What Is A Toothache
Many of us has experienced a toothache in our lifetime and for those of us who have, know it is a terrible experience and the toothache can drive you nuts. In the ancient days, before modern pain relief all sorts of crazy and not crazy remedies were used. An old wives tale that actually works is to chew on spices which sometimes can actually numb the area.
The science of a toothache
The innermost part of the tooth is the nerve chamber. In this hollow area of the tooth, the nerve sits. The nerve inside the tooth is attached to a larger nerve which inturn makes it’s way back into the brain. When that nerve is irritated, we can have tooth sensitivity or a toothache. Swelling or inflammation causes the area to be irritated through a series of chemical steps that the body uses and it secretes various inflammatory chemicals. These can be the cause of the pain in a toothache.
The main cause of dental pain is decay. Decay, a cavity is the hole made by bacteria eating through your tooth. As they make their way into the center of the tooth, the infection cause severe pain and swelling sometimes being noticeable even on the face. Other reasons for a toothache can be trauma. If a tooth is suddenly jarred like by biting down hard on something or even chomping hard on your own teeth by getting hit on your jaw. There can also be fractures in the tooth that have not yet caused the tooth to break apart. These irritate the nerve causing a toothache.
The main way to treat the toothache is by removing or eliminating the offending stimulus. So , dealing with the decay, or treating the fractured tooth will remove the pain
Dental pain is one if those things that until you have experienced it, you can’t imagine how bad it can be. You want to just knock your head against the wall to make it go away. What is dental pain and how can we treat it and prevent it?
In general pain allows the body to know that something is wrong. In a tooth the nerves are in the center canal known as the pulp chamber. When that nerve is affected then dental pain occurs. There can be many reasons for dental pain, for example a tooth may have a fracture in it causing inflammation of the nerve. Or, if a cavity is so deep that the decay has penetrated into the nerve, then bacteria enter the area and cause an infection. Since the nerve is in an enclosed area the infection begins to create pressure that can be terribly painful. Often, patients will say their tooth “feels high” when they bite. That is because pus building up under the tooth actually pushes it and makes it a bit higher than the adjacent teeth. Ultimately, the pus breaks through the bone around the tooth causing it to flow into the cheek and cause swelling.
Medications for Dental Pain
If the source of the pain is an infection, then your dentist has to prescribe the correct antibiotic for you. If you do get an antibiotic, be careful to follow the instructions exactly. If not done so, the pain could actually get worse.
There are 3 basic type of pain relievers
Acamol and Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs -NSAIDs. These drugs, like acamol, optalgin,advil reduce inflammation. They work by inhibiting an inflammatory chemical in the body known as cyclo-oxygenase 1 or COX1. This reduces pain.
2. Cox-2 inhibitors
Cox 2 was discovered with research on pain and found not to be affected by NSAIDs. SO a new class was developed that treats the cyclo-oxygenase 2 or COX2 chemicals preventing inflammation. Both of these reduce swelling locally reducing pain.
These drugs affect dental pain not at the source of the pain but in pain centers of the brain. So codeine or morphine are potent dental pain relievers. They have side effects like, tiredness, dizziness and are addictive.
No matter what, your dentist should be contacted to receive a prescription for dental pain.
Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Cracked Tooth Syndrome is something we see dailing in the dental office. The teeth in our mouth are brittle and have a tendancy with age to break. Another factor in the
breaking of teeth is if they have big old fillings. The minute a tooth has a filling it has lost some integrity and begins to loose strength. Cracked Tooth Syndrome happens when we have such a fracture. Often times that crack is not visible. The crack can either be microscopic in nature or in an area that is not visible to the eye. Cracked Tooth Syndrome is usually diagnosed more by symptoms and less by actual visual inspection of the tooth.
Cracked Tooth Syndrome And Root Canal
Patients often come in needing a filling. When we remove an old filling, and look at the floor of the preparation, we can sometimes literally see a crack or craze line run-
ing along the floor of the tooth, like in the picture . Should that crack propagate further down the tooth, it will reach the actual nerve and blood vessels in the tooth and Cracked Tooth Syndrome will end up causing the tooth to need a root canal. There are times that the tooth actually breaks along the line and sometimes that fracture is so deep under the gum line that there is no way to save the tooth.
When Is A Tooth With Cracked Tooth Syndrome Salvageable ?
The minute you begin to feel these symptoms of pain on biting or pain on releasing, you should see your dentist. Often times, If we can diagnose the tooth requiring treatment, a crown can solve the issue. A crown acts like a band that holds that tooth together and prevents the crack from getting worse. A treatment like this can actually save the tooth and prevent Cracked Tooth Syndrome from requiring you to have your tooth extracted.