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8 Common Causes of Toothaches

February 12, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — smiledmd @ 5:34 pm
man in green shirt holding mouth in pain

Everyone knows that sustaining an injury that breaks your tooth can be seriously painful. But what about when you get a toothache seemingly out of nowhere? What’s the cause of that? As it turns out, there are several different issues that could be the reason you have to call your emergency dentist. Keep reading to learn eight possible causes of your toothache.

1. Tooth Decay

By far the most common reason for a toothache is a good old-fashioned cavity. This occurs when bacteria feed on the particles of food in your mouth and create an acidic waste product that destroys enamel, or the outside layer of your tooth. In order for a cavity to cause pain, it must have reached the sensitive next layer, called the dentin, or even the inner chamber, known as the pulp.

2. Gum Disease

This bacterial infection in your gums can cause an achy feeling throughout your whole mouth. Additionally, sometimes it can cause your gums to recede from your teeth, exposing the sensitive roots of your teeth to harmful bacteria.

3. Temperature Sensitivity

If a sharp pain shoots through your mouth during or after eating or drinking something hot or cold, it could mean your enamel has worn down and exposed the dentin. Dentin contains microscopic tubules that lead to the tooth’s nerves, resulting in temperature sensitivity.

4. Damaged Fillings

Fillings that cover grooves or fractures often protect vulnerable parts of a tooth. When a filling falls out or is damaged, these sensitive areas of the teeth are then exposed to harmful bacteria. If you have a filling that is compromised in some way, book an appointment with your emergency dentist right away.

5. Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, involves clenching the jaw or violently grinding the top and bottom teeth together, and typically happens while you’re sleeping. This can wear down the teeth and damage dental work. The best solution is to wear a customized mouthguard from your dentist to prevent your upper and lower teeth from coming together.

6. Improper Brushing or Flossing

Many people believe the harder they brush and floss, the cleaner their teeth will be. This actually can wear down your enamel and result in sensitivity and even pain.

7. Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted teeth have failed to break through the gumline, attracting bacteria and sometimes even pushing against other teeth. Surgical extraction is usually necessary to remove these teeth.

8. Orthodontic Appliances  

Braces, retainers, and clear aligners can all cause an aching sensation, especially when you get your braces tightened or switch to a new set of aligners. If your discomfort doesn’t subside after a few days, contact your dentist.

Injury is just one of many common reasons behind tooth pain. If you experience any of the kinds of tooth pain mentioned in this post, be sure to contact your emergency dentist. They can get you out of pain as soon as possible!

About the Author

Dr. Gretchen Anjomi has over two full decades of experience in the dental field. She enjoys building trusting relationships with patients as well as keeping up to date with the latest dental techniques through her memberships in the American Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Association. Her practice in Newtown, MA offers same-day care for toothaches. Just call (617) 332-6232.

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