks can create sharp pains. Your dentist can immediately repair or replace the dental filling or sealant so that you can be free of pain quickly.
Dental trauma or fracture
If you injure, fracture, crack or chip a tooth because of a sports injury, accident, or from biting a really hard object, you will feel an intense toothache. If the pain is intolerable, this usually means that the fracture or damage has made its way to the middle of the tooth where the nerve endings are. Recommended treatments for this painful oral issue include dental fillings and dental crowns.
Growing wisdom teeth
When your wisdom teeth are starting to erupt or if they have already crowned, they can cause teeth misalignment and push against the other teeth. This typically places pressure on your jaws and gums which causes the pain. Extracting the wisdom teeth and other orthodontic treatments will provide you relief from the pain.
Lastly, if you suffer from sinuses, regular nasal congestion and tenderness in your upper jaw can also cause toothaches. Your dentist and medical practitioner will have to work together to find the most suitable remedy for this problem.
Even if the pain you are feeling is bearable and often comes and goes, it is best to consult your dentist immediately. There may be some underlying and more severe dental issues behind the pain and your dentist is the best person to detect and treat them.
Healthy, normal teeth have living tissues inside the pulp and they play important roles in the development of a tooth. They also cause you to feel pain and discomfort when you have a toothache or whenever you eat or drink something really cold or hot. When these nerves and other living tissues die or are removed (under a root canal treatment), they will cause the tooth to die.
What Causes a Tooth to Die?
According to Sterling Heights dentist, Dr. Farhat, dental trauma and decay are the two main culprits which can cause a tooth to die.
Dental trauma caused by sports injuries, assault, or a huge fall or slip can cause the blood supply to the tip of the root to be severed, resulting in the pulp and tooth dying off. In cases of severe tooth decay, bacteria will get too near the nerve or pulp. The pulp will try to get rid of the bacteria, but without proper treatment, all it can do is to choke the blood vessels by raising the internal pressure. Unfortunately, this will cause the blood supply to be cut off and the pulp will eventually die.
In some cases, gum disease and excessive clenching can also cause the death of a tooth.
Signs and Symptoms of a dead tooth
You will know if a tooth is dying or is already dead if you see or experience these signs and symptoms:
- Tooth discoloration or darkening. It can turn into a shade of yellow, gray, or black.
- Pain or discomfort. It can vary from mild to severe, especially at the time when the nerve is dying or there is already an abscess in the tooth.
- Some swelling, a bad taste, odor, and a “pimple” on the gum which may be caused by an infection or pus.
Treatment for a dead tooth
So what happens after a tooth dies? Once the nerve is dead, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort when eating and drinking something that is too hot or cold. However, you still need to see your dentist since you have a tooth with a dead nerve inside it which will begin to rot soon.
Root canal treatment may be recommended if you don’t want to lose the dead tooth. This procedure will effectively deal with the bacterial infection and remove the decayed section of the pulp, thereby preserving the dead tooth. The discoloration can be addressed through teeth whitening or the application of a veneer if the dead tooth is in front.
Extraction is the recommended procedure if the tooth is already severely decayed and is beyond repair. However, the extracted tooth has to be replaced with a dental implant or crown to replace the missing bone tissue and to allow the patient to have a complete, functional set of teeth again.
It’s not just kids who are afraid of going to the dentist; a lot of adults have this fear, too. In fact, dental anxiety or phobia is a condition that is common among adults.
Dental anxiety refers to the feeling of being nervous or afraid of going to the dentist. These fears stem from or can be about anything related to dentistry: dental pain, needle phobia, the smell in the clinic and the clinic itself, or a bad experience with an inept dentist. All of these make it hard for a person to go to a dental clinic, so much so that that they would prefer to suffer from a severe toothache or tooth loss than consulting a dentist.
Overcoming Your Fear of Dentists
Sedation dentistry pertains to the use of medication to sedate patients with the aim to make them feel more relaxed while they undergo a dental procedure. It utilizes a combination of relaxing and pain-relieving drugs so that patients who have dental anxiety are comfortable and pain-free during their procedure.
There are different levels of sedation that patients can opt for. They range from minimal sedation (the patient is awake but completely relaxed) to moderate sedation (the patient experiences slurring and won’t remember much of the procedure) to deep sedation (the patient is nearly unconscious but can still be woken), and general anesthesia (the patient is completely unconscious).
Forms of Sedation
A trusted dentist in Sterling Heights explains that the different levels of dental sedation usually correspond to the different forms as well, which are:
Inhaled sedation. Under this form, a patient inhales a type of gas (usually nitrous oxide) that has a sedative effect. The patient will inhale the gas through a mask and its sedative element will enter the bloodstream. The patient will then feel tired and even a bit sleepy and reduce his or her sensitivity to pain. The inhaled sedative does not have long lasting effects and once the procedure is over, they will wear off quickly.
Oral sedation. With this type, patients are given a tablet or pill that will make them more relaxed and less sensitive to pain. This is the least invasive method of sedation since it does not involve any injections or breathing apparatus. The medicine’s sedative effects can be powerful that the patient can fall asleep under its influence but he or she can maintain consciousness and still be aware of what is happening around them. Under its effects, the patient will be free from anxiety or fear. They will feel relaxed and experience less discomfort and pain while undergoing a dental procedure.
Intravenous sedation. Also known as IV sedation, under this method, the sedative is administered through a tube attached to a needle which is inserted into the arm and directly over a blood vessel. Once the drip starts, the sedative is administered directly into the bloodstream. Because of this, IV sedation is considered the most effective method that can be used for patients with severe dental phobia.
Deep sedation and general anesthesia. General anesthesia will be administered through inhalation or an intravenous drip. This is a method that is least used or recommended by dentists since the patient will lose consciousness once the sedative takes effect. Patients won’t feel any discomfort during the dental procedure as they are in deep sleep. Under this method, the patient’s health, vital signs, and level of consciousness will be closely monitored and maintained by the dental practitioner, nurse or qualified anesthetist.
If you are suffering from dental anxiety and considering undergoing sedation for an important procedure, you will do well to understand the different types of dental sedation. And with the advice of your dentist, you will be able to choose the best one that will suit your needs.
Why Do My Gums Bleed?
You are just about finished brushing your teeth and you spit into the sink. Then, you notice blood.
You might be asking yourself, “Why do my gums bleed?”
According to a Sterling Heights Dentist, there is no single cause for bleeding gums. More often than not, bleeding gums (as well as other problems like swelling and pain in the gums) are symptoms of a larger problem.
Lack of Proper Oral Health Care
One possible reason why your gums are bleeding, especially after brushing your teeth, is that you have been brushing too vigorously.
You have to remember that gums are quite delicate and if you brush vigorously and/or use a toothbrush with hard bristles, you could damage your gums.
The best way to avoid this is to use soft, circular motions to brush your teeth and gums. You may also want to use a toothbrush with soft to medium bristles.
Another reason why your gums are bleeding is a poor flossing technique. Again, if you are not careful, you can damage your gums’ tissues. Instead of forcing the floss between your teeth, try to slide it carefully.
Bleeding gums is one symptom of gum disease. If you do not take good care of your teeth and gums and do not practice poor oral hygiene, you increase your risk of contracting gum disease.
If you experience other symptoms like loose and shifting teeth, changes in your bite, deep pockets between your teeth and gums, gum recession, and red and swollen gums, you most likely have gum disease and you need to see your dentist.
People who are undergoing chemotherapy can also expect bleeding gums as one of the side effects of the treatment.
Hormonal changes in women during their puberty, period, menopause and pregnancy can lead to gum problems like swelling, sensitivity and bleeding.
What can you do to prevent gum problems like bleeding?
One of the most important things that you need to remember is that your gums need as much TLC as your teeth.
Good oral hygiene can go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Remember to brush and floss your teeth regularly. It also helps to use an antiseptic mouthwash to keep the bacteria in your mouth in check.
Try to eat a balanced diet with plenty of vital nutrients like vitamin C and calcium and drink lots of water.
If you are a smoker, consider stopping your habit. Finally, find ways to relax your mind and body. Stress can lead to inflammation in your body.
For more information on why your gums bleed, contact your Sterling Heights dentist at Dental1Care today!
Bleeding Gums | Should I Be Concerned About Bleeding Gums?
Common Patient Concern: I am concerned about bleeding gums when I brush
If you are brushing your teeth and seeing red when you are rinsing you are not alone. You may not feel any pain or discomfort while brushing or flossing. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the issue. We recommend you pay a visit to your Sterling Heights dentist.
Your trusted dentist will examine your teeth and gums and decide if professional treatment is needed. But even before you consult your dentist about this, you can go ahead and try to identify what the cause of your bleeding gums might be. Consider the following factors which could be leading bleeding gums every time you brush or floss:
Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day, and pay regular visits to your dentist (even when there’s nothing concerning you about your oral health), then you leave little chance for plaque to build up along your gumline.
Plaque that remains in your mouth for prolonged periods eventually hardens and transforms into tartar; this is a calcified material which causes gum irritation and bleeding. A rigid oral care routine can prevent plaque and tartar from forming.
The Bristles of Your Toothbrush Are Too Hard
Some people prefer to buy toothbrushes with harder bristles because they feel that vigorously running these back and forth, up and down on the surfaces of their teeth will result in a much cleaner mouth. However, hard bristles could be irritating your teeth and gums, hence the bleeding. You may need to switch to softer bristles which can clean your teeth and gums without the irritation, but just as effectively.
It would also be a good idea to use a gentler hand when using dental floss to prevent bleeding from the gums.
You Are Taking Medication
The medicine that you take for other health conditions could be causing the bleeding in your gums. One example would be aspirin, which is known for relieving pain but also for thinning the blood; this may be causing the bleeding. It’s best to talk to your physician, who can prescribe a different dosage or medication.
Your Diet is Wreaking Havoc on Your Oral Health
If you eat plenty of foods with simple carbohydrates and sugar, you are also creating the ideal environment in your mouth for bacteria to form plaque. This then leads to all kinds of tooth and gum problems. If you must eat sugary foods, remember to do so in moderation and to brush after eating to prevent plaque from forming. Also, eat more nutritious foods for your teeth, like vegetables.
Bleeding gums are a common experience for many, but they can be properly addressed. If you’ve made the appropriate changes mentioned above and bleeding continues, see your Sterling Heights dentist and get expert advice and treatments.
Trusted Sterling Heights Dentist Sheds Light on Common Myths About Dental Hygiene
When it comes to dental hygiene, there is plenty of information (and misinformation) that you can hear from friends and relatives, or read online. Which of these are true? Which are simply myths about dental hygiene? A trusted sterling heights dentist provides some insights on these.
White teeth are healthy teeth
A lot of people believe that having white teeth is equal to having healthy teeth. The truth is that even if you have white teeth, cavities and infections may still be lurking in your mouth.
Additionally, people have different shades of tooth color. One person with a healthy set of teeth may have a darker shade of tooth color. However, discoloration may sometimes be seen as a symptom of a dental problem.
Bleaching teeth can be bad for you
In the past, the statement may have some grain of truth because of the use of highly acidic ingredients. These ingredients may help a patient achieve a white smile, but at the cost of enamel breakdown.
However, today’s bleaching agents have a neutral pH level which does not harm the teeth. Certainly, it is still essential to follow your dentist’s instructions on how to use teeth whiteners to avoid hurting your teeth and gums.
You should avoid brushing bleeding gums
It sounds sensible. After all, if your gums are bleeding, you should stop brushing the affected areas, right?
The truth is that brushing benefits both the teeth and gums and keeps dental problems at bay. If you have bleeding or sensitive gums, you can and still have to brush these. However, you should avoid brushing these too vigorously to avoid irritating these.
Sugar is bad for your teeth
You’ve probably heard this one since you were a kid. However, it is important to stress that sugar per se is not the one causing dental problems. Sugar acts as the food source of the bacteria in your mouth. And the more you eat foods loaded with sugar, the more likely you are going to have tooth decay.
Tooth decay comes as a result of the combination of bacteria in your mouth, sugar and acid. You can easily prevent this issue by brushing your teeth after each meal, or if this is not possible, by rinsing your mouth, especially after eating sweets.
Putting an aspirin beside an aching tooth helps in pain relief
That depends on the cause of your toothache. If the toothache emanates from the gums, putting an aspirin near the tooth can help relieve pain. However, if the pain is caused by a problem with the tooth structure, an aspirin won’t do you any good. Take note that in order for aspirin to take its full effect, it has to be digested and to enter into the blood stream. Also, aspirin can burn your gums.
You don’t need to floss
Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. It may be tempting to skip this practice, but know that there are areas in your mouth that a toothbrush simply cannot reach. These areas can harbor bacteria that can cause dental problems.
Your friends and relatives may be well-meaning when it comes to dispensing advice. However, following known myths can hurt your dental health. If you have questions, your Sterling Heights Dentist, Dr. Farhat can provide the correct answers. We welcome your questions and comments!