Nothing hurts like the pain of a piercing toothache and unfortunately, toothaches can be caused by a number of factors.

First, understand that the toothache may not be because of the tooth but the surrounding area. This is why they should never be ignored. As simple as the problem may seem there could be a much more serious problem at hand.

Let’s review a few of the most common causes of toothaches.

Tooth Decay: Tooth decay or cavities caused by poor dental hygiene is one of the most common reasons for a toothache. They can be small and unnoticeable at first but left unchecked can result in tooth loss or worse.

Inflammation: Inflammation around nerve endings can be caused by dental cavities, trauma to the mouth and/or infection such as Periodontal/Gum disease. The gums may bleed and swell and tooth loss may occur if left untreated.

Tooth Sensitivity: Are you feeling pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages? This could be caused by a loss of tooth enamel. When the top layer of enamel has worn away, the middle layer is exposed, making your nerves susceptible to extreme temperatures of food & drinks. Loss of enamel can also be caused by gum disease.

Abscessed Tooth: An infection within the tooth (also known as the pulp chamber) has reached the root tip of the tooth. This can create further problems including an infected root, swollen gums and possible loss of bone at the point of infection.

Injury or Trauma: An obvious cause of toothaches is trauma to the mouth caused by sports activities or accidents. If you experience an accident that resulted in a broken or chipped tooth, care should be taken to have the tooth fixed as soon as possible.

Teeth Grinding/Bruxism: Grinding your teeth when stressed or in your sleep can cause a toothache and may lead to TMJ. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint that hinges the lower jaw to your skull, allowing you to chew and speak. If you determine that you are grinding or clenching your teeth, you should address it with your dentist.

Of course, there are other reasons for toothaches not listed. What we want to emphasize is that these various issues can be prevented or resolved with good oral care and regular visits to your dentist. If you are experiencing pain from a toothache, don’t ignore it and hope it will go away. Schedule your dental appointment today.