We all know that feeling: a sudden toothache which may go away only to return again and again for longer periods of time. If we ignore it, it gets worse. Here’s why:
The human mouth is filled with hundreds of types of bacteria—tiny, living organisms—which live on our teeth, gums, tongue and other areas of the mouth. Some bacteria are good and protect our teeth and gums. Other bacteria are harmful and convert the sugar in food into acids. These acids can gradually eat away at a tooth, creating a “hole” which is commonly called a “cavity.” A cavity is a common cause of tooth pain, but there are other causes as well, including: 1. INFECTION:
, left untreated, allows bacteria to enter the center of the tooth. The bacteria can then spread to the tooth’s root and even the underlying bone supporting it. An infected tooth can cause severe throbbing or shooting pains, as well as fever, sensitivity to hot or cold and swelling. 2. WISDOM TEETH:
—the four back teeth which appear between the ages of 17 to 25—can be blocked from growing in correctly. The mouth may lack room for additional teeth, or the wisdom teeth may be trying to grow in sideways. As the tooth tries to push through the gum’s surface, it can infect the gum, causing pain and swelling. 3. GUM DISEASE:
Your teeth are covered by a sticky coating of bacteria which, if not removed by regular brushing and flossing, can infect the gums. As gum disease
progresses, it begins to erode the jawbone which causes the teeth to loosen, requiring extraction. Gum disease symptoms can include pain, swelling and bleeding gums.
When any of the above conditions are ignored, they can cause pain and swelling around the teeth. With regular cleanings and checkups, the causes of tooth pain can be detected and treated in their early stages.
If you live in the Rockville, Maryland or metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, visit StarBrite Dental
, the office of Maryam Seifi. Call us at 301-770-1070
to schedule a visit with Dr. Seifi and start on the path to better oral health today.