A toothache isn’t a dental problem. Rather, it is a symptom of a dental problem. Toothaches can have a number of causes, ranging from mild sensitivity to severe and dangerous oral health problems. When one of your teeth begins to hurt, you should schedule an exam with your dentist as soon as possible. After they evaluate the situation, they may tell you that one of the following issues is to blame for your pain. Then, you can receive treatment and get your smile on the road to recovery.
Some soreness is normal throughout orthodontic treatment. However, if you ever experience persistent, intense pain when you’re wearing braces or clear aligners, there might be a problem with your treatment that needs professional attention.
Misaligned teeth can push against each other or hit one another at odd angles when you bite down, leading to tooth damage and pain. Impacted wisdom teeth are often guilty of shoving the adjacent teeth out of place.
Overzealous Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is vital, but you have to be careful not to overdo it. Aggressive brushing and flossing can wear away at the tooth enamel and cause gum recession. After the gums recede, the sensitive tooth roots become exposed, which can lead to even further pain.
Bruxism, involuntary teeth grinding, causes premature wear and tear to the teeth and can lead to toothaches jaw pain. A custom nightguard is often the best treatment for bruxism.
Damaged or Lost Restorations
When a crown or filling breaks or falls out of your mouth altogether, the sensitive dentition underneath it becomes more vulnerable. Eating, drinking, or even cold air can irritate the tooth and lead to significant pain.
If your tooth enamel is unusually thin, it is easier for hot and cold items to irritate the tooth’s inner layers. The nerve in your tooth then sends pain signals to the pain. A sensitivity-reducing toothpaste may be able to help with the discomfort.
A Broken Tooth
The pulp inside each tooth has sensitive nerve endings. Therefore, when a trauma breaks a tooth to the point where the pulp becomes exposed, excruciating pain can result.
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue, which can cause bleeding and bad breath. It can also lead to gum recession, which exposes sensitive tooth roots.
If an infection reaches the tooth’s pulp, it can irritate the tooth’s nerve and lead to intense, throbbing pain. A dental abscess is a true emergency because an untreated infection can spread beyond the tooth and lead to significant systemic health problems.
When acids eat away at the tooth enamel and lead to cavities, those cavities let outside substances irritate the inner layers of the teeth. A filling or crown is often the best way to stop cavities from worsening and prevent future pain.
Regardless of the cause of your toothache, your dentist is ready and willing to help! Hopefully, it won’t be long before you can say goodbye to the pain and hello to a healthier, happier smile.
About the Author
Dr. Erick Anderson is a Colorado Springs native who is passionate about helping his patients achieve a higher quality of life through top-tier oral healthcare. If you are experiencing a toothache or have questions about how best to look after your smile, contact our office at 719-593-0988.