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Toothache & Pain

Toothache & Pain

Toothache And Pain Causes

Toothache and pain can be mild or severe, uncomfortable or debilitating. There are many different causes of toothache. However, the condition mostly results from inflammation of soft, inner part of the tooth called the pulp.

This inflammation is called pulpitis and results in pressure on the nerve endings which are contained within the pulp which results in the pain. Anything that comes into contact with the tooth can result in pulpitis and cause pain. The most common causes of toothache include:

  • Dental caries, cavities or tooth decay which results from the breakdown of the enamel of the tooth, exposing the dentine or inner layer of the tooth.
  • An abscessed tooth is when the pulp becomes infected. Infection normally results from the exposure of the pulp to bacteria in the mouth.
  • A tooth fracture, normally resulting from an injury or biting down on something hard can cause a cracked or broken tooth causing inflammation and exposing the sensitive nerves in the pulp to air, infection and other factors that result in toothache.
  • Receding gums caused by gum disease exposes areas of the teeth that are normally hidden and can result in tooth pain.
  • Gingivitis, periodontal disease or gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that results in inflammation, bleeding and sensitive gums and teeth. This is normally the result of bad oral hygiene but can have other causes.
  • Hot and cold food, beverages and air sensitivity can also result in tooth pain that generally only lasts a few seconds after exposure to the element and can be mild or very intense.
  • Acid erosion can also expose the pulp and can either result from bacteria interacting with sugar which produces acid in the mouth or stomach acid that enters the mouth from vomiting.
  • Bruxism or the grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw can result in tooth pain as well as pain in the mandibular (jaw) joint and muscles. This can also result in the deterioration of tooth enamel causing tooth pain.
  • Orthodontic appliances can cause tooth ache especially when the devices move – for example, braces.
  • Wisdom teeth appear later in life and can cause some pain and discomfort as they cut through the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in more severe pain.
  • Pregnancy results in inflammation all over the body and can result in tooth pain.
  • Crowns can result in tooth sensitivity or pain after placement.
  • Broken or damaged dental implants (like crowns, fillings, bridges, etc.) can result in toothache and pain.
  • Cold sores and canker sores may also cause discomfort and tooth pain.

If you are experiencing toothache or pain, no matter how mild or severe, it is recommended to see a dentist as soon as possible. Leaving the problem untreated will only result in the condition worsening and greater damage to the teeth. A dentist will be able to provide immediate pain relief as well as resolve the cause of the toothache or pain for a permanent solution.