Who says a toothache is better than a heartache? For those of you who have experienced it, you might actually think otherwise. This condition actually does not need to happen if, from the start, you realize the cause of the prolonged toothache and treat it immediately.
The problem is, nowadays many people just check their condition with the dentist if the tooth decay is severe. They are willing to go through a prolonged period of toothache before finally giving up and going to the dentist. There are complications that can arise as a danger of cavities that are not treated immediately.
Cavities are the most frequent reason for persistent dental pain
Toothache can actually be caused by many things, such as bumps, sensitive teeth, or disorders of the gums. However, the most common cause of persistent toothaches is cavities without treatment.
Cavities are initially formed from dental plaque. Dental plaque is a layer that contains bacteria. If we do not regularly brush our teeth in the right way, plaque will continue to accumulate. Then, the bacteria in plaque over time will damage the lining of the teeth and cause cavities.
The bacteria present in the plaque will gradually damage the teeth and cause:
1. Damage to the outer layer of the tooth (enamel)
First, bacteria will damage the outermost layer of the tooth, namely the enamel. At this stage, the tooth will not hurt yet, but a small hole has formed. You may feel the food gets stuck frequently.
2. Damage to the second layer of the tooth (dentin)
After that, the bacteria will damage the second layer of the tooth, namely the dentin. This layer is the sensitive layer of the tooth. Once the hole has reached this layer, your tooth will start to hurt. This pain will appear when chewing or eating hot and cold food.
If it has reached the dentin and cavities have not been treated, this is the forerunner to the cause of prolonged toothache.
3. Damage to the nerve of the tooth (pulp)
Many people let their cavities get very large. Maybe you did too. This is a habit that should not be done.
Although taking medication can temporarily relieve pain, it still doesn’t solve the cause of your toothache. The hole that continues to be left over time will expand to the deepest layer of the tooth, namely the pulp or nerve of the tooth.
If you have reached this stage, a bacterial infection in your teeth can cause a toothache that is very, very bad. In fact, without any pain stimulation.
Other causes of toothache
Apart from cavities, there are other conditions that can cause toothache, such as:
1. Broken teeth due to impact or accident
A hard impact during an accident or during sports can damage the enamel that protects teeth. This will cause the underlying layer, the dentin, to be exposed. Dentin is a layer of teeth that is very sensitive to painful stimuli such as cold, heat, or wind.
When you experience a broken or damaged tooth as a result of an accident, immediately consult a dentist so that the toothache you feel is not prolonged.
2. Patches are cracked, broken, or damaged
Cracked, broken, or damaged fillings can also be a cause of toothache. Patches can break due to impact, chewing food that is too hard, or chewing loads that are too large.
3. Sensitive teeth
Sensitive teeth are one of the most common causes of toothache after cavities. Sensitive teeth can be caused by various things, ranging from cavities in the teeth to enamel that has begun to thin due to the wrong way of brushing teeth, damaged fillings, to unhealthy eating patterns.
4. The habit of grinding teeth at night
The habit of grinding your teeth at night is known as bruxism. This condition can make tooth enamel thinner so that it will appear painful, especially if exposed to hot and cold temperatures.
5. Infections in the gums
An infection in the gums can cause an inflammation known as gingivitis. This condition is generally caused by the accumulation of tartar. If not cleaned immediately, this condition can cause pain in the area around the teeth, bleeding gums, and swollen gums.
6. Bacterial infection in teeth
Bacterial infections in the teeth can occur due to cavities that are left. This condition can trigger an abscess, as mentioned above. These accumulated bacteria will release pressure to make the teeth feel very sore, even without any stimulation.
Danger of cavities
In addition to prolonged toothache, cavities that are left without treatment can also cause various complications. What are the effects of prolonged toothache? Here are the risks of diseases that can arise!
1. Gum disease
If left unchecked, the bacteria that cause cavities can also spread to the gums and cause infection in the gums and other tooth-supporting tissues. When this gum disease has appeared, the gums will look red and swollen. Your gums will also bleed easily, especially when brushing your teeth.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis or inflammation of the tissues that support teeth. Periodontitis can cause problems not only in the gums but also in the jawbone.
2. Tooth abscess
Large cavities make it easier for bacteria to enter the deepest layer of the tooth, namely the nerves. When nerves are exposed to bacteria, there will be inflammation called pulpitis.
Pulpitis can cause your teeth to feel very sore. If not treated immediately, over time the inflamed nerves will die. Nerves that die will become a nesting place for bacteria.
A collection of bacteria at the nerve endings of this tooth will form a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess will make the gums look swollen and festering.
3. Difficult to chew and dirty the oral cavity
People who have cavities usually only chew from one side, that is, the side of the healthy jaw. Due to the accumulation of tartar, the part of the jaw that contains the cavity will become neglected and dirty. This can cause bad breath.
Chewing only on one side is not the ideal method and will prevent the food from getting completely mashed.
4. Tongue and inner cheeks are prone to thrush
The tooth cavity will definitely change its shape. The delicate teeth may break on their own and make the teeth sharp. Inadvertently, the sharp teeth will injure the tongue and inner cheeks, leading to canker sores.
5. Teeth loosen and fall out on their own
In the most severe cases, cavities that are too wide will become brittle and leave only a small part of the tooth or even the root of the tooth. This condition will make you look toothless.
The roots of the damaged teeth will eventually experience resorption or shortening so that they no longer attach to the jaw bone and move. More often than not, these teeth may fall out on their own.
How to stop toothache
The various causes of toothache above can be avoided as long as you maintain good dental health and hygiene. Here are the steps.
- gargle daily with mouthwash
- Limit intake of sweet and sticky foods and beverages
- Have your teeth checked by your dentist regularly, at least every six months
Children should take measures to prevent the above-mentioned toothache as soon as possible. But of course with adjustments according to the age of the child. This way, children will get used to taking care of their dental health and will not experience toothache for long in the future.
It is recommended by the doctor at least twice a year or once every six months. However, you should not wait for the time when you feel a disturbance in your teeth and oral cavity. The following disorders require you to come to the dentist:
- cracked or dislocated teeth
- toothache that doesn’t go away
- Teeth are sensitive to cold, heat, and acid
- thrush that doesn’t go away
- bad breath problem
- dry mouth
- A lump appears in the gums, tongue, or oral cavity
- painful and bleeding gums
- jaw moves and hurts
Given the various dangers of the above cavities, you should immediately find out the reason for experiencing a prolonged toothache. Don’t delay until it gets worse. If the tooth looks a little hollow, even if it doesn’t hurt, consult a dentist immediately.