London: We’ve all been there and it’s safe to say that there’s nothing more incapacitating than a toothache. Before you call in sick at work, it’s important to consider the many explanations why that pain you’re experiencing might not be cavity-related at all. As compiled from Women’s Health magazine, get the lowdown on the other reasons you might be experiencing dental discomfort.
You brush too hard: We know you want a million-watt smile, but applying too much pressure or brushing too harshly can actually lead to more problems and discomfort. “Doing this wears away at the actual tooth structure, and causes the recession of gums that normally covers the root of the tooth,” says Ira Handschuh, a dentist at the Dental Design Centre in White Plains, New York.
Best Remedy to Relieve Tooth Pain
You may notice extreme sensitivity to eating and drinking cold items, which is due to your root structure being more exposed. While you can’t “undo” the damage caused by over-brushing, you can schedule an appointment with your dentist, who can place tooth-colored fillings on the areas where the tooth has abraded, recommends Handschuh.
“Sometimes even placing a gum graft to build the gums back to the height they were originally is also possible,” he says. Your best bet is to avoid this fate altogether by investing in a high-quality electronic toothbrush or a manual extra-soft bristled brush, and tone down the pressure.
You have a cracked tooth: This is more common than you think — a cracked tooth can be caused by a number of things, including biting into something hard that causes the tooth to crack (think ice or hard candy), an injury from something outside the mouth, like falling or an accident. “If there is a crack, the tooth pain could be experienced when biting down, chewing, or even drinking something hot or cold,” says Thompson.
If the crack is to one of your front teeth, you may be able to actually see the damage, but if it is to the back teeth, visibility might be more difficult. Visit your dentist’s office right away so they can restore the area before the crack worsens. Also, immediately stop chewing on anything hard to avoid further damage.
You grind or clench your teeth while sleeping: Grinding teeth causes more than just annoyance to your spouse. “In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fractured or loose tooth,” says Handschuh. “So it’s very important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist so he or she can examine the way your teeth occlude and consider whether or not any of them are hitting too hard or too early.”
An imbalance in where your teeth meet is what can cause problems like tooth, TMJ and muscle aches. “There are many ways to treat this type of pain, one of which might be the use of a nightguard, which assists in removing forces off of some teeth and placing the forces evenly throughout the oral cavity,” he suggests.