While most toothaches are caused by cavities, infections, and even gum disease, there are other, less common causes. At the first sign of a toothache, get an examination from a dental services professional. If your oral exam fails to reveal the cause of your pain, see your physician to determine if you have a medical problem that is causing your toothache. Here are some health disorders that can cause dental pain and what you can do about them:
If you have nasal polyps, allergies, or frequent sinus infections, or if you take aspirin on a daily basis, you may have developed chronic sinusitis. This causes inflammation of your nasal passages, thick mucus formation, and post nasal drip.
It can also cause toothaches, especially of your top teeth. To ease the symptoms of chronic sinusitis and subsequent toothache, drink plenty of water to help thin out thick nasal secretions, use a saline-based nasal spray, consume a diet rich in vitamin C, and inhale steam from a hot shower or pot of hot water.
If these interventions fail to relieve your symptoms, see your physician. You may have a chronic bacterial infection of the sinuses and may need to take a course of antibiotics. After your sinusitis has been successfully treated, your toothache may also resolve.
Certain degenerative joint disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis not only cause pain and inflammation of the hip, fingers, and knee joints, they can also cause problems with the joints of your jaw. This can lead to toothaches and, in some cases, diminish your ability to chew and open your mouth.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, visit your dentist on a regular basis. If needed, he or she will take a panoramic X-ray view of your teeth and jawbones to determine if you have degenerative changes. If you do, you may either be referred back to your family physician or to a maxillofacial surgeon for further evaluation and treatment.
In the meantime, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve both arthritic pain, inflammation, and toothache. While anti-inflammatory medications will not reverse existing bone and joint damage, they may help prevent future dental pain associated with degenerative disorders of the bones and joints.
If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, sinus infections, or rheumatoid arthritis, work with both your physician and dentist. When you work with both of these healthcare providers, you will be less likely to develop dental pain, oral infections, or chewing problems.