When your teen attends regular dental checkups, sudden tooth pain is alarming. After all, dentists typically find issues such as cavities early enough to prevent most pain if your child goes to their exams. Yet tooth sensitivity is a common issue in the teenage years, and you can work with your family dentist to find out if one of these problems could be the cause of the pain.
Consider Sinus Inflammation
Children with allergies or frequent sinus infections sometimes find that tooth pain accompanies their other symptoms. This is because the maxillary sinuses run just above the upper teeth, and inflamed sinus passages can put pressure on the nerves. Typically, tooth pain caused by sinuses creates a dull ache that might be hard to narrow down to a specific tooth. While your child may still need to see their normal physician, their dentist can check to rule out actual dental health issues that cause similar pain.
Talk About Their Oral Hygiene
Teens who brush their teeth and floss regularly are already a step ahead of the game in the battle against tooth decay. However, teenagers sometimes think that brushing harder is the best way to achieve clean teeth. Aggressive tooth brushing wears away the enamel and gum line around teeth. Eventually, this exposes the underlying dentin of the tooth that is sensitive to heat and cold. If this is the cause of your teen's tooth pain, then they can work with a hygienist to learn how to brush and floss their teeth gently.
Watch Out For Teeth Grinding
Teenagers are exposed to more stress as they mature into adulthood. Whether your child is worried about an upcoming exam or struggles with social anxiety, the stress from their day can manifest itself at night in the form of tooth grinding. Since issues with your teen's teeth alignment and bite can also cause tooth grinding, a general family dentist will conduct a full exam to determine the cause. Then your teen may be recommended for treatment strategies such as braces or wearing a night guard at night to minimize stress on the teeth.
Ask About Recent Injuries
Small cracks and fractures in the teeth can also cause sensitivity. Often, teenagers sustain injuries while playing sports that may not seem severe on the surface. For instance, a blow to the mouth from a baseball may not leave any obvious injuries. Yet, the force of a hit or fall may cause a small crack in the tooth. Find out if your teen has had a recent blow to the face, and arrange to have a dental exam to check for small cracks that lead to major pain.
When it comes to tooth sensitivity in teens, there are many things that could be causing them to experience dental pain. Be sure to arrange for a full exam with their dental provider so that you can correct the problem before it leads to more serious issues.