Please note that all fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required
National Toothache Day - a right mouthful!
Published on 09 February 2017 by Funmi Sijuwade, updated on 02 May 2017
Toothache. This is the dreaded word that most people can identify with either because of their own experiences or family and friends.
We often say everything in the mouth feels a lot bigger than it is and that includes toothache! For some it can be quite paralysing and has a huge impact on their everyday life.
The following are different grades and descriptions of toothache and possible causes so you can understand a bit more about what’s going on in your mouth:
Sensitivity: This can be sensitivity to hot or/and cold drink, food, air or sweet things. This can occur when there is tooth decay with or without an obvious hole in the tooth. To find out if there is tooth decay when it may be less obvious, you need to visit your dentist for an X-ray. Sensitivity to cold temperature can also occur if there is gum recession which exposes the sensitive part of the tooth that nature intends to be buried under the gum. This recession can be visually detected and sensitive toothpaste can be helpful in some cases.
Throbbing pain: This is usually more severe and more ongoing than sensitivity. It may or may not keep you up at night! It can also be caused by any of the problems listed above for sensitivity. In this case, there is usually a measure of nerve (pulp) irritation and in some cases the nerve is exposed. Acute gum infection/abscess or tooth abscess can also cause throbbing pain so visit your dentist if you have concerns.
Pain on biting: This can be an indication of a cracked tooth. Cracked tooth is a cause of toothache that is difficult to detect because often it is not visually obvious and is not detectable on X-rays hence special illumination tests and bite tests in conjunction with the symptom analysis would have to be carried out by a dentist to confirm this. Pain on biting can also be because of an abscess around the root of a tooth due to severe pulp damage. Again, if you have pain on biting, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible so as not to cause any more damage.
Chronic orofacial pain: This is not caused by a tooth problem and so it is technically not a “toothache” however it is important to mention this because it can mimic toothache and patients sometimes report it as toothache. This is actually pain caused by jaw joint problems (Temporomandibular joint disorder), jaw muscle pain (myofascial pain), or jaw nerve pain (neuralgia) and other causes of pain around the face and jaw that do not involve the teeth. It is important to be able to diagnose and differentiate this pain from one relating to a tooth and One Stop Doctors have expert dentists who are able to do this for you and treat it affectively.
So, the most important thing to know about toothache is that it is likely to be your mouth telling you there is something wrong so the best thing to do is to visit your dentist and get it checked out.
Below are some important questions that your dentist may ask regarding your pain in order to arrive at the correct diagnosis:
Toothache HOT QUESTIONS 1. Do you suffer from sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet? 2. Does it hurt to bite? 3. Is the pain waking you up at night? 4. Have you ever had a dull ache/throb? 5. Does the pain feel like it is going towards your ear or eye? 6. How long does the pain last? Seconds, minutes or hours? 7. Are your gums bleeding or swollen?
One Stop Doctors are open 7 days a week, early and late to make sure we are here for you when you need us, such as when you have toothache!
Why not pop in for a check up to help prevent any problems? Dental exams are from only £60 and hygienist appointments, £55. Find out more
You can also become and OneSmile Dental Plan member and have the cost of your yearly dental needs covered in an affordable monthly payment - Find out more