Toothaches come in a variety of pain intensities and have several different reasons for occurring. Poor dental health and oral care habits are the top culprits, but there are many causes as to why you might be experiencing one or more toothaches. Tooth pain is typically a symptom of potentially serious underlying oral health issues like gum disease, abscess/oral infection, fracture or repetitive bad habits such as teeth grinding, chewing gum and inadequate dental care.
Toothaches are generally characterized by a localized soreness, aching or pain that you feel in one or more of your teeth. Depending on the degree of pain you might be feeling, toothaches can be frustrating, extremely unpleasant and inconvenient. Until you get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your tooth pain, you may have to avoid using that side of your mouth where the troublesome tooth resides. This can be especially challenging if you happen to have multiple toothaches in different parts of your mouth.
There are several reasons why you might be experiencing tooth pain in one or more of your teeth. Here, we outline several of the most commonly diagnosed and treated toothache causes.
Gum disease is an infection in the gums, and it can spread like wildfire if it’s not properly treated in its early stages. Symptoms of gum disease include inflamed gums, redness, soreness and a slight or burning hot feeling.
The most common type of gum disease is gingivitis, which is apparent when the gums become massively swollen and red. They might even start to bleed at the slightest touch or when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup which leads to bacterial infections throughout the mouth, particularly the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can eventually lead to periodontitis, which is a much more severe form of gum disease. Without immediate and proper treatment, periodontitis can eventually cause bone and tooth loss.
Tooth decay is another well-known cause of tooth pain, but it can start off as sensitivity at first. Enamel is the thin protective layer that covers the surface of your teeth. Unfortunately, it’s not completely invincible and can be compromised by many of the foods and beverages that humans consume. Acidic foods and beverages are particularly destructive to enamel. Once the enamel is eroded, it can’t be repaired or replaced. Bacteria can then form tiny holes in the surface of your teeth known as cavities and wreak all kinds of havoc on the internal structure of the infected tooth. This opens up the floodgates for all kinds of bacterial infection to spread throughout your mouth. Cavities are painless; it’s the bacteria and the resulting tooth decay that can cause excruciating pain if left untreated for too long.
Tooth sensitivity is more than just a minor or inconvenient uncomfortable sensation that you may feel when you eat hard foods or your teeth come in contact with cold or hot temperatures. Actually, tooth sensitivity is a sign that there may be some trouble ahead in regards to your oral health.
Sensitive teeth can be linked to both tooth decay and gum disease. It usually means that the underlying layer of dentin has been exposed, usually due to deteriorated or eroded enamel. Enamel erosion is caused by lack of proper dental care or extreme plaque buildup between and on the teeth.
Fortunately, sensitive teeth are highly treatable and the condition can be reversed if it’s treated quickly. All you have to do is adopt a thorough dental care routine that includes brushing and flossing your teeth twice and once daily and sometimes switching to a toothpaste that helps with sensitivity. And, you should make it a point to visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least once every six months or as often as recommended. Believe it or not though, brushing and flossing too aggressively can also cause dental problems. So be sure to ask your dentist for expert dental care tips during your next appointment.
Cracked or Fractured Teeth
Cracked or fractured teeth are usually caused by injuries to the face, particularly around the cheeks, chin, or jaw area. This can be from a physical assault, a car accident, or a bad face-forward fall. Sometimes, even the simple act of biting down on a hard object like hard candies or crunchy foods can fracture your tooth if the tooth is already weakened or compromised.
There are several common types of tooth trauma that can occur:
- Vertical Root Fracture: These are cracks that develop on the root of the tooth and can go unnoticed because the roots are located under the gum line
- Craze Lines: These are small, thin cracks that develop on the surface of the tooth
- Split Tooth: This is when the tooth splits in two pieces
- Fractured Cusp: This is when part of the tooth’s chewing surface around a filling breaks off
All of these result from some trauma and will require different treatments to correct.
Tooth abscesses are advanced dental infections that can develop from a culmination of factors including untreated gum disease, cavities and pulpitis (when the dental pulp tissue inside the tooth becomes infected and inflamed). One of the most recognizable symptoms of an abscessed tooth is pus leaking out of the tooth root. The drainage process and the pressure it induces can cause a great deal of unbearable tooth pain for people who suffer from it. And if it’s left untreated, the pulp inside the tooth will become inflamed due to the infection, leading to more pus leakage and pain.
Get the Dental Treatment You Need
Princeview Dental Group has been proudly serving the residents of the Kingsway community in Etobicoke for over 20 years. We offer an array of dental treatments including routine checkups, cleaning, emergency dental services and more. Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our dental professionals.