What Causes Toothaches

What Causes Toothaches

Toothaches — What Causes Them and Why

There are often many unknowns when dealing with toothaches, but one thing is clear and universal — they are painful and hard to ignore, and they prevent us from going on with our lives. Fortunately, they are usually not a dental emergency, and visiting your dentist will probably spell the end of your troubles. But we’re here to talk about what causes them and what other kinds of havoc they can wreak in your mouth, so let’s see what causes toothaches, what some of their symptoms are, and when you should see your dentist.

Of course, if you want to know more about emergency dental services, you can always do some research on your own. If you see you have more questions by the end of this article, you can enter this website for more general info.

Some General Remarks

It might be needless to say, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of what a toothache actually entails first. Of course, it’s some kind of pain that occurs in the tooth, right? Well, yes, but it can also spread to the jaw and gums surrounding the affected tooth.

There are also different types of toothaches. They can be steady and dull, they can be sharp, or you might be dealing with a toothache that comes and goes seemingly at random. It might even be caused by the food you’re eating, for example, if it’s too cold or too hot. 

What’s annoying about toothaches is that they’re often hard to pinpoint too. We don’t have that much awareness of our jaws and gums, so we might even mistake a toothache for something else, like ear pain. But, if there’s visible swelling or soreness, locating the aching tooth might not be such a big problem. If you run a dentistry, DMS Australia has trusted medical supplies to keep your clinic running.

Toothache Symptoms and Causes

Pain doesn’t have to signal a tooth emergency, but it’s good knowing where you stand when your health is in question. So, if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you’re most likely in need of a dentist:

  • Swelling of the jaw and throbbing, consistent pain
  • Fever and weakness
  • Trouble chewing and swallowing due to pain
  • Sensitivity to certain types of food

Now, while toothache symptoms are pretty perspicuous and easy to spot, the root of the problem is often not as clear. Your toothache might just be what is called referred pain, that is, pain caused by some other issue elsewhere in your body. But we can still talk about some of the most common culprits responsible for the pain.

1. Cavities and Tooth Decay

These are, by far, the most common causes of most types of toothache. When bacteria build up, and their acid wears the enamel down, your tooth gets exposed, and cavities appear on the surface, causing pain and discomfort.

2. Chipped or Cracked Teeth

Second, we have chipped and cracked teeth. Although these problems are not as frequent as cavities, they’re still common enough to be among the most common toothache causes. What makes cracks tough to deal with is that they’re hard to spot on your own. That is, your tooth might appear fine when you’re brushing and flossing but actually be damaged. To make sure there’s nothing wrong with the tooth, visit your emergency dentist.

3. An Abscess

Going back to bacteria, we can mention abscesses: pus build-ups that come as a result of cavities and similar issues, like bacterial infections. Needless to say, an abscess can be really painful, and you can’t deal with it on your own. 

4. Gum Issues

Toothaches can spread to the gums, but gum issues can cause toothache too. Well, it’s more the case that they work in tandem to cause you trouble. For example, if your wisdom teeth are breaking out, you’ll probably feel a lot of pain, both in the jaw and the gums, and it won’t matter that it’s not your tooth per se that’s aching.

5. Sinus Issues

Issues like sinusitis can be really painful. They manifest near the jaw and around the ear, and they’re easily mistaken for toothache. 

6. Tooth Grinding

Tooth grinding is another common problem that can cause your teeth to hurt. What’s pesky about it is that we often do it at night, when we’re asleep and unconscious. That means we are often oblivious to the fact that it might be an infection or injury causing our toothache, but actually a bad habit.

7. Abnormal Bite

Just like teeth grinding, an abnormal bite (malocclusion) is also responsible for a lot of problems, and not just toothaches. It can also lead to TMJ disorder and other jaw issues. It can also result in chewing and swallowing difficulties.

When to See a Dentist

As we’ve said, a toothache is not usually something that requires emergency dental care, but that only goes for milder pain that can wait until you can visit your doctor. If you’re experiencing some more severe symptoms, it’s paramount that you seek help right away. 

Further, if your painkillers are not working, you definitely need professional feedback. The same goes for when you’ve got your tooth extracted, but the pain is not going away when it should. If you ignore the pain and just hope for the best, it might lead to other, potentially worse problems.

The same goes for when your toothache results in swollen cheeks or affects an even wider facial area. Such symptoms are usually accompanied by a fever, so you’ll most certainly know something is wrong (the problem might actually be an abscess in such situations).

Last but not least, if you’ve suffered an injury of any kind and have lost a tooth or more of them, you should under no circumstances delay visiting a dentist. Tooth loss is often permanent if not addressed immediately, and there is always a chance of more serious head trauma and other related issues, which can make toothaches the least of your worries down the line.

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