A better 1-10 pain scale

A toothache is pain that occurs in or around a tooth. The pain originates from within a tooth or the surrounding gum and bone structures. One usually feels toothache pain as a constant or intermittent ache that does not go away. Temperature changes, such as exposure to cold drinks or pressure on the tooth while chewing, can stimulate a toothache. In other instances, tooth pain can arise spontaneously without any stimulation. Odontalgia is another name for a toothache.

It’s hard to ignore an aching tooth while eating or going about one’s day. Persistent pain urges us to find out how to get rid of a toothache. While bothersome, it is a way for the painful tooth or area to signal that one should seek some attention and care from a dentist before things get worse.


What causes a toothache?


Injury or trauma to the tooth or area usually cause toothaches. Injury is commonly a result of tooth decay (or cavity). People usually feel cavities when they get larger and deeper into the layers of tooth structure. Enamel is the hard, outer layer of tooth, and dentin is the softer layer beneath the enamel. Dentin is the tooth’s sensitive layer with tiny microscopic tubes that originate from the very center of the tooth. The pulp chamber (the center of the tooth) contains the pulp. The pulp is comprised of blood vessels and nerves. If decay gets past enamel into the dentin, the cavity can sometimes cause discomfort. A deeper cavity that approaches the center of the tooth will likely cause pain since there is more damage to the tooth and there is less tooth structure to insulate and protect the pulp. Localized infection between the gum and tooth (periodontal abscess) can cause toothache. A traumatic physical blow to a tooth can induce a sore tooth, as well. Prevent most tooth decay conditions easily with dentitox pro.

Other causes of toothache include the following:

  1. Abscessed tooth: This infection originates from within the tooth and spreads to the root and the surrounding bone.
  2. Damaged or fractured tooth: Fracture of a tooth can expose the sensitive dentin or even the pulp. Sometimes fractures are not obvious even though the fracture line can run deep into the tooth, causing tooth pain every time one puts pressure on it with biting or chewing (called “cracked tooth syndrome”).
  3. Dental work: After getting a filling or crown, the tooth can feel more sensitive. This is especially the case if the removal of tooth decay was large or deep. Dental work, although necessary, can sometimes irritate the nerve. Over time, the sensitivity can resolve if the tooth is healthy enough.
  4. Teeth clenching or grinding: This habit is called bruxism and is oftentimes done unconsciously and at night. Unfortunately, bruxism causes damage to teeth and sometimes irritates the nerves to the point where teeth become sensitive.



3 Responses

  1. I have used this pain scale for more than 8 years. But the doctors could care less. I brought them a copy so that we would be talking the same pain numbers. But out of at least ten doctors, none of them showed an iota of interest, they just wanted 1-10. This whole system is so messed up.

    If one could get everyone to agree to a pain scale, which is different from a pain chart where you mark where the pain is and what type of pain it is, then I believe it would be beneficial. But, I could not get any of my doctors to look at the pain scale to understand how I rated my pain.

  2. This seems like a good thing, but at the same time seems completely moot; who cares what your pain is like if it’s not possible to get any kind of treatment? (other than forcing people into ESIs so they can then develop all new & different pain). We’re completely screwed, so what does it matter if there’s a more effective pain scale?

    That said, Oregon is about to ban ALL opioids for ALL pain conditions, no exceptions (for low income patients, at least for, now, which adds class discrimination onto medical abuse). PLEASE folks, submit your stories & how opioids have enabled you to live a halfway decent life to the committee –you don’t have to be an Oregonian. Email ASAP to: herc.info@state.or.us

    I frankly doubt it’ll do anything to avert this insanity, but part of me has to keep trying.

  3. jmo,,I like the old ones..Most who have ever read any of my comments know,,i have a couple of very very corrupt doctors i am forced to deal with.Now,,w/thee old pain scale/human body,,the patient will mark exactly where the physical pain is,,,With this new one,,I see no-where for the patient to mark where his/her pain is?,,Now a corrupt doctors will take advantage of this,,,as 1 of mine did..This winter,,fell on ice,,unbeknown to me broke my ribs on the left side,confirmed follow up ct,6 weeks after fall,still broke,My gastroenterologist surgeon documented that is where my physical pain is/was all along for the last 15 years,,to justify sending me to THORCIC,, surgeon,,Now thank god I have my old pain scale images,,which show physical pain thru-out the diaphragm area and in the thorcic spine,,But just an example of doctors using the fact that the patient no-longer marks where the physical pain is,,,for a corrupted doctor to document where ever the hell they want to document where your physical pain is,,,to justify a FALSE diagnoses or cya,,,maryw

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