What Causes a Toothache?

Causes of toothache for Marietta patients
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock.com

From a dull and persistent throbbing to occasional sharp or shooting pains, a toothache is never a pleasant experience. Many causes of toothaches can be discovered early with regular dental cleanings during the oral exam, but it is also common to feel sudden pain without warning. At Shining Smiles Family Dentistry in Marietta we have seen every type of problem that can lead to a toothache, and we discuss the leading causes below.

What Are the Main Causes of Toothaches?

While what is causing a toothache may not be immediately obvious, the pain signals a problem that requires investigation. In some cases, the pain will go away on its own without needing treatment. However, this result is likely to be only temporary, and the problem will usually get worse – possibly leading to a more serious, more costly issue. When you do experience any pain, one of the following causes is most likely responsible.

Cold Sensitivity

Sensitivity to cold food or drink could indicate that tooth enamel is wearing down. Enamel is a tough outer shell that covers each tooth, but when it becomes weakened it exposes the teeth to cavities and decay. If your teeth hurt after eating or drinking something cold, that’s a signal to make an appointment with your dentist.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by inflammation and infection of the gums. Gums can become swollen and red – they may even bleed – but this issue can also lead to toothache. The earlier gum disease is diagnosed and treated, the less likely it is that a patient will need surgery, require a tooth replacement and so on.

Tooth Decay

If you have ever wondered what causes cavities, the top answer is tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by a buildup of plaque and can result in cavities, gum disease and other oral infections. Tooth decay is unfortunately common, particularly when you go for long periods without seeing your dentist for regular oral exams and cleanings.

Broken Tooth

Teeth are susceptible to chips, breaks and fractures that may appear very minor. However, a weakened tooth can gradually deteriorate, affecting the middle of the tooth where nerve endings are found. For many patients, a small fracture can turn out to cause a severe toothache.

Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess is a buildup of pus in the middle of a tooth caused by a bacterial infection. Frequently an untreated cavity will be found to be the root cause. In many cases, toothache caused by an abscess becomes unbearable without treatment.

Damaged Dental Filling

Dental fillings are used to protect teeth if they are broken or experiencing decay from cavities. Over time, fillings may weaken and expose sensitive parts of the tooth. Visiting your dentist for regular oral exams can prevent toothache by spotting early signs of damage to a filling.

Get Help Treating the Causes of Toothaches

If you are experiencing a toothache or any other dental issue, Shining Smiles Family Dentistry is here to help. Contact us today for assistance with dental cleanings, cavity treatment and much more. Call (770) 420-8550 or request an appointment now.

Meet Dr. Shaila Mohip-Chahwala

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