The most common origins of a toothache are from an inflamed or infected tooth nerve. This can be from either a hole in the tooth, deep pits or fissures, worn enamel or cracking within the tooth. A toothache can also be due to infection, within the bone adjoining the tooth root, from gingival infection.
Some illnesses, including sinusitis, can result in pain inside the face that may be misunderstood as toothache. Toothaches can be quite painful, however typically you can be relieved from pain after dental treatment.
The best way to maintain healthy teeth is to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and have regular visits with a dentist and a dental hygienist. If your teeth become sore, prescription-free pain medications may help. However, you must see a dentist to treat the issue properly. Common methods to treat a toothache are fillings, endodontic treatment or dental extractions.
Antibiotics may need to be prescribed by the dentist to treat an infection, though this will be prescribed by your dentist if required. When should I get dental care? You should see a dentist if you have
- extended or continual aches or irritations in a tooth or multiple teeth
- a tooth that is sore to touch or brush
- swollen gums
- a broken tooth
routine examinations as prevention If the area under the tongue is swollen, seek dental medical attention as soon as possible.
What causes a toothache?
A toothache usually indicates that one or more teeth has been damaged or irritated. Pain is a signal that something is not right, which case a dentist should examine the teeth. Toothaches are usually due to the tooth nerve becoming inflamed or infected, however there are also other reasons why a toothache will occur. Toothaches in which the tooth nerve is infected or inflamed may be due to
- tooth decay/cavities
- deep pits or fissures
- exposed enamel
- tooth/teeth damage
- lost or broken fillings
- enamel cracks
- tooth/teeth wear
Other causes of a toothache can be
- clenching or grinding teeth or chewing on hard, sticky foods
- gum infection
- aching after a tooth extraction
- a dental prosthesis that is rubbing
A hole in the tooth, also known as a cavity, which reaches completely through to the tooth nerve can cause a toothache. Bacteria that causes cavities can add to an already inflamed dental nerve, causing pain. Initially the tooth can be sensitive to hot or cold and then progress to a more extreme or chronic pain. If the problem isn’t treated quickly, the infection can spread through the root of the tooth to the bone tissue. The ache can then progress further into a dull throbbing pain and the tooth is usually tender to touch. The region around the jaw may also swell. This means the tooth and the jawbone have become infected due to the problem tooth.
Deep pits or fissures
Pits or fissures that go deep into the enamel near the tooth nerve can allow decay to form undetected deep into the tooth and could cause a toothache. Teeth that have had a filling are usually worse off than healthy teeth if they are not treated. If there is a deep pit, the tooth nerve can also be affected by leakage at the edge of a filling.