10 Common Causes of Toothaches Could Be Behind Your Tooth Pain

What are the causes of toothaches

Discover the cause of your toothache.

A toothache can severely impact your quality of life, and anyone dealing with one should schedule a visit with their dentist to find out what’s causing it. 

There are many common causes of toothaches that can vary in their severity. It could be a relatively simple fix or a sign of a major dental issue. A dentist can determine the cause and let you know what your treatment options are.

1. Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity when eating or drinking could be one of the causes of toothaches. A variety of factors can lead to dentin, the inner layer of your teeth, becoming exposed. When this happens, you’ll have increased sensitivity to temperature. Chances are this is due to other underlying issues that a dentist can diagnose and treat.

2. Tooth Decay

A cavity caused by tooth decay is another one of the common causes of toothaches. Acidity can wear away at your enamel, eventually creating a hole in your tooth. This can cause serious pain when eating and lead to a lasting toothache. Chances are you’ll simply need a filling to remedy this issue. Your dentist will let you know if another treatment option is needed.

3. Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Constantly grinding and clenching your teeth can cause them to wear down and become painful. Putting off seeking help from a dentist for your tooth pain could lead to continued damage if the grinding and clenching action is not resolved, eventually leading to serious problems that require more intensive treatment.

4. Infected Gums

Your gums can become infected from a lack of effective oral hygiene or other factors. When this happens, you may find that your gums are constantly inflamed and irritated. This can often manifest as a toothache. The infection can be a sign of gum disease, so seeking treatment for this issue as soon as possible is in your best interest.

5. Sinusitis

If your tooth pain happens to be in the upper back teeth, there’s a chance that sinusitis, a sinus infection, is the root cause. The sinuses are void spaces in your skull that are connected to your nasal cavities. The sinus tissue can become infected and inflamed, and you could feel this pain as a toothache. 

You will likely be referred to another doctor if your dentist believes a sinus infection is behind your toothache.

6. Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is the result of a serious bacterial infection. With an abscess, a pocket filled with pus forms within the tooth, requiring either a root canal or extraction, depending on the circumstances. 

An abscessed tooth can cause a number of symptoms, including a severe and persistent toothache, so you should visit your dentist to find out whether an abscessed tooth is the cause of your pain before the problem worsens.

7. TMJ

TMJ refers to temporomandibular joint disorder, which affects the joints between your lower jawbone and the rest of your skull that make chewing and speaking possible. Alignment issues and grinding can lead to TMJ, which can be felt as a pain in the jaw or teeth. 

There are a variety of treatment options available for TMJ, which often focus on treating underlying issues.

8. Damaged Fillings

Some patients may experience damaged fillings at some point in their lives. While fillings are typically strong and reliable, they sometimes break due to traumatic impact, grinding, or other issues. 

When a filling breaks, the inner layer of the tooth is exposed to the outside and can become sensitive or infected. In most cases, a damaged filling can be removed and replaced with a new one.

9. Chipped or Cracked Tooth

When your teeth become chipped or cracked, they can expose the sensitive tissues within. This can lead to pain that may become severe, depending on the extent of the damage. 

If you notice your tooth is damaged, seek out a dentist immediately. In some cases, you could have physical damage to a tooth without realizing it and only become aware when you seek treatment for your toothache.

10. Tooth Eruption

Tooth eruption is the process of teeth emerging into the mouth. This occurs naturally during an infant’s teething, the emergence of their adult teeth, and with the wisdom teeth in adulthood. 

The eruption itself can hurt, as any parent is well aware of from their baby’s teething. In adults, wisdom tooth eruption often causes pain because of impaction, so they may need them extracted.

Find out what’s causing your toothache.

If you have a toothache, contact River Walk Dental to schedule an appointment. With a wide range of treatment options, we can address any dental issues you might have, determine what’s behind your tooth pain, and begin treating it to relieve your discomfort as soon as possible.

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