February 9 is designated as National Toothache Day, a day to raise awareness about dental health and encourage people to take better care of their teeth to avoid toothache and other dental problems.
Did you know that teeth can’t regenerate and that it is the only part of the human body that can’t heal itself? With this vulnerability, dental experts encourage people to take extra care of their dental health.
People only realize the value of oral health and hygiene not until they experience pain in their teeth and suffer other dental problems. A toothache, also known as odontalgia, is a pain in or around a tooth that can be caused by various factors such as cavities, gum disease, cracked or broken teeth, exposed tooth roots, infection, or injury. The pain can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling, sensitivity to hot or cold, and trouble biting or chewing. If left untreated, a toothache can lead to more serious oral health problems.
A toothache does not just cause pain in the mouth but also affects our overall well-being for it can disrupt daily activities such as eating, sleeping, working, and even talking.
What Are The Common Causes of Toothache?
Toothache is caused by a variety of factors and conditions. With these following conditions, one may experience more sensitive teeth that may result in mild to severe pain or discomfort. Toothache can be caused by one or a combination of the following:
- Tooth decay (cavities) – According to dental experts, a dental nerve infection caused by a deep cavity is one of the common causes of toothache.
- Gum disease – Gum diseases usually start when plaque or a sticky substance that contains bacteria was not brushed away. When this happens, gums may be swollen, sore, or infected also known as gingivitis. If this is left untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition such as periodontitis.
- Dental injury or trauma – Dental trauma is an injury to the mouth, including teeth, lips, gums, tongue, and jawbones. The most common dental trauma is a broken or lost tooth.
- Tooth abscess – A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus around the root of an infected tooth. This causes pain arising from the jaw, ears, head, and lymph nodes. Sometimes, one suffering from this condition may also have bad breath or a sour taste in their mouth.
- Tooth grinding or Bruxism – Some people experience pain in their teeth from a heavy force and loading from clenching or grinding of their teeth.
- Sinus infections – Sinus problems can also cause tooth pain. According to Forbes Health, the best way to know if tooth pain is caused by sinus is by bending over and having one’s head between the knees. Also, by taking antihistamines, one can determine if the tooth pain can go away once the sinus also subsides.
- Gum recession – Gum recession is a condition where more of the tooth or its roots are being visible due to the gum’s tissue wearing away or pulling back. When gums recede, space is created between the teeth and the gum line which makes it easy for disease-causing germs or bacteria to accumulate.
- Temporomandibular joint or TMJ disorders – This is also known as muscle pain in the jaw. It may be caused by different factors such as habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth, genetics, arthritis, or jaw injury.
How Can You Celebrate #ToothacheDay?
The best way to participate in National Toothache Day is to start a habit of observing proper dental hygiene. Proper dental hygiene is important for maintaining good oral health and preventing various dental problems. Neglecting dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral health issues that can affect overall health and well-being. Maintaining proper dental hygiene can also help prevent costly dental procedures and ensure a confident and healthy smile.
Proper dental hygiene involves the following:
- Regular brushing at least twice a day; Dental experts also warn people not to brush their teeth too hard for it causes the gum covering of the root of the tooth to be worn away, resulting in pain over time. At the same time, toothbrushes should also be replaced every three to four months, regularly.
- Floss at least once a day. Flossing can help clean the spaces between the teeth that may be missed out by simple brushing. It provides an extra layer of cleaning that will help prevent cavities and gum diseases.
- Use mouthwash to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gum.
- Along with brushing and flossing daily, regular visits to the dentist can help prevent and treat all tooth problems, including toothaches. It is recommended to schedule teeth cleanings at least twice a year and make sure to go, despite a busy schedule.
Everyone from any age group can experience dental problems or tooth pain at any point in their lives. The causes and results may vary, but one thing’s for sure, though teeth are just a small part of the body, when they are in pain, it can affect the whole function of the body. So with this, dental experts encourage people to not leave taking care of their teeth for granted and regard National Toothache Day as the start to building healthier dental habits that will improve their dental health conditions and avoid any serious problems to occur.