Toothaches are one of the most common complaints dentists hear on a daily basis. Eventually, it is also one of the most common reasons people finally see their dentists. If you have ever had a toothache, you have probably felt worried that you had a cavity or other kind of tooth decay. While that is certainly one of the reasons for getting a toothache, you may be surprised to learn that there are many other things that can cause your teeth to twinge. Let’s take a look at the top seven reasons you might have a toothache.
- Tooth Decay – As stated before, tooth decay is one of the biggest reasons why you might be experience pain in your teeth, but it’s not the only reason. Smaller cavities that only penetrate the outer layer of your teeth usually don’t hurt, but if left alone long enough, those cavities can eventually make their way to the inner part of your teeth. If they reach that far, you will usually start to feel some pain. A cavity can even reach the pulp of your tooth and cause serious infection and pain. By then, you’ll most likely need root canal treatment.
- Gum Disease – Sore, swollen, and bleeding gums are the symptoms most commonly associated with gum disease, but you can also experience toothaches from it. An infection in your gums can cause the bone tissues around your teeth to swell, which can eventually lead to a dull, aching pain from loss of bone. Abscesses in your gums can also cause the surrounding teeth to hurt.
- Exposed Roots – Improper brushing and gum disease can lead to your gums detaching from the roots of your teeth, leaving them open to the world around them. This can lead to infection, of course, but it also means the most sensitive part of your tooth is exposed to the elements like pain, cold, and hot. If your roots are exposed, you’ll most likely experience a constant, painful sensitivity to anything going on in your mouth.
- Grinding Teeth – If you grind your teeth often, it can cause them to wear down or even chip. The excess force you apply to your teeth from grinding often results in pain in your teeth, not to mention pain in your jawbone and muscles from all the exertion.
- Accidents – Even if your teeth don’t chip or break during an accident, the blunt trauma can cause lasting pain. Of course, if your teeth are fractured in any way, you’ll feel that pain, too. Sometimes fractures are too small to see, but they can still be infected with bacteria, causing deep cavities and bringing the pain associated with them.
- Misaligned Teeth – Everything in your mouth is supposed to fit nicely together, especially your teeth. If there are any misalignment problems, it usually causes your teeth to sit improperly and induce pain in the surrounding teeth. This can also happen with impacted wisdom teeth. As your wisdom teeth come in wrong, it puts pressure on the adjacent teeth, which can cause a dull, aching pain.
- Problems in Other Parts of Your Body – Your oral health is connected to the rest of your health in many ways. Problems that happen in other parts of your body can result in toothaches. For example, sinus infections cause increased pressure in the sinuses, which can then lead to pain in your upper back teeth. Some people even experience toothaches when they are about to have a heart attack.
See Your Dentist
It’s best to see your dentist immediately if you have tooth pain. While it’s possible that the pain is just temporary sensitivity, it’s more likely that something is going on inside your mouth that needs to be treated. If you wait too long, the problem may become worse. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the source of the pain and help you overcome it in no time.