It’s a beautiful – yet hot – day in Clearwater, Florida. Life is good. Then it strikes – a toothache. You may also be woken up in the middle of the night by one. It can be caused by a variety of things. Some of them are quite obvious – like getting an elbow in the mouth during a basketball game. Others… require a bit more digging to figure out.
There might be a temptation just to take a painkiller like Tylenol and just keep going. That’s a bad idea. You need to know what is causing your toothache. Read on to learn a few things that could be behind it.
Suddenly you feel an intense pain that just does not let up. This is usually an indicator that your tooth is infected and that the bacteria has made its way under your gum line and into the pulp of your tooth. This happens if you’ve neglected your tooth-brushing and flossing duties for far too long. Other things that may cause this is not having enough saliva in your mouth or having a diet that is too high in sugar.
This is something that needs to be fixed immediately – that same night if possible. Otherwise the infection can worsen and you can result in lost teeth or worse.
Sensitivity to Heat Or Cold
You take a big swig of an ice-cold water. Ow! You take a sip of hot chocolate. Ow! Your teeth hurt when you do either of these. This could be because your gums have receded some and have thus exposed the nerves of one or more of your teeth. The heat or the cold then hits the nerve… and you have your pain.
Sometimes this can be caused by teeth whitening strips. If this is a side effect, then it’s a good idea to ask your dentist about what you can do to whiten your teeth instead. Another solution is to use toothpaste that are designed for sensitive teeth. If the pain continues, your dentist may have to do something like gum-flap surgery to reattach the receded gum to the tooth.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
If you wake up in the morning and your jaw and teeth are sore, there’s a good chance that you are someone who has bruxism – you grind your teeth. It’s not only at night though, some people do it during the day without being aware of it. This is not a harmless problem. You can cause fractures of your teeth, which will then need emergency dental work. It can even make everyday things like chewing too painful.
There are a variety of things that can cause people to do this. Stress, naturally, is a big cause. But it’s not the only one. People who take antidepressants may be prone to doing this. Smokers and people who regularly drink alcoholic beverages are also put in the risk factor camp.
It’s not an unusual problem either. Studies have shown that up to 10% of adults grind their teeth nightly. 15% of children do it. If left alone, it could wind up causing a lot of damage – and not just to your teeth. It can cause poor sleeping habits, which can affect everything from your alertness during the day to your blood pressure. Sleep apnea is not the only culprit there.
What’s the cure? Dentists like creating a custom mouthguard from a mold that keeps the upper and lower jaws from touching at night. That prevents any possible friction and also will have you waking up in the morning with a relaxed jaw – not a sore one.
Even if the pain is relatively minor, you need to get it looked at as soon as possible. If you wait, then that increases the possibility that an infection can set in and run rampant through your mouth and even other parts of your body. That’s because your head is far from being self-contained – bacteria from your gums can work their way into your bloodstream and affect other parts of your body.
In the long and short term, having this taken care of can be very beneficial to you. So, don’t try to gut your way through something. Dental offices often work with their patients through different ways of financing. You need to take care of yourself first and then you can work out payments that won’t wind up eating a whole chunk of your bank account at once.
The staff at Dental Emergency Room are prepared for any of the above issues, and they will be able to fix the problem quickly and have you feeling well again soon. If you live in the Clearwater area, you can come see them 24 hours a day. The staff can also do general dental work, so if you’re looking for a new dentist, they can help you. Give them a call at 727-449-2424.