5 Conditions That Cause Toothache

If you are suffering from toothache, you might feel worried and confused if you don't know the cause. The best way to solve the mystery is to schedule an appointment with a dentist. While you wait for your appointment, take the time to learn about these common causes of toothache.

1. Cavities

Having a cavity in your tooth can cause a lot of pain. Oral bacteria produce acids that wear away the enamel that protects your teeth. Over time, this can create a hole in the enamel that exposes the sensitive inner root of the tooth. This can be very painful, but the good news is that dentists can usually fix cavities very quickly and easily by inserting a dental filling into the hole.

2. Thin Enamel

Sometimes, toothache starts before the enamel coating on your tooth has fully worn away. Thin enamel allows stimuli from the environment such as pressure from chewing and heat and cold from foods and drinks to affect the inner nerves of the teeth. This can lead to teeth feeling sensitive. You might be able to gain some relief by using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, but it is still a good idea to see a dentist for a checkup.

3. Cracked Teeth

Sometimes, toothache starts suddenly. If your pain started while you were eating or grinding your teeth, you might have cracked one of your teeth. Use a mirror to take a look at the tooth to see whether you can see a crack. Schedule an emergency appointment with an after-hours dentist to get the tooth repaired as soon as you can. If you leave a cracked tooth untreated, portions of the tooth could break off, and you could even swallow them.

4. Oral Infection

Severe toothache is often a sign that you have an infection in your mouth. Use a mirror to check for signs of infection, such as gums that look swollen or red. Leaving an infection untreated can cause it to spread further into the gums or even into the bone, so it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible.

5. Sinus Infections

Sometimes, toothache isn't caused by problems with your teeth or gums. When your sinuses are infected and blocked with mucus, the pain often transfers into the mouth and jaw, and you can mistake it for toothache. If you have a blocked nose or a feeling of pressure around the eyes, you might have a sinus infection. See your doctor for antibiotics, which can help the infection to clear up. You may also be able to get some relief from the pain by holding your head over a bowl of hot water, as the steam will soften the mucus and help to relieve the pressure.