Toothaches are no fun, no matter the cause behind them. When you or a loved one is in pain, you’d do anything to get to the bottom of the suffering. That’s why we’ve made this guide with the top 10 answers to the question “Why do I have a toothache?” Continue reading below to learn the answers.
10. Orthodontic Adjustment
Whenever you get your braces or retainer adjusted, it can take a few days for your teeth to grow accustomed to their new position. This is completely normal and should subside within a few days. If the pain persists, contact your dentist or orthodontist.
9. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth become impacted when they fail to break through the gumline. Sometimes this may cause them to push against other teeth, which can be extremely painful. You may need to consult with a dentist or oral surgeon about getting one or more of your wisdom teeth removed.
8. Improper Brushing or Flossing
Some of us may think that by brushing and flossing vigorously, we do a better job at eliminating plaque from our teeth and gums. However, applying too much pressure can actually cause more toothaches because it can wear down your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth feeling more sensitive.
7. Grinding Your Teeth
Many people grind or clench their teeth at night without realizing it, usually as a symptom of unmanaged stress. However, your dentist can recognize the signs of teeth grinding, so be sure to visit them for your toothache, especially if it’s worse in the morning.
6. Damaged Fillings
Fillings are great ways to restore teeth hurt by cavities, but they do not last forever. They can become worn down over time. When this happens, the sensitive areas of your teeth that the fillings were protecting can be exposed to bacteria. If it’s been a few years since you’ve had a filling, ask your dentist to check on its status.
5. Sensitivity to Temperature
If you experience a sharp pain after consuming a very hot or cold food or beverage, you might have sensitive teeth. This means that your enamel has worn thin, revealing the sensitive layer of dentin underneath it. Try using a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth to block pain.
4. Tooth Fractures
Your teeth can become chipped or cracked through a number of ways, such as:
- Biting down on something hard or sticky
- Playing sports
If you feel pain in a cracked tooth, that means the fracture has spread to the center of the tooth where the nerves lie. Talk to your dentist about how best to treat the issue.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease is when bacteria infects your gum tissue. It may also cause sensitive teeth. If you don’t get this condition treated soon enough, it could even cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.
2. Dental Abscess
When tooth decay reaches the root of the tooth, it forms what’s called an abscess. This is a serious infection that, if left untreated, could necessitate a root canal or even a tooth extraction.
1. Tooth Decay
The most common reason for a toothache is a good old-fashioned cavity. This is when bacteria eat away a hole in your tooth enamel. This is why it’s a good idea to see your dentist every six months to treat cavities before they become a larger issue.
Hopefully this guide can help you answer the question of “why does my tooth hurt?” Remember to visit your dentist if you have a toothache that persists for longer than a few days.
About the Author
Dr. Nicholas Brong achieved his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of California in San Francisco. He has also undergone advanced laser dentistry training to treat gum disease and dental implant training to replace missing teeth. If you can’t get to the bottom of your toothache, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Brong at (507) 288-1066.