The term “toothache” is a general term for any type of pain that occurs in a tooth. Toothaches range in severity from mildly annoying to completely debilitating. Toothaches may be intermittent, triggered only by pressure or by hot or cold foods and beverages or they may be constant. Regardless it is crucial to seek dental treatment immediately when a toothache develops to keep the condition from worsening.
What Causes Toothaches?
Toothaches often develop as a tooth suffers decay as the result of cavities. However, some cavities may not hurt at all, and likewise toothaches can be caused by a wide range of other problems. Some of the many possible causes of toothaches include the following:
Causes of Toothaches:
- Pulpitis (inflammation of the pulp)
- Dentin Hypersensitivity
- Apical Periodontitis (inflammation of the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone)
- Dental Abscesses
- Alveolar Osteitis (“dry socket”)
- Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (a gum infection, also called “trenchmouth”)
In addition to these causes and the many other dental-related causes, sometimes a toothache isn’t even necessarily caused by conditions involving the tooth that hurts. Some toothaches may be due to referred pain that is actually emanating from a separate tooth or other area.
How Are Toothaches Treated?
When a toothache occurs it is important to go to the dentist. From there the dentist will perform a thorough examination and will typically be able to diagnose the underlying problem that is causing the toothache. The next step is treatment for the particular problem which will of course vary depending on what the problem is.
Most people would of course prefer to prevent a toothache from developing in the first place. Sometimes toothaches are unavoidable. However, many of the conditions that cause toothaches can be avoided with proper, daily oral care such as brushing and flossing. Additionally problems and decay that might have ultimately resulted in severe pain can often be caught and treated at routine cleanings and regular checkups.
Weaver-Jaynes DDS Cares About Patient Comfort
Weaver-Jaynes DDS understands how painful toothaches are and we know that they can completely disrupt a patient’s daily life and their quality of life. We are committed to fighting toothaches and keeping our patients’ mouths looking and feeling great.