What Causes a Toothache?

November 7, 2017

No one enjoys a toothache, but nearly all of us develop one at some point. They may be the result of a sinus infection or even changes in air pressure, such as when taking a flight. However, they are often linked to serious oral health concerns, ones that can endanger the stability of your smile over time. What causes a toothache and when should you seek treatment?

Frequently Asked Questions About Toothaches

Question: How does decay cause discomfort?

Answer: When a cavity forms, the dentin beneath the tooth enamel has been exposed. Soon, teeth can feel sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, or even develop persistent aches. If you have pain that lasts for 48 hours or more without subsiding, then you should contact your dentist to see if you need treatment for a cavity.

Question: Can an aching tooth be linked to bruxism?

Answer: Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can place enormous pressure on the teeth. Eventfully, the enamel can be worn down, leading to erosion and a cavity. The teeth can also become chipped or cracked. The damage once again exposes the inner dentin and makes discomfort, as well as decay and infection, more likely.

Question: What if I chip or crack a tooth?

Answer: If you damage a tooth, whether in a sports accident or by biting down on a hard piece of food, then you should talk to the dentist about repair. Otherwise, discomfort could arise that threatens your tooth.

Question: How do I prevent toothaches?

Answer: When playing sports, you can wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth. You can also talk to your dentist at the first sign of bruxism. Finally, caring for your smile at home (brushing and flossing) and cutting back on sugary foods and drinks can help you remain cavity (and subsequently, toothache) free.

Does Your Tooth Hurt?

If you have pain in your teeth, gums, or jaw, contact your dentist to undergo a thorough diagnosis. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling E-Care Dentistry, PA in Olathe, KS, today at 913-210-1701. We also proudly serve patients from Overland Park, Lenexa, Leawood, Gardner, and all surrounding communities.