The dreaded toothache, most who have experienced this pain can tell you that it is one of the most uncomfortable experiences. The head and neck, including your teeth are heavily vascularized and innervated. This is what gives us the ability to have a wide range of sensations, but also what causes a toothache to cause discomfort.
So what are some reasons you could be experiencing a toothache?
The first and most common reason for a severe toothache can be a tooth abscess or dental infection. This is when there is an infection at the root of the tooth. The only way to treat this infection is by physically removing and cleaning the area. This is done through root canal treatment. A root canal is simply the removal of the nerve of the tooth and cleaning and shaping of the canal within the tooth. Through the cleaning and shaping of the tooth, the infection is removed. The tooth is then filled with a biocompatible material called gutta percha, which seals the canals of the tooth.
Can antibiotics cure a tooth infection?
Antibiotics can help ease the discomfort of the infection but reducing the amount of bacteria or microbes present. However, antibiotics cannot fully get rid of the microbes that are causing the infection and the pain. The only way to fully remove all the microbes in the tooth is through the process of a root canal treatment.
Are there other reasons that could be causing a toothache?
Absolutely. Some people can experience extreme discomfort from a simple cavity. A cavity can vary in size and extent and can require treatment anywhere from a simple filling to a more extensive need for a full coverage restoration with a crown.
Another possibility is a sinus infection. Your maxillary sinus sits just above the top or maxillary teeth. Most of the molars sit intimate with the sinus. Pressure from a sinus infection, can place pressure on these teeth causing a perceived “toothache”.
Finally, clenching and grinding can cause tightening of the muscles in the face. This in turn can place extra forces on the teeth for a prolonged period of time. These forces can cause the teeth to become sensitive and sore if clenching and grinding persist.