Pain is an indicator of an underlying disease process. Pain in itself is not an illness, but a foreteller of an impairment requiring our attention. Dental pain is any form of pain that relates to the lower jaw, upper jaw, cheeks and teeth structures. This distinction is important so that readers may know that dentists (doctors that deal with dental issues) are more suitable to deal with some disease states.
What causes dental pain? To start with, we need to understand that everyday of our lives, we use our mouth to eat food and drink water and other liquids. To chew the food into pieces for easy digestion, we need our teeth. Our tongue helps us to move the food around our mouth. The saliva that we produce helps to moisten the food and soften it before we pass the food into the stomach for digestion. We also need to drink water, especially to facilitate the breakdown of the food for easy digestion. As it so happens in any bone and joints that are in constant use, over time our teeth undergo wear and tear. As we also try to clean our teeth, our toothbrush and chewing sticks push back on the gums as we age.
Similarly, as is the case in all abuse scenarios, if we misuse our food and drink or apply inappropriate substances on our teeth and mouth, we may accelerate diseases affecting our teeth, gums and tongue. Thus, decay in our teeth may be due to poor personal oral hygiene. This decay may affect the gums and the teeth in which case we call the tooth decay as caries and the gum decay as gingivitis. Both of these may cause us incredible pain in our mouth.
Poor brushing habit with hard brush which may not be appropriate for our teeth may cause the gums to recede and become painful. Consumption of fast food, sweets, “chocolates,”sugary substances, especially as often the case in children often results in dental caries and gingivitis. This is even more likely to be so if the oral hygiene is poor. Long term alcohol misuse combined with poor oral cleaning is a risk that may lead to dental caries. Similarly, use of substances that distort the brain so much that the individual is unable to look after himself or herself could also lead to serious oral pain. Other causes of painful oral experience are physical injuries such as accidents and falls or assaults on the mouth and jaws.
How does oral pain present itself? Pain in the mouth may be so severe that the patient may have to look for help wherever he or she can get help. The pain may be accompanied with mouth swelling, bad mouth odour, inability to eat or swallow food or drink. The pain could radiate to affect the ears, throat and the facial areas. Simple painkiller may not be so helpful after a while. If it occurs at night, sleep can be impaired. Headache may occur severely.
Home Solutions: At the outset of noticing the pain, try to use paracetamol for not more than a day. Use a little salt in warm water to gaggle the mouth and throat. To some extent, these measures may lessen the pain temporarily. While this relief is in place, head to the nearest dentist or a physician as soon as possible. The physician will liaise with dentist colleagues to deal with the excruciating pain.
Specialist care: Oral pain and dental issues, not just for pain, are specialist matters that are best handled by dentists. Once you notice changes in your teeth, feel pain, can’t tolerate cold or hot water in your teeth, then it’s time to see a dentist.
Prevention: Readers are advised to brush and clean their mouth at least twice (morning and night) in a day, using clean water, moderately hard brush or soft brush that is suitable for you. Occasionally, maybe one to twice in a week, only use mouth solutions to subdue oral bacteria, but not remove them entirely. Dentists advise that oral mouth solutions should be used sparingly. Take care of your teeth and mouth so that they can last you your lifetime.