Health and exercise

Toothache


Dental cavity is the most common cause for a toothache.
Some bacteria in our mouth changes simple sugars into acid. This acid mixes with saliva and softens and dissolves the
outer layers of the tooth thus forming cavity. Small particles of food we eat settles in the cavities and cause aching pain.
If the pulp is injured severely, the pulp tissue dies and dental abscess occurs. There may be a gum blister near the affected tooth.
Treatment:

 If the cavity is small and not very deep, dental filling is done. Bigger cavities require a crown. Root canal treatment is done
when the cavity penetrates and injures the pulp. Sometimes extraction of the affected tooth is also necessary.  After the root canal
treatment, a crown is fixed on the tooth to avoid breakage.
Tooth root sensitivities: 

This occurs when the bacterial toxins dissolves the bone around the roots.  The gum and the bone thin down and the roots are exposed.
 The tooth becomes extremely sensitive to cold, hot and sour foods.
Treatment:

Initially root sensitivity is treated with fluoride gels or special toothpastes.
Fluoride and minerals in these toothpastes and gels are absorbed by the outer layer of the roots. The roots become
stronger and less sensitive. Bonding agents are also applied to the roots to cover the sensitive areas. Root canal treatment
or the extraction is advised only if the inner living pulp tissue of the tooth is dead.
Cracked tooth syndrome: 
A tooth tends to break while biting hard things like hard candies, nuts, pencils etc.
Treatment:

The tooth is covered with crown made of gold and/or porcelain. Root canal is done when the crown doesn’t relieve the pain.
Bruxism and Temporomandibular  Joint Disorders:

Sometimes tooth cracks because of bruxism or Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Here the pain is felt in or around the ears or lower jaw.  Disorders in TMJ happen when there is injury in the face, arthritis and fatigue of jaw muscles.
 “Bruxism ” involves clenching or grinding the teeth which result in toothache.  Poor bite alignment, stress and family history are the factors for developing bruxism.
Treatment:
TMJ disorders are treated with oral anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen.
Stress reduction and eating soft foods which do not need much munching is recommended.
To safe guard the tooth from bruxism, the patient is advised to wear a bite appliance at night.
This is only to protect the tooth.
Impaction and eruption:

 Impaction is a condition where the tooth fails to come out into its proper place or stays under gum and/or bone.
There is pressure onto the teeth surrounded.
Treatment:

 Painkillers and antibiotics are given to treat this pain. Sometimes surgical removal
is also done. Wisdom teeth are known to cause this kind of toothache.
Sinus and toothache: 
Sometimes diseases and infection of ears and sinuses also cause toothache
A toothache may appear not from a dental condition but as a symptom of angina or heart attack.
Approaching a dentist as well as a physician will help determining the cause.
cartoon courtesy: cartoonstock.com
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