Common Causes for a Toothache


This article was reviewed by Dr. Delhon of our Northland location. 

Toothaches are a real pain. You may develop one related to a number of different causes, but you should seek dental treatment immediately if you have a nagging toothache. A dentist can identify what sparked the issue and treat the underlying problem.

In the meantime, you may wonder why you’re experiencing so much pain. We’ve pulled together this list of possible causes of a toothache to help you determine what’s wrong with your mouth.

Toothache Cause: Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity results in a toothache that seems to go down to the root of your tooth. You can develop this condition from a range of different circumstances, including:

  • Brushing your teeth too vigorously, which wears away the gumline protecting the teeth
  • Eating acidic foods, such as tomato sauce or orange juice, that wear down your enamel
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth, which can result in cracks and chips as well

If you have sensitive teeth, you can buy special toothpaste formulated to ease your symptoms. Other treatments include wearing a bite guard at night and being more gentle when you brush.

Toothache Cause: Dental Cavity

Sharper pain in your tooth can often be traced to a cavity. Dentists refer to cavities as dental caries. They’re holes in the tooth caused by tooth decay that can worsen if they aren’t treated.

If you have a cavity, you may need to get it filled. The dentist will drill away the infected part of the tooth and replace it with a filling often made of resin or a silver amalgam. The treatment will stop the toothache pain almost immediately.

Toothache Cause: Abscessed Tooth

An abscess in the tooth consists of an infection that spreads from the pulp to the extremities of the tooth into the root or root tips. Treating the infection can reduce your pain. If it gets serious, the infection may leak out the bottom of the root into your jawbone. Cavities or cracks in the tooth can cause an abscess.

Treatment for abscesses begins with the dentist cleaning out the infection. You might then require a root canal to rid the tooth of the infected pulp. The dentist may also put you on antibiotics to clear out the infection.

Toothache Cause: Gum Disease

Not every cavity is caused by a trauma or other issue with the tooth. You can also experience tooth pain stemming from gum disease, which attacks your gums and makes them inflamed. Gum disease is characterized by red, angry gums that become sensitive when you floss.

Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and puberty can spark gum disease. You can also develop it from poor oral hygiene and lack of flossing. Poor nutrition is another cause. A dentist can treat gum disease with root planing or deep scaling, a type of cleaning that rids the gums of pockets of tartar and plaque.

Perhaps the most common cause of a toothache is a cavity. If you think you may have a cavity or you just want a professional to determine the toothache’s cause, contact Dental Choice to make an appointment today.




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