A toothache can strike anytime, anywhere; pain is an adaptive response, a way for our body to let us know that something is not going as well as it should. Depending on the kind of pain or discomfort you are experiencing we can have a pretty good idea of what’s causing it. Do keep in mind that even if that is case, any pain should be thoroughly checked by a dentist. Here is a list of the most common symptoms and probable causes.
Sharp toothache when biting food
This kind of pain is usually caused by tooth decay, cracked teeth of a loose filling; the pain is probably caused by the pressure exerted on the afflicted area. You should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible; fortunately, this kind of pain is usually caused by minor conditions, so it is relatively easy to fix the problem before it worsens.
Chronic pain and pressure, swelling of gum and sensitivity to touch or biting
This is usually caused by an infection/abscess that has compromised the surrounding areas of the infected tooth. While Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen should keep the acute pain under control, you need to see your dentist immediately. Most often than not, the dentist will drain the afflicted area before a root canal is executed to sanitize the area.
Chronic and acute pain in an area, but no other symptoms and it’s difficult to pinpoint the source.
This is usually caused by an infected pulp and/or a dying tooth; since this is happening inside the tooth you won’t notice anything else out of the ordinary. A cursory review by a trained dentist should be enough to quickly locate the source of the pain and treat it, in the meantime, over the counter medication might help ease the discomfort, but it’s not really that effective.
Discomfort (or dull ache) as well as pressure in the upper teeth and sinus area
This is a tricky one, since the back upper teeth nerve endings are connected to the sinus area, the source of discomfort could come from either one of those two areas. That’s precisely the reason why you might feel a dental discomfort when experiencing sinus congestion (such as the one caused by the common cold). Alternatively, it could also be caused by tooth grinding or jaw clenching during sleep.
Although the pain might be bearable, you should still make an appointment with a dentist to check your teeth, if the professional doesn’t find anything out of the ordinary, you might need to schedule an appointment with your physician.
Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
While not a toothache per se, you may at some point experience sensitivity, the good news is that this is usually something quite minor; it could be caused by small decay, an exposed root caused by gum recession or even just toothbrush abrasion. To treat it, keep the area clean using a soft toothbrush and fluoride-containing toothpaste, there are some toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth, use those. If that even proves uncomfortable you could try gently rubbing the toothpaste with your fingers, if the sensitivity persists, you could consult a professional.