Dental pain is something many of us underestimate – until it gets too bad to tolerate. It can come in many different forms, from sensitive gums through to pain in the teeth when you eat something hot or drink something cold. Although many of us automatically assume that dental pain means decay, that’s not always the case. Sometimes dental pain has been triggered by a more unusual cause.
1. Grinding or clenching your teeth
If you’re experiencing an ongoing dental pain that doesn’t seem to be confined to one area then this could be caused by what you’re doing with your mouth. Pain as a result of grinding or clenching teeth is often described as ‘achy’ and doesn’t go away in a day or so. There could be many reasons for grinding or clenching teeth, including very high levels of stress. Problems like this are fairly easy to solve with the intervention of a dentist – for example, a nighttime retainer could help stop the damage being done.
2. A heart attack
This may seem like rather a leap but there is evidence that toothache or jaw pain could be a sign of a heart attack. Specialists have described situations where patients have come to them with heart pain that has turned out to be cardiac problems. For example, a patient experiencing tooth pain when walking around after eating a meal. The patient had dentures and assumed the pain related to that but it was actually a cardiac issue causing the discomfort. While most dental pain doesn’t have any relation to a heart attack – and on its own is unlikely to indicate this – it’s always worth getting your dental pain checked out, just in case.
3. Pregnancy or hormonal changes
Dental pain, particularly in the gums, can be a sign of hormonal changes taking place in the body and is often triggered by pregnancy. Sensitivity, soreness and bleeding gums – and the pain that comes with them – are the most obvious side effect of a body that is going through some kind of significant hormonal change.
Ultimately, even if you may not be able to identify what’s causing dental pain, if your teeth hurt then you need to do something about it. When it comes to dental pain, it’s often the case that the sooner something is dealt with, the quicker it will clear up so see your dentist as soon as you start to experience pain. Your dentist will be able to help you work out what’s causing the issue and – most importantly – make it stop.