Toothaches are typically caused by tooth decay that has been neglected to the point that it causes considerable physical pain. But there are other reasons for tooth pain. Anything from excessive teeth grinding or clenching to gum disease, infection, trauma or an erupting tooth can cause a toothache.
Here is a closer look at the different reasons why teeth ache.
Damage to the tooth
A tooth that has suffered physical trauma is likely to hurt. If the trauma is from a powerful force like a hockey puck, racquetball racket, baseball, football or something similar, the pain will be substantial. But even something as simple as a damaged or broken filling, dental implant or crown can also cause tooth pain.
Teeth might ache as a result of gum disease. Swollen and red gums are symptoms of gum disease and will amplify tooth pain. It is also possible that teeth can hurt from gingivitis, which allows plaque to accumulate to the point that it impacts the gums. If gingivitis is neglected, it will lead to periodontitis, which causes the inner portion of the gums to recede from the teeth, creating pockets that allow for food particles and bacteria to gather.
Sinus pain infection
Even sinus infections can spur pain in the teeth and other portions of the mouth. If pressure from sinuses filled with fluid causes pain along the upper rear portions of your mouth, there will also be significant pain in your teeth. A dental visit is required for advice regarding the use of decongestants and/or additional medications to minimize pain.
Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of oral pain. There are different levels of severity. Cavities will form holes within teeth, through the enamel and into the sensitive dentin beneath. Cavities that reach this level of decay will cause noticeable pain. If the tooth's nerve and pulp are infected, an abscess can form and spur even more serious tooth aching.
Additional causes of toothaches
Anything from tension along the facial muscles to TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), an ear infection or a sinus infection can cause tooth pain. In many instances, such health issues occur in unison with a headache. If there is an indication that your toothache is due to a medical illness, your dentist might refer you to a doctor. Yet, there still could be myriad additional reasons for your toothache. Do not hesitate to visit with your dentist to get to the bottom of this mystery and find out what is really causing your tooth pain.
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