Oh, Your Aching Teeth: 7 Possible Explanations For A Toothache In The Family

Posted on: 8 May 2018

In the average human mouth there are 32 teeth. Multiply that number by how many family members you have and you'll likely reach a high total, leaving you all vulnerable to the possibility of toothaches. When any you develops a toothache, everyone is going to know about it, through the constant moaning and complaining, and until the tooth is seen by the family dentist, it probably will continue to ache. With so many teeth, it can be difficult to determine the cause of the pain and discomfort; however, with a little detective work, you might be able to figure it out on your own, which can help you with seeking treatment.

1. Vigorous Brushing And/Or Flossing

While some people may be slackers when it comes to brushing and flossing, others can go at the task with too much strength and vigor, leading to painful, receding gums. Over time, when teeth and gums are cared for with too much force, one or two teeth may begin to ache. The harsh brushing can actually cause a tooth to become unstable where it sits, leading to pain when chewing or even simply talking. Question your family's brushing habits, both to ensure they're brushing and flossing as they should, and also to ensure that nobody is exercising too much force.

2. An Impacted Wisdom Tooth

One of the more painful types of toothache is when a wisdom tooth trying to break through the gums can't get through because other teeth are blocking the path. This situation may even lead to an infection eventually, making it necessary to contact your dental office. Although wisdom teeth usually show up in the late teens, it's not unheard of for them to emerge a little earlier or later, so don't rule out this predicament unless you're certain the wisdom teeth aren't playing a role in the current dental dilemma.

3. Bruxism Or Constant Teeth-Grinding

People young and old can be guilty of teeth grinding, and the consequences can be grave for teeth. Someone in your family may be grinding during sleep, meaning they don't even know they're doing it, or they might grind as a result of stressful situations. Either way, this constant jaw pressure can lead to head and neck pain and damage to teeth, so it should be investigated further by a professional.

4. A Damaged Filling

Fillings don't last forever, and if they do fall out, someone's going to be in pain. Fillings most often cover up holes and other potentially sensitive areas; thus, when the filling is lost, the tender area is exposed. Your dentist will need to replace a lost or damaged filling right away, especially if the bearer of the painful tooth doesn't have a high tolerance for pain or oral discomfort, such as a young child.

5. Insufficient Saliva Production

Saliva is important to oral health for a few reasons: It has important antibodies and enzymes that kill bacteria in the mouth, it refurbishes minerals needed by your teeth, and it combats acids that form in the mouth which can lead to decay. If anyone in your family isn't producing sufficient saliva, their teeth can suffer, leading to dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, foul breath, and, eventually, cavities. Problems with the salivary gland should be addressed by your family dentist at once.

6. A Chipped Or Fractured Tooth

You (or someone in your family) could chip or fracture a tooth without realizing it, perhaps if you were chewing something rather hard and didn't realize you'd done any damage. Any injury like this to the tooth will result in pain, which is often intense if the fracture has traveled deep into the tooth, where raw nerves are found. Ask your dentist for an examination, during which they'll probably X-ray the area and discover the damage. A minor fracture may not require any treatment, whereas a severe fracture could result in extraction.

7. Cavities, Cavities, Cavities

If there are three other people in your family, bringing the total to four (including yourself), that's 128 teeth to contend with, and chances are good that a few of them will develop cavities. Tooth decay may start out as a small and dull ache, without being visible to the naked eye. Don't think cavities are reserved for the very young, either, as adults of any age can get cavities. If there's a tooth aching with no obvious indications of injury or other symptom, it could very well be a cavity, requiring attention from your dentist as soon as you can get there.

Unfortunately, a toothache is one of the most painful experiences a family can go through, and you do go through it together. Knowing what's causing the ache may lead to a quick home remedy or a quick call to your dentist's office, with a subsequent visit. Knowing what caused the last toothache can also help you all to avoid future issues. Contact a local dental office for more info.