A toothache is a pain that you feel in or around your tooth. Even with the best oral hygiene routine, at some point, you may experience the intense discomfort of a toothache. A toothache is almost never a sign of something serious, but it is a sign something is wrong.
Toothaches are almost always caused by tooth decay. While a cavity is the most likely culprit, it’s important to see a dentist for an exam to determine the cause. Never ignore a pain in your mouth, because if it is tooth decay, it will get worse if left untreated. If your toothache is a sign of a more serious condition, it could require medical treatment.
Describe the pain
Pain levels can range from mild to severe. The pain may be constant or intermittent. It can be in your tooth, gums, or just a tenderness and achy feeling. It may only occur while chewing, or when you drink cold liquids. You could have swelling or fever.
Common Causes of Toothaches
Decay and Cavities
Once bacteria reach the pulp of your tooth through an untreated cavity, you will experience pain. Receding gums or thinning of enamel will also cause pain with hot and cold food or drinks. If decay is allowed to continue untreated, gums become inflamed with deep pockets that trap bacteria.
A tooth that is stuck in your gums or jawbone is impacted. Typically this involves a wisdom tooth. If your pain is near the back of your teeth, this could be the cause.
If an issue goes untreated, it can become infected and turn into an abscess. If this is the case, there will be significant swelling and pain near the affected tooth, and you may be experiencing fever.
Cracked or broken tooth
If your pain primarily occurs when you bite down on food, the most likely cause is a cracked or broken tooth.
Tooth pain can be caused by inflamed sinuses. This sort of a toothache usually hurts around your upper teeth on both sides of your face simultaneously. Because the roots of your teeth are near your sinuses, it can feel more like a toothache than sinus pain.
If the pain presents in your jaw, it may be caused by trauma, grinding, or impacted molars.
If you are suffering from tooth pain and would like to schedule an appointment with your Laurel, MD dentist, please contact our office at (301) 490-3993.