activities such as brushing, flossing, eating and drinking can cause sharp, temporary pain in your teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, or a side effect of a dental procedure, such as bleaching.
If you’re concerned about sensitive teeth, start by visiting your dentist. He or she can identify or rule out any underlying causes of your tooth pain. Depending on the circumstances, your dentist might recommend:
- Desensitizing toothpaste – After several applications, desensitizing toothpaste can help block pain associated with sensitive teeth.
- Fluoride – Your dentist might apply fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain.
- Covering exposed root surfaces – If receding gums are the cause of your sensitive teeth, your dentist might apply a sealant to cover the exposed tooth roots.
- Root canal therapy – If your sensitive teeth cause severe pain and other treatments aren’t effective, your dentist might recommend a root canal: a procedure used to treat problems in the tooth’s soft core (dental pulp).
- Tooth grinding can fracture teeth and cause sensitivity.
To prevent sensitive teeth from recurring, your dentist might offer suggestions to help you maintain your oral health. Twice a day, brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, highly abrasive toothpaste, and excessive brushing and flossing. If you grind your teeth, ask your dentist about a nightguard.
You might also consider limiting acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, wine and yogurt — all of which can remove tooth enamel. When you drink acidic liquids, use a straw to limit contact with your teeth. After eating or drinking an acidic substance, drink milk or water to balance the acid levels in your mouth. It also helps to avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic substances, since acid softens enamel and makes it more vulnerable to erosion during brushing.
PAIN IN TEETH
A toothache is a pain in or around a tooth that may be caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Abscessed tooth
- Tooth fracture
- A damaged filling
- Repetitive motions, such as chewing gum or grinding teeth
- Infected gums
PAIN IN JAW
Jaw pain is any kind of pain or discomfort in the jaw area, which includes the lower jaw (mandible, often referred to as the jaw bone), temporomandibular joint (TMJ or jaw joint), and surrounding soft tissues. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull and is responsible for bringing the lower and upper jaws together. It is one of the most frequently used joints in the body.
Depending on the underlying cause, jaw pain can occur suddenly or build up over time. You may feel a dull ache, or it may be so painful that you can’t open your mouth to eat. Jaw pain may be triggered by various activities, such as eating, swallowing or merely touching the jaw area, as is the case with trigeminal neuralgia.
One of the most common reasons for jaw pain is stress to the temporomandibular joint, leading to temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. The temporomandibular joint is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues surround the joint. TMD can be caused by wear and tear, injury, or disease of the joint and surrounding soft tissue.
Jaw pain can also be a sign of various other diseases, disorders and conditions. Relatively mild conditions, such as teeth grinding, can cause jaw pain. More serious conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, infection, and neuralgia. Jaw pain is also considered one of the hallmark warning signs of a heart attack.
INJURY TO FACE OR TEETH
A dislodged, or luxated, tooth is one that has been partially pushed into or out of its socket, or sideways, during an injury. If this happens to you, see a dentist as soon as possible. He or she will reposition and stabilize your tooth.Fillings or the Root canal treatment is usually needed for permanent teeth that have been dislodged and should be started a few days following the injury.
Children between seven and 12 years old may not need root canal treatment since their teeth are still developing. For those patients, an endodontist or dentist will monitor the healing carefully and intervene immediately if any unfavorable changes appear. Therefore, multiple follow-up appointments are likely to be needed. New research indicates that stem cells present in the pulps of young people can be stimulated to complete root growth and heal the pulp following injuries or infection.