What Causes a Temporary Toothache?

Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt a twinge of pain in a tooth? You hope for the best, pop a pain killer, or look up some home remedy before going about your day. Maybe you have a busy day at work and end up so distracted that you forget about the pain. 

Later that day, you realize your toothache is gone. Did you mouth magically heal itself? 

What Causes a Temporary Toothache?

From a dental perceptive, there are rarely pains that would really constitute a “temporary toothache.” Toothaches in general are hard to gauge in their severity, and some serious issues require seeing your dentist as soon as possible. If you are in severe pain, don’t hope the issue will be temporary, even if you’ve had toothaches disappear before. Instead, give our Fort Worth office a call. 

We’ll go over some of the more severe causes of toothaches below. But first, we’ll examine what could be the cause of those truly-temporary toothaches and if there is a way to prevent them! 

Is it allergy season? 

As the weather warms up, out comes the pollen and ragweed and other allergens that cause your sinuses to flare up. 

Did you know that a sinus infection can cause a toothache? This is most common in the upper teeth, which are close to your sinuses. 

Many symptoms of a regular toothache are similar to those of a sinus toothache. However, sinus tooth pain is primarily felt in the upper molars, affecting several teeth at once instead of just one. In fact, pain in the upper teeth is a fairly common symptom with sinus conditions. If you think you are suffering from sinus-related tooth pain, there are some home remedies to try. But first, stay hydrated to help reduce inflammation, as that’s largely the cause of sinus-related tooth pain.  

Something stuck 

Think back to the last time you ate popcorn. Did you get any kernels stuck in all of your teeth? Sometimes, a piece of debris can lodge itself between the tooth and gum line and cause serious pain. The spaces between your teeth are tight and small, pretty much inviting a small piece of food or fiber to get trapped there. In some cases, people experience immediate and sharp pain when this happens. 

Food can stick to the upper portion of a tooth at its gum line or between teeth. The pain only increases as you bite or put pressure on the tooth. Do not neglect this discomfort, even if it’s minor. If food remains positioned beneath the gum line, it can cause an infection, which will lead to more pain along with swelling and odor.  

Abnormal bite 

Problems with the way your teeth fit together can be made apparent in many different ways. Some bite problems cause discomfort or outright pain. Even if you have sudden tooth pain, it could be the result of years of an irregular bite. 

Depending on the severity of the poor bite, that will often determine the degree of pain you feel. Most people with mild bite problem (technically called a “malocclusion”) will not require any treatment. However, your dentist might refer you to an orthodontist if it starts giving you toothaches.  

Vitamin deficiency  

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important micronutrients for brain development and function. Common symptoms of a B12 deficiency include numbness in the hands or lightheadedness, as well as effects you’ll feel in your mouth. The oral symptoms include bad breath, a bright red tongue accompanied with tooth pain, oral fissures, loss of taste, dry mouth, numbness and bleeding. You can find B12 in poultry, fish, shellfish, meats, milk and eggs, so turn to these foods if you need more B12 in your diet.  

Cluster headache 

Cluster headaches are the most severe kind headaches, many times more intense than a migraine attack. With these headaches, patients can also suffer severe and sudden toothaches. Some experts think that this is the same issue phenomenon seen with sinus toothaches. In each case, your nerves are being compressed, and that causes pain. 

If you suffer from cluster headaches, reach out to your doctor to discuss your pain mitigation options.  

When should I call my dentist? 

When you are in pain, you can always call your dentist’s office to discuss your symptoms and any potential at-home treatment plans. Your dentist can also tell you when it’s important to come in for a check-up to identify the problem or provide a professional treatment.  

For instance, a tooth abscess can cause swelling in the gums and significant toothaches. An abscess occurs when an infection develops inside a tooth. Bacteria can enter the tooth when it’s chipped, broken or decaying. And once an infection is present, it needs to be treated by a dentist as soon as possible, otherwise the infection will spread deeper into your jaw and surrounding tissue (or even to other areas of your body). 

Another toothache that could result in the need for emergency dental care is trauma to a tooth. Even if the pain is temporary, severe bleeding in any tooth that has been chipped or damaged needs to be addressed right away. Without immediate care, you could lose the tooth. 

It’s important to visit your dentist bi-annually to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Preventative checkups can spot problems early on before you experience any pain at all. If you are experiencing pain now, it’s important to call our Fort Worth office. We can help determine the nature of your symptoms and schedule an appointment if you need one. 

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