What is Causing My Toothache?

July 6, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbrong @ 1:42 pm
a young woman wearing a denim blouse and holding her cheek in pain because of a toothache

Toothaches can form for a variety of reasons. From decay and improper brushing to tooth sensitivity and gum disease, the cause of the increasing discomfort in your mouth will often leave you wondering, “What can I do?” An over-the-counter pain reliever can be helpful to relieve the ache but what if that is only temporary? A dentist shares some of the most common causes behind toothaches and explains what steps you can take to achieve lasting relief and greater oral health.

Common Causes of a Toothache

Whether you are in the middle of a wondering beach vacation with your family, or you are preparing for another day at work, a toothache can arise at any time. Depending on the status of your oral health, you may attribute it to lack of care, or it may be that you simply have no idea what could be causing such extreme discomfort.

To help you better identify what might be the root cause, here are some of the most common reasons for a toothache:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Brushing/Flossing Too Hard
  • Bite Alignment
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  • Misaligned Teeth
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Damaged Dental Fillings/Sealants
  • Fractured Tooth
  • Abscess

Ways to Treat Your Tooth Pain

In most situations, you may be able to pinpoint at least one of the above-mentioned reasons and attribute it to your toothache, but even if you are able, what should you do to remedy it? This is where a skilled dental professional comes in.

The first thing to remember is to never shrug off a toothache. If you are experiencing pain, and you know it is not caused by sinus congestion, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist. After discussing the symptoms you’re experiencing and examining your oral cavity and dental X-Rays, they will be able to determine where the problem exists and the cause.

For more minor problems such as tooth sensitivity, they may recommend a particular toothpaste that can help minimize the stinging pain you feel when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages. If your toothache is the result of brushing too hard, it may be best if you switch to an electric toothbrush that can do more of the work for you and prevent additional pressure from being placed on your teeth and gums.

In instances where your bite is off or your teeth are out of alignment, orthodontic help may be necessary to fix this type of problem. Your dentist may be able to treat you with clear aligners that will produce faster results and give you a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing smile.  

If the cause is more serious (i.e. abscess, gum disease, tooth decay), the methods of treatment can range from a simple dental filling or crown to periodontal treatment to a root canal or tooth extraction. When an infection reaches the interior of your tooth, you can expect to undergo more complex procedures to combat the problem and prevent further damage.

No matter the cause for your toothache, your dentist is your number one ally in the fight. Never hesitate to turn to a dental professional for help. The sooner it is addressed, the better off you and your smile will be.

About the Author
Dr. Nicholas Brong earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of California at San Francisco. He went on to complete his dental implant training from the University Associates in Dentistry, Dental Implant Institute of Chicago, as well as laser dentistry training from UCSF. He and his team at Zumbro Family Dental see common dental problems all the time, including toothaches. By performing regular checkups and cleanings, we can identify the problem from the start and help you to be free from the pain and move forward with better oral health. If you or a loved one is suffering from an agonizing toothache, visit our website or call (507) 288-1066.

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