14 Causes of a Toothache

Whether it is mild or severe, a toothache can be difficult to manage. However, not all toothaches are alike. The pain is a symptom of an underlying cause, and different causes will require different treatments. If you have a toothache, one of the following may be to blame.

1. Cavity

This is the most common cause of a toothache. A cavity forms in your tooth as the enamel decays, resulting in a hole. This can cause pain and sensitivity, which will generally become worse the more the cavity develops.

2. Cracked tooth

A tooth can be cracked from something as simple as biting onto a hard piece of food. If your tooth is cracked, chipped or fractured, the sensitive interior will be exposed. The damage will grow worse if left untreated.

3. Abscess

An abscess can form when tooth decay reaches the root of your tooth. If the infection becomes bad enough, it can cause pus to form around the root. The pus can form directly at the root tip, or between the tooth and the gum tissue. An infection may also occur if a tooth has not erupted properly.

4. Receding Gums

Receding gums can be caused by flossing or brushing your teeth too hard or with poor technique. As the gums recede, the roots of the teeth are exposed, and the teeth become more sensitive and prone to aches. They can also become less stable.

5. Injury

Any trauma to your mouth can result in a toothache. This could be due to a chipped or fractured tooth. However, the damage could be done to the jaw, or to the tooth root. You may not always be able to see the injury that is causing the pain.

6. Inflammation

Inflammation can occur in numerous areas. Your gums might become inflamed, for example, leading to toothache. The pulp inside your tooth root might also become inflamed. Inflammation can accompany other conditions, such as an abscess.

7. Impacted Molar

If a tooth is blocked by other teeth, bone or gums, preventing it from moving or growing, it can become impacted. In adults, this may be more likely to occur with your wisdom teeth, as they are the last teeth to erupt.

8. Sensitivity

Sensitivity to hot and cold will often occur if your tooth enamel has thinned. You may also experience sensitivity after teeth whitening. If the sensitivity is ongoing, it could result in serious pain.

9. Grinding Teeth

This is also known as bruxism. Grinding your teeth, whether consciously or unconsciously, places pressure on your teeth and their roots. You can also experience pain in your jaw and neck.

10. Misaligned Teeth

If you have misaligned teeth, they can press against each other, placing strain on the roots and causing pain. If your teeth are currently being realigned, you may also experience a toothache as a side effect.

11. TMJ Disorder

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your upper and lower jaw bones. If you have a TMJ disorder, this can result in pain along your jaw. In some cases, it can present as a toothache but will require TMJ treatment.

12. Damaged Filling

A filling can become cracked or chipped, or even fall out. This exposes the center of the tooth and can result in sensitivity and pain. The gaps left in a damaged filling can also allow bacteria to enter, resulting in infection.

13. Gum Disease

Gum disease such as gingivitis does not necessarily cause pain in your teeth. However, it can be difficult to determine the origin of the pain in your mouth. If you have a toothache, you may discover that your gums are to blame.

14. Sinusitis

Your sinuses are close to your mouth and the roots of your teeth. If your sinuses become infected, the pain and pressure could be felt in your teeth.


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Author: Myrtice Lovett

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