Causes of Toothaches

If you have ever experienced a toothache, then you know that this can be one of the most uncomfortable types of pain. The mouth is a sensitive part of the body and teeth are so important to our everyday routine of eating and talking. A Newport Beach dentist explains that this kind of oral pain has been faced by millions of different people at least once in their life.

The strength of a toothache is often determined by the extent of nerve damage and the history of its presence. Some people describe their toothache as a subtle throbbing while others describe a sharp and persistent pain that they can barely endure. Either way, it is important to learn the causes of a toothache in order to be able to effectively prevent it from resurfacing in the future. 


Why do I have a toothache? 

There are many different kinds of circumstances that would prompt a toothache. If you visit a Newport Beach dentist, they might be able to immediately point to a cavity or abscess that is causing the pain. These more obvious irritants can be seen through an x-ray or, in some cases, with the naked eye. In the case where a toothache is not as easily identified, a dentist will have to investigate further into your oral history and hygiene practices. 

When someone notices a toothache while chewing, this is usually an indication of tooth decay, sensitivity, fracturing, or mobility from gum disease. This kind of pain could be condensed to one point or, if left unattended, it could have the potential to spread throughout the mouth and head. It is important to have a persistent toothache checked by a doctor in order to ensure that infections like these do not worsen. Some more specific causes of toothaches include: 


  1. Growth of wisdom teeth. Pain can arise from wisdom teeth interfering with established adult teeth or food getting stuck behind them, causing gum infection. 
  2. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. If bones are clicking together, this could cause irritation in the mouth and therefore prompt a toothache. 
  3. Gum problems or bone loss. People that do not schedule regular dentist appointments are more likely to have poor oral health, which can result in toothaches.
  4. Teeth grinding. Those that have an issue with grinding at night will often experience toothaches as a result of this persistent tension and pressure. 
  5. Brushing too hard. While brushing your teeth thoroughly and regularly is important, some people can develop toothaches from irritating nerves in the mouth.


How can I treat a toothache? 

After you have identified your toothache at a Newport Beach dentist, they will suggest the best course of action going forward. For pain that indicates a tooth cavity, dentists will want to remove the decayed tooth tissue and then use filling material to restore the tooth. If for some reason the decay has penetrated the pulp canal or caused more severe damage, then a dentist may have to perform a root canal procedure or tooth extraction. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed as a solution to growing pain. Some of the reasons that tooth decay can result in tooth extraction are:

  1. The cavity has moved under the gum line and is threatening the root. 
  2. The cavity has caused severe damage that may lead to fractures in the future.
  3. A root fracture is currently damaging the tooth.
  4. A patient cannot afford a root canal procedure or dental crown.  
  5. Bone loss around the teeth due to gum disease. 


Root canals are necessary when the toothache is identified as a nerve infection. If bacteria has integrated itself significantly in the mouth, this may cause fever or swelling. 


How can I prevent a toothache? 

If you ask a Newport Beach dentist how to prevent toothaches from happening, they will advise you to do a few different things: 

  1. Schedule regular dentist appointments in order to periodically evaluate your oral health. 
  2. At dentist appointments, ask for dental prophylaxis to maintain healthy gums and teeth. 
  3. At dentist appointments, ask for periodic x-rays in order to monitor oral progress. 
  4. Practice excellent oral hygiene with quality products that your dentist recommends. 


Now that you have learned that toothaches are largely a symptom of tooth decay, you can prevent them with methods that protect your mouth from bacteria. Successful oral hygiene includes brushing teeth in the morning and at night, using fluoride-based products including toothpaste and mouthwash, flossing at least once a day, and scheduling appointments with your dentist at least twice a year. Another strategy to decrease your risk of toothaches is eating foods that have lower sugar content. 

In order to prevent emergencies from happening, it is best to get a regular dental exam twice a year and maintain good oral hygiene practices. Develop a positive relationship with your dentist so that you can communicate openly about your oral health and solve problems before they become too serious.