It seems like everyone takes their teeth for granted — until they get a toothache. A sore tooth can dampen every aspect of life, making it difficult to enjoy food, treat others to a friendly smile, and concentrate on anything other than the agony in your mouth. What causes toothaches? Your dentist lists 10 common causes of this annoying, and oftentimes serious, problem.
No matter how diligent you are about brushing and flossing, you may still develop cavities. If a cavity becomes deep enough, it allows outside substances to irritate the sensitive inner layers of your teeth. It can even lead to an infection in the tooth’s pulp that causes major pain.
When decay or injury allows bacteria to sneak into the tooth’s root, the result can be an infection that’s known as a dental abscess. An abscess causes severe, pulsating pain that might even make it difficult for you to pinpoint which tooth is causing the problem.
About half of adults have some form of gum disease. In rare cases, it becomes so bad that it results in widespread pain across the mouth. The bacteria from this infection can even enter the oral bones, causing discomfort in the jaw and teeth.
Remember that time you accidentally bit down on an unpopped popcorn kernel? You might have fractured your tooth. Such fractures can reach the tooth’s nerve, which is responsible for sending pain signals to your brain.
If your teeth hurt when you consume hot or cold food or beverages, there are several possible causes behind the sensitivity. It could be due to worn tooth enamel, gum recession, recent dental work, or other causes.
Damaged Dental Work
Fillings, sealants, and crowns are there to protect your teeth. When one of these restorations become warped, lost, or broken, your tooth becomes exposed to the outside world. Therefore, food, drinks, and any type of pressure may irritate your poor pearly white.
Bruxism (habitual teeth grinding) exposes your teeth to excessive pressure over a long period of time. This can wear away the enamel and lead to headaches, jaw pain, and even chipped teeth.
Aggressive Brushing or Flossing
Brushing and flossing are both essential for oral health, but they should be done gently. If you apply too much pressure when you’re cleaning your teeth, you may accidentally cause gum recession and bleeding gums. You could even prematurely wear away your tooth enamel.
Misalignment and Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If your teeth are crooked, they can hit each other at odd angles, leading to damage. Impacted wisdom teeth (wisdom teeth that don’t fully erupt) can also cause pain by pushing other teeth out of alignment.
When you get your braces tightened, your mouth may be tender for a day or two. This is a common problem, but it’s usually nothing to worry about.
Do you have a toothache? One of the above problems might be causing your discomfort. For an official diagnosis and for help in relieving your pain, please visit your local dentist.
About the Dentist
Dr. Chris Long, one of the area’s most highly respected dentists, wants all of his patients to enjoy optimal oral health. If you are experiencing a toothache, he would be happy to help relieve your pain. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Chris or ask questions about your oral health, please contact one of our offices.