If you have tooth pain, but no cavity, you may be wondering “Is this normal?” But there are actually several other reasons why a tooth might hurt, aside from having a cavity. Let’s look at some of those, as well as the best way to deal with it, to see if one of them might be your problem.
What causes a toothache?
Here are some of the most common reasons why your tooth might be hurting. It’s actually possible to have more than one.
Even a hairline crack on a tooth can be the cause of pain, so you might not even know that you have a tooth that’s damaged. But if you know that you have a cracked or broken tooth, you really should see a professional as soon as you can. Because damaged teeth can contribute to tooth decay when they are left untreated.
Some people are born with sensitive teeth, others might develop it with age. But it can also be caused by peroxide-based whitening agents that are found, not only in dedicated teeth whitening products, but even in your toothpaste. These penetrate your teeth, causing them to become more sensitive.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, better known as TMJ, is a very common cause of tooth pain. Your lower jaw is hinged to your skull by this joint, and is used whenever you speak or eat. If you are clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, which many people do when stressed, that puts more pressure on the muscles in your jaw, which could cause pain to develop.
This is the official term for grinding your teeth, and it could cause them to hurt even if you don’t have TMJ. If you don’t have any cavities or gum disease and still have toothaches, they could very well be caused by Bruxism. Because it’s very common in the United States, millions of people in the country have it.
If you believe that Bruxism might be causing your tooth pain, you really should see a dental professional. Because this condition can cause damage to your fillings and crowns, as well as wear away your tooth enamel. And any one of those can result in a much bigger risk of infection or decay for your teeth.
You may not realize it, but your maxillary sinuses are quite close to your upper teeth. So when the sinuses are congested, they can put extra pressure on those teeth, which can cause them to hurt. This is more common with sinus infections, but similar pain could occur even when you just have a really bad head cold.
How should I treat my toothache?
There are multiple ways of getting relief from a toothache that isn’t the result of a cavity, depending on what’s causing it. Here are a few suggestions that you might find helpful.
- Sensitivity products – There are toothpaste brands for sensitive teeth, as well as floss brands specifically for sensitive gums.
- Stress management – If you are grinding your teeth badly enough to cause Bruxism or TMJ, it could very well be due to stress, so finding a way to control it could be helpful.
- Warm compresses – Applying warm compresses to the jaw can sometimes be helpful in mild cases of TMJ.
- Soft foods – You could try giving your teeth and jaws a break by eating only soft foods for at least a little while. At least you wouldn’t be adding to the problem.
- Extra soft toothbrushes – Be sure to continue a healthy dental routine, even if you have an aching tooth. Because you will only make things worse if you end up getting cavities.
When should I see a dentist?
Regardless of what you believe may be causing your pain, only a dentist can diagnose your condition, determine its cause and recommend the best treatment. For instance, your Bruxism may be caused by misaligned teeth, which would require orthodontia.
A professional may be the only one who can administer the treatment, as well. If you have a severe case of TMJ, it may require repositioning your jaw with a dental splint, or your Bruxism may be helped by a mouth guard. Teeth that are extremely sensitive may need a fluoride application, or even a root canal.
Sometimes, the dentist will refer you to a specialist. If you need to have a tooth extracted, dentists can recommend an oral surgeon. Or if your toothache is caused by a severe sinus infection, you may need a good Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.
In Beverly Hills, like anywhere else, you want a dentist you can trust and rely on. Bruce Vafa DDS at Smile Angels of Beverly Hills listens carefully to every patient’s concerns, before explaining and discussing your available treatment options.
If you are in or around Beverly Hills and experiencing a tooth pain, but have no cavity, please get in touch with Bruce Vafa DDS at Smile Angels of Beverly Hills to arrange for a dental consultation. He will be able to answer all of your questions about why you are having pain, even though you don’t have a cavity, and what you can do about getting rid of the cause of the pain. He will even be able to tell you how to prevent it from happening again. Call today to make an appointment, you’ll be glad you did!