“Will the Toothache Just Disappear?”

It really sounded like wishful thinking, but it’s true that sometimes tooth discomfort does go away on its own.

toothacheTooth sensitivity is a problem that many, many people suffer from caused by a multitude of reasons – but does it merit a visit to your dentist? Yes, it is in your best interest to receive a proper diagnosis. This will allow you to make an educated plan of action to have a trouble-free healthy mouth.

In some situations, the toothache or sensitivity comes and goes and is most likely a reversible inflammatory response of the tooth. Once the irritant is removed, the symptoms subside. The transient inflammation of the pulpal tissue (within the tooth) or the gum could reverse on its own because our body is capable of repairing and regenerating itself at a molecular and cellular level. As long as irritating and / or destructive factors are controlled (such as thermal, bacterial, mechanical and chemical forces) and your body is in healthy shape, your body should do its job and heal properly. At the inflammatory stage, diagnosis will rely on a clinical exam (visual and instrumental exploration, and a tooth vitality test), as well as your oral history and x-rays.

Once you have properly diagnosed your source of pain, a solution can be found. If the exam shows your tooth already has irreversible pulpitis or infection, a root canal will likely be advised. If the toothache is from decay or damaged, insufficient tooth structure, the tooth should be cleaned and restored. If the sensitivity is from gum recession and root exposure, fluoride desensitization, gum grafts or the wearing of a night guard (if bruxism or TMJ is a contributing factor) may be recommended. If you are going through orthodontic treatment (braces) or are in a transitional stage of dental treatment, ask your dental professional to check if something can be improved to make you feel better. If you have a poor diet or drink soda or alcohol, acidic erosion is likely stripping your tooth structure away, exposing dentin and causing sensitivity. Poor oral hygiene and plaque retention is also likely a factor (your mouth is like an acid bath to your teeth in this situation).

Perhaps the most important factor in preventing (and treating) sensitivity is controlling your oral environment and the destructive forces that lie within. If you suffer from night grinding, wear a night guard. If dentin and root exposure has already occurred, wearing a night guard and using desensitizing fluoride toothpaste will promote forming of secondary dentin which will block out the dentinal tubules (which conducts sensitivity) and work as a barrier to protect the tooth. Sensitivity can caused by caries decay – a cavity. Of course, cavities need to be treated by a dental professional, but if you are able to find the source of your discomfort before a cavity develops, you will be on the fast track to good health. A proper diet and oral hygiene will also vastly improve your oral health and reduce risk of decay – brush and floss twice a day, and after meals!

Learn your body inside and out, and reflect. Take time each day to notice how you feel, and if your health has shifted for the better or worse. If you feel you have a weakness in your mouth, think about what the cause is, diagnose the problem, and find a solution. Ask questions and learn from your dental professional , contol of your dental health is in your hand!

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