It is very common that some people experience lingering toothache after they bite on something hard or when they visit the dentist. This is also referred to as a “tooth sprain” and it arises due to damage of the ligaments of your teeth. Ligaments are connective tissues by which the tooth/teeth are held together with the bone and the mucosa, an insane amount of pressure can sprain, damage and eventually inflame these connective tissues.
What causes tooth sprain?
The problem is in the ligaments. Ligaments are shock absorbers by nature however they can become sensitive when they’re exposed to excessive pressure. The pain felt by most patients is described as a sharp pain and they usually describe it as a localized pain rather than a generalized one.
There are many methods you can sprain your tooth. The most common ones are:
• Clenching your teeth/bruxism
• Grinding your teeth during sleep
• Biting on hard foods such as cracking a walnut by your teeth
• Dental surgeries especially a root canal treatment
• Overfilled or underfilled dental restorations
• Tooth infection
• Nail biting
• An impact or trauma to the teeth
Symptoms of a bruised tooth
During the start, patients usually feel a sharp pain and almost always in one tooth. The biggest symptom of a bruised tooth is that you may experience pain after biting on hard foods or especially when you wake up and your entire night is spent by grinding your teeth.
Other symptoms include:
• Inflammation of the gums
• Sensitivity to hot/cold food and beverages
• Redness of the gums
• Bleeding gums
• A radiological separation of the ligament between the tooth and the bone.
How to prevent your tooth from a sprain
Prevention always lies in the diagnosis. Visiting your dentist is one way to go about it. However, the etiology varies depending on the underlying cause; for instance, if you have a tooth sprain because you’re clenching your teeth, wear a night guard.
Here are a couple of ways to avoid the dreadful pain of a tooth sprain
• Avoid biting on hard stuff
• If you’re grinding your teeth, visit your dentist and get a night guard made
• Get yourself checked by a dentist to see if you have an overfilled dental restoration or if you have a cavity that needs to be taken care of.
• Brisk walks or hitting up the gym on the regular can help you get fit and play a role in stopping the clenching that you have been doing.
What to do if you get a tooth sprain
If you’re experiencing a sharp and lingering toothache, it’s always wise to visit your dentist. If your toothache is left untreated it might give in to an infection. Furthermore, tooth sprains may also radiate eventually which will make it difficult to diagnose and if the pain worsens it might lead to bleeding gums and a swelling.
It’s never all right to self-diagnose anything if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above always visit the dentist.
Dr. Ameerzeb Pirzada
BDS MPhil DM
Chief and Consultant Dentist at Z Dental Studio