we have any problems with our health, our bodies warn us through pain and aching. Toothache is no different. After a cold drink, out of nowhere or repeating toothache are some of the ways your body tells you that you need to see a professional. Toothaches can be incredibly painful and debilitating, making it difficult to eat, speak, or even concentrate.

While they may seem like a minor inconvenience to most, toothaches can actually be indicative of underlying dental issues that require immediate care. Understanding the causes of toothache is crucial in order to treat and prevent future problems. To treat the problem, first you dentist needs to identify it. Here are 10 proven causes of toothache. (Don’t forget that these are some of the reasons, and simply having these symptoms doesn’t determine the actual underlying cause. Consult to your dentist for accurate determination of the cause and its treatment.)


What Is Toothache And Why Does It Happen?

Toothache is a common dental condition characterized by pain and discomfort in or around the teeth. It can vary in intensity, ranging from a mild ache to a severe throbbing sensation. Toothache can occur due to various reasons, including tooth decay, gum disease, infection, dental trauma, and teeth grinding.

Tooth problems can be genetically inherited or happen because of poor dental hygiene. It is crucial for good dental health that you take care of your teeth and visit your dentist 2 times a year.


Common Causes Of Toothache

As we mentioned earlier, there are several common factors that can lead to toothache. Here are some of the common causes of toothache:

  • Tooth decay, which happens when the enamel (outer protective layer) of the tooth gets damaged and allows bacteria to penetrate the tooth's inner layers, is one of the most common causes of toothache. Tooth decay irritates the nerve endings in the tooth, leading to pain and sensitivity.

  • Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is another cause of toothache. It occurs due to the buildup of plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) on the teeth and gums. The bacteria in the plaque release toxins that irritate and inflame the gums, causing pain and swelling.

  • Infections, such as dental abscesses, can also result in toothache. An abscess is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection. When the infection spreads to the tooth, it can cause intense pain and swelling.

  • Dental trauma, like a cracked or chipped tooth, can lead to toothache. The exposed inner layers of the tooth can become sensitive and painful, making it difficult to chew and bite.

  • Teeth grinding, medically known as bruxism, is another potential cause of toothache. The constant grinding and clenching of teeth can weaken the enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and pain.

  • Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective enamel on the teeth becomes thin or worn down, exposing the underlying dentin. This can result in sharp, shooting pains when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages.

  • Impacted wisdom teeth happens when these third molars do not have enough space to fully emerge or grow in the correct direction, they can cause pain and discomfort in the surrounding teeth and gums. Ignoring this problem may cause your teeth shape to change, creating bigger future problems.

  • Sinus infections can also sometimes cause toothache. The pressure and inflammation in the sinuses can radiate to the upper teeth, causing a throbbing sensation and overall discomfort.

  • Poor oral hygiene habits such as inadequate brushing and flossing, as well as neglecting regular dental check-ups, can contribute to toothache. Plaque and tartar buildup, along with untreated cavities, can lead to inflammation and pain in the teeth and gums.

  • Pain after dental procedure is completely normal. After certain treatments, you body needs time to heal, and toothache is considered normal in this stage -your dentist will tell you this before your treatment-. However, if you have more questions on this matter, you can read why pain occurs after implant for more information.

Understanding these common causes of toothache can help in identifying and addressing the root cause of the pain. Remember that these are just to inform you on causes of toothache, and you should never self-diagnose yourself and try to treat it at home.


Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders And Toothache

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can also cause toothache. The TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint is overworked or injured, it can lead to pain and discomfort that may radiate to the teeth.

Toothache caused by TMJ disorders can present as a dull, aching pain in the jaw joint or the surrounding muscles. It may also result in difficulty in opening or closing your mouth, clicking, or popping sounds when you chew, or even headaches.

There are several factors that can contribute to TMJ disorders, including teeth grinding, stress, misaligned teeth, and arthritis. Avoiding excessive teeth grinding, managing stress levels, practicing good oral hygiene, and seeking dental treatment for misaligned teeth can all help prevent TMJ-related toothache and problems related to oral health.


Tooth Sensitivity And Its Contribution To Toothache

Tooth sensitivity is another common cause of toothache that is most of the time overlooked. It occurs when the protective layer of enamel on the teeth wears down, exposing the underlying layer of dentin. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as tooth grinding, aggressive brushing, or acidic food and drink.

When dentin becomes exposed, it can lead to tooth sensitivity, which is characterized by a sharp, shooting pain when consuming hot or cold substances. It can also cause discomfort when biting down on hard foods.

Most people think it is normal to experience tooth sensitivity while it isn’t. True, tour teeth can become sensitive sometimes, but regular appearance of tooth pain is not normal and should be treated immediately to prevent further damage. To help with prevention, avoid consuming too hot or too cold beverages and foods and brush your teeth regularly.


Does Teeth Whitening Cause Toothache?

Teeth whitening is a procedure that makes the colour of your teeth whiter, creating a more confident smile. A misconception about teeth whitening is that is causes tooth sensitivity and toothache.

Teeth whitening, when done professionally and properly, does not cause tooth sensitivity or toothache. If you try at-home teeth whitening techniques, the products you use might damage your teeth, causing toothache. However, you should never compare at-home remedies to professional dentistry and should never try anything before consulting with you dentist.

Updated Date: January 22, 2024
Published Date: January 22, 2024