A toothache can describe a variety of situations in which one or more of your teeth have become sensitive or achy. When mild, tooth sensitivity can be annoying, but is often mistaken as no big deal. Therefore, patients ignore the discomfort until it grows more severe, and by the time they seek treatment, the cause of the tooth sensitivity has also grown more extensive. Whether the underlying cause is tooth damage or decay, or your sensitive teeth are an indication of progressive periodontal disease, seeking relief as soon as possible is the best thing you can do for your immediate and long-term dental health.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Everyone’s dental health is unique, and there are many potential causes of tooth sensitivity. In many cases, the cause is direct trauma to your tooth, such as a crack or break in its structure. In others, it may be the gradually worsening result of the enamel around your teeth weakening due to inadequate hygiene and preventative care. When enamel is compromised enough, oral bacteria can affect your teeth’s main structures, leading to cavities and more severe tooth sensitivity. Patients with developing gum disease may also experience sensitive teeth as their gums begin to recede, exposing their sensitive teeth roots.
Ideally, you can prevent toothaches and tooth sensitivity by preventing the common causes behind them. This means practicing consistently good hygiene at home and maintaining a schedule of preventative checkups and cleanings with your dentist as often as recommended. However, if your teeth do become sensitive, then alleviating their sensitivity will require accurately diagnosing why they ache and undergoing appropriate treatment to correct the problem. Some of the most common treatments recommended to alleviate the causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Fluoride treatment and more frequent cleanings to strengthen weakened tooth enamel.
- Tooth fillings to treat tooth decay and cavities.
- Tooth bonding or veneers to restore worn or lightly damaged teeth.
- Dental crowns to restore cracked, fractured, or broken teeth.
- Dental bridges or dental implants to replace severely compromised teeth.
- And more.
After a careful examination, your dentist can consult with you to discuss the cause of your tooth sensitivity and help you choose the most appropriate treatment to relieve it.