Common Causes of Tooth Pain

Common Causes of Tooth Pain

We’ve all experienced the dreaded toothache at one point or another in our lives. Teeth problems can be inconvenient, distressing and often very painful. Trying to accomplish tasks in everyday life with a toothache can be a trying experience, and sometimes you just aren’t sure if you need to see a dentist – should you wait for the pain to go away on its own, or bite the bullet and make an appointment? 

In most cases, it’s probably best to go ahead and book that appointment with your dentist. Your dental health directly impacts other areas of your body, including your blood vessels, sinuses and even the heart (not to mention the impact that living with an ongoing toothache can have on your mental health and the stress it can cause). 

What to expect from the dentist visit?

First you’ll consult with the dental hygienist or dentist and tell them what problems you’re experiencing and where the pain is. They’ll go over your dental history with you, ask you a series of questions, then you’ll likely undergo an exam. In some cases, imaging or X-rays may be necessary. Once you’ve got a diagnosis and can pinpoint where the pain is coming from, you’ll begin a course of treatment and/or work on getting the issue fixed. Treatments could include tooth extractions, repairing of chipped teeth, a course of antibiotics, replacement of dental work, deep cleanings, and more. Your doctor will discuss all your options with you and you’ll work together to find the best fix for your tooth pain. 

So what are the most common causes of tooth pain? 

Pain in the teeth, gums and other areas of the mouth can be caused by a number of factors ranging from minor issues to the more serious. Causes for a toothache can include cavities/tooth decay, cracked or broken teeth, abscesses or infection in either the tooth or gums, gum disease, inflammation of the surrounding pulp, impacted teeth, bruxism (or grinding/clenching of the teeth, sometimes known as TMJ, damage to previous dental work such as a crown or veneers, tooth sensitivity, sinus issues, and in rare cases, some diseases or illnesses. 

Leaving tooth pain untreated can lead to other, more painful problems. Having a toothache for a prolonged period of time can cause headaches, jaw-aches, and watery eyes, as well as sinus problems and more. If you have an infection that goes untreated, it can lead to major heart issues much quicker than you think. At the very least, not getting proper dental care can exacerbate things like tooth decay and gum disease, causing loss of teeth or other, more costly and painful issues, down the line. 

Even if you don’t have a toothache, it’s a good rule of thumb to visit your dentist for a cleaning at least once a year. They can keep any problems at bay with deep cleaning, repairing any damage along the way, and hopefully, you’ll avoid that toothache all together!