6 Reasons for Toothaches and What to Do

Toothaches can be extremely uncomfortable, keeping you up at night, affecting your eating and ruining daily activities. We can definitely sympathize. But, it’s important not to neglect serious symptoms such as toothaches as many times, they can be a sign of a more serious problem! Anything from common tooth decay to serious gum infections can cause a person to experience pain in one of their teeth. If a toothache lasts longer than 1-2 days, feels severe, or is accompanied by a fever or a headache, please consult a dentist immediately.

At Tower Dental Associates, we’re committed to listening to the concerns and symptoms of our patients to ensure that we are properly diagnosing our patients and treating them with the best dental care possible.

We outline six common reasons for toothaches and steps to take if you are experiencing long-term toothache symptoms.

Tooth Decay

The most common reason for tooth pain is tooth decay. This may not be much of a surprise as many of us have experienced the pain that comes with a cavity from time to time. Now, you may be saying “I’ve had cavities before, but they’ve never hurt like this before.” When your tooth and the surrounding area hurts, this means that the decay in the tooth has progressed enough to reach the inner layer of the tooth, which is referred to as the dentin.

If the decay is not addressed, it can spread through the center of the tooth and cause immense pain. When this pain occurs, many patients have trouble living out daily activities. If you are experiencing sharp pain in or around your tooth consult a dentist immediately.

Periodontal Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is due to an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth and can cause tooth loss and the destruction of tissue around your teeth. It’s important to note that periodontal disease is different than Gingivitis. Gingivitis is when your gums become inflamed, sensitive and prone to bleeding during tooth brushing. Gingivitis, if untreated, can lead to periodontal disease.

To prevent these conditions, make it a point to floss regularly and schedule bi-annual dental cleanings. If you think your toothache is a result of periodontal gum disease, contact a dentist immediately. If left untreated, this can cause more serious problems.

Teeth Grinding

Most patients who grind their teeth do so during their sleep without knowing or can habitually do so during the day due to stress or anxiety. Bruxism can cause toothaches, sore jaw, tooth sensitivity, headaches and even fractured or cracked teeth.

If you are experiencing these symptoms but are unsure why they are happening, it’s likely that you are grinding your teeth at night. There are a few things to look for to determine if you have Bruxism. The best course of action is to see a dentist right away and get fitted for a night guard to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching during the night.

Temperature Sensitivity

Have you ever eaten ice cream or taken a sip of coffee and winced at how sensitive your teeth were to the cold temperature? This is most commonly associated with temperature sensitivity and is caused by the deterioration of your tooth enamel. When your enamel has deteriorated to the point that your dentin (the layer of your tooth where your nerves are exposed) is exposed, this can make the tooth very sensitive to cold temperatures and can be extremely painful.

At Tower Dental Associates, we often recommend switching to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. There are brands of toothpaste that will help to build your enamel and protect those nerves. Contact our office for a consultation and a full list of recommendations.

Tooth Fractures

Anything from a small chip to a large fracture can cause tooth sensitivity and significant tooth pain for patients. When you chip or fracture a tooth, your tooth can often become sensitive. But the longer that you leave the fractured tooth untreated, the more likely it is that the fracture will worsen. If the middle of the tooth, where many nerves live is exposed, this can cause excruciating pain.

If you do not feel pain immediately after the accident has occurred, do not assume that it will not have issues later on. If you have broken a tooth, it’s always good practice to see a dentist to ensure that the issue does not get worse over time.

Wisdom Teeth

Many patients can experience soreness, tenderness or aching in the back of their mouths behind their last molar. This is a result of impacted wisdom teeth which is when the wisdom teeth have failed to break through the gum line. If you believe this is the reason for your toothache, this should be brought to the attention of your dentist as surgery may need to relieve this issue.

Toothache Relief at Tower Dental Associates

At Tower Dental, we recommend that if you are experiencing a toothache for longer than 1-2 days, that you reach out to a dentist immediately. More serious causes such as fractured or broken teeth, exposed nerves and cavities can worsen without attention and leave you needing more dental treatment than you may have expected.

We are committed to making sure that our patients feel as comfortable as possible. We strive to create life-long relationships with our patients and consider each person that walks into our office family. If you are looking for a dentist in Gainesville, Fl and or are experiencing any tooth pain, contact us today for your first consultation!