Dentist
Top 10 Potential Reasons for Toothache

Top 10 Potential Reasons for Toothache

A sharp pain shoots through your tooth into your gum as you bite into a juicy apple. You know a pain in your mouth, especially a toothache, is not a good sign. Immediately you call your dentist and schedule an appointment. Wracking your brain, you try to figure out why your tooth has so much pain. Every day you brush, floss, and rinse. You see your dentist twice a year as recommended. So why the pain in your tooth?

Even with daily care, there can be several reasons for tooth pain. Causes of tooth pain can range from an injury to a tooth infection. Here are the top 10 potential reasons for a toothache.

Toothaches from Sensitivity

#1. Sensitivity: Your teeth can become sensitive for several reasons. Cavities or injuries to a tooth can cause sensitivity. Cracks, breaks, thinning tooth enamel, or receding gum lines can all expose the pulp or the root of the tooth. Eating hot, cold, or sweet foods that hit the exposed root can cause sharp shooting pains in your mouth. Also biting down or other pressure on the tooth can cause pain.

Cavities and Infections are Main Causes of Toothache

#2. Cavities: One the most common causes of a toothache is a cavity. Sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat can combine with bacteria already in your mouth and create acid. This acid stays in your mouth and eats away at the enamel, the outside covering of your tooth. As the acid makes its way through, it can cause holes or cavities exposing the roots of the tooth. Sugary foods, biting down, or even the air from your breath can cause pain in the exposed root.

#3 Abscess: When the bacteria in your mouth enters a cavity in your tooth it can cause an infection, an abscess, in the inside of your tooth. An abscessed tooth can cause a severe and persistent throbbing pain. In some cases, you may feel the pain radiating down into your jaw, neck, or up into your ear.

#4 Gum Infections: Your gums can also develop an abscess. If your gums become infected, you may feel the pain not only in your gums but also in your teeth. Gum infections can be caused by Periodontist, an advanced form of the common gum disease gingivitis. In Periodontist, the tissues in the area just below your gum line – where your teeth meet your gum – breaks down causing pockets. These pockets can trap bacteria.  This bacteria causes bacteria in the surrounding gum.

Toothache from Injury or Damage

Man grimacing from tooth pain#5. Damaged Tooth. A tooth can become chipped, cracked or broken from an injury to the mouth, tooth decay, or everyday use. An injured tooth can cause the tooth to become painful when you bite down or become sensitive to hot and cold foods. The nerves and roots can also be exposed, causing pain and sensitivity.

#6. Damaged Filling: If you have fillings, they can also become damaged, or worn-away over time. Damaged fillings can cause gaps to form between the filling and your tooth. This damage can lead to a painful infection.

#7. Bruxism: If you grind your teeth while you sleep, you could cause a condition called Bruxism. When you grind your teeth, either at night or during the day, you can cause them to wear-down, crack or break.

Health Issues and Toothaches

#8. Sinusitis: Having a sinus infection, Sinusitis, can not only make you feel awful, but it can also make your teeth hurt. The pressure from the swelling in your sinus area can cause pain in your upper jaw and teeth.

#9. Oral Cancers: Some toothaches can be signals of serious medical conditions. Oral cancer is one such disease. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, one common symptom of oral cancer is tooth or jaw pain.

#10. Heart Attack: Yes, a toothache can be a sign of a heart attack. Although not a common symptom, jaw pain that radiates into your teeth can be an indicator of a possible heart attack.

Toothaches Are a Clear Sign to See a Dentist

Toothaches can be a symptom of anything from sensitivity to a heart attack. Any pain in your mouth or teeth is a sign it’s time to make an appointment with a dentist. The dentist and his staff will give you a thorough examination and explain to you the potential reasons you have a toothache.

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Dr. Kevin Ippisch

Dr. Kevin Ippisch

Dr. Kevin Ippisch is a 1975 graduate of Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and has been in practice in the Santa Cruz area for over 30 years. He’s a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, and the Monterey Bay Dental Society, having served as President from 2004-2005.

Dr. Kevin Ippisch

Dr. Kevin Ippisch

Dr. Kevin Ippisch

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Dr. Kevin Ippisch

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