What causes a toothache?

What causes a toothache?

If you have ever had any sort of dental pain, you will know just how debilitating it can be. Whether it is a persistent, dull ache or acute, searing pain, a toothache can have such a significant impact that is impossible to function normally. Eating and drinking may be out of the question, and the pain may become so severe that it becomes all you can think about.

Unfortunately, a toothache is extremely common and most of us will experience at least one episode of it during our lifetime. Many of us will take pain medication to stop a toothache, but it is still important to arrange to get checked out by your dentist since there could be an underlying problem causing damage to your teeth, and that could see you needing professional toothache treatment in the future.

What causes toothache?

There is a range of different factors that can cause toothache. Some of the most common include the following:

Dental decay

Decay is the single most common cause of toothache. Decay occurs when we fail to properly remove all traces of plaque from our teeth by brushing and flossing. Plaque forms as a result of the interaction between sugars in the food and drink we consume and the bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that erode the layers of our teeth, causing areas of decay. Once the sensitive, inner layers of our teeth are exposed, it can be very painful.

Your restoration has fallen out

Dental restorations like crowns and fillings are used to cover areas of the teeth that have been damaged by decay or trauma. If you have a restoration and you are experiencing a toothache, it could be that the restoration has fallen out or isn’t working efficiently. Replacing it could get rid of your toothache.

You have an abscess

Dental abscesses are not uncommon and are areas of inflammation caused by food and debris breeding infection. You may notice some pus at the site of the abscess, and this may cause a foul taste in your mouth, or even an unpleasant odor.

Your wisdom teeth are coming through

The wisdom teeth are the last to erupt, usually coming through when we reach our late teens or even our twenties. Unfortunately, by this time there is often very little space left to accommodate them and as a result, we may experience issues including impaction and toothache. In some instances, a patient may need to have their wisdom teeth removed to stop their toothache and prevent other issues from occurring.

You suffer from Bruxism

Bruxism is a condition characterized by the clenching and grinding of the teeth, often subconsciously or unconsciously. Bruxism can cause several symptoms including a stiff jaw, headaches, painful facial muscles, and toothache. Toothache occurs because the grinding and clenching erode some of the natural enamel of the teeth, making them more sensitive.

You have gum disease

Whilst a gum infection doesn’t cause pain inside the teeth themselves, it can cause pain in the gums and many patients find it impossible to identify exactly which area their discomfort is coming from. Gum disease normally occurs as a result of poor dental hygiene and is progressive. The more advanced gum disease is, the more likely you are to suffer from dental pain along with many other debilitating symptoms.

How to stop a toothache

No doubt you will be wondering what you can do to get rid of a toothache. Unsurprisingly, the best way to do this is to determine what is causing your toothache to begin with. Your dentist will be able to do this for you, by examining your teeth and identifying the cause of your pain. In doing this, they can recommend the perfect toothache treatment based on your individual needs. This could be a first cavity repair or a replacement restoration, a mouth guard, antibiotics or something else altogether. You may even need a combination of toothache treatments to fully alleviate your pain and ensure that it doesn’t return.

For more advice on the best way to get rid of toothache, please get in touch with our dental care experts today.