The most common causes of tooth pain are:
- Tooth pain caused by tooth decay (dental caries, cavities), or pulpitis is an inflammation of bone tissue – affecting the center of the tooth (formed by nerves and vessels) into which an infection enters. Patients describe that it is a very intense pain similar to renal colic, which is considered one of the worst pains one can experience. In such cases, it is essential to seek out a dental emergency or your dentist. If you do not visit your doctor and think you can fight the pain with painkillers, the pain will continue for several days and will then cease – that is the moment the tooth dies. The results however, can be fatal. The inflammation can spread through the jaw and can eventually end up spreading to the brain. It is then a life-threatening situation because the patient can die from sepsis.
- Pain caused by tooth sensitivity in reaction to cold/hot drinks, known as dentinal pain. This involves pain of dental roots, which is caused by the fact that during one’s life, the gums recede and the uncovered root exposes dentin canals, which react to thermal changes causing pain. The uncovered parts are then no longer protected by enamel.
Pain of the dental roots can be treated in numerous ways. For some, a special toothpaste such as Sensodyn Rapid works well and is often recommended to our patients. The other option is covering the receded areas with a special lacquer – a common transparent lacquer which is used when the root is uncovered slightly. The lacquered area is subjected to light and covers the dentine canals ensuring that the patient feels immediate relief. The thin layer lasts for several months until it disintegrates through usual brushing of the teeth, eating etc.
- Wisdom teeth pain – this is a problem most commonly associated with young people when they do not have enough space in their mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow correctly. The usual scenario is as follows: a person wakes up in the morning, has a stiff mouth, cannot open it at all and has a feeling of something hurting “in the back”. The pain shoots up to the ear from the bottom jaw or to the temple from the top jaw. This pain is caused by the fact that the tooth tries to cut through the gums, does not have the right position, can be twisted or is obstructed by something. The tooth does not form a gum covering around itself which leads to infections. The tooth must therefore be removed, if possible, immediately. If the patient experiences swelling of the affected areas, it is required to wait until the swelling ceases. Until then, the area must be sanitized and antibiotics prescribed.