A toothache is never fun. In fact, a toothache is often a warning sign of a serious problem, one that endangers the health and stability of your smile if you ignore it. In most cases, we simply treat the issue with a dental restoration, such as a filling or crown. But what causes them to occur in the first place? Why do we develop toothaches?
Common Causes of Toothaches:
- Sinus Issues: Sinus issues can often cause pain. However, the discomfort will be temporary and fade after a few hours. Discomfort resulting from a problem such as decay will continue and the pain may even increase with time.
- Tooth decay: A cavity occurs when the tooth enamel weakens and bacteria can reach the sensitive inner layers of dentin. A cavity can lead to discomfort, including aches and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
- Infection: If a cavity is not treated in a timely manner the decay will continue to spread until bacteria reach the inner pulp, a bundle of nerve tissue that keeps the tooth alive and healthy. An infection can lead to serious discomfort. In addition, the infection may spread to the surrounding teeth and jawbone.
- Bruxism: If you grind your teeth regularly then you may have bruxism, which weaken damage enamel and increase the risk of decay and infection. The teeth may hurt during the day. You doctor can identify the issue and often prevent further damage with an oral appliance.
- Dental fractures: If a tooth becomes fractured then bacteria can bypass enamel and cause decay. A root canal and restoration may be needed to return the tooth to full function and health.
What Do I Do Next?
If you have a toothache that persists for more than 48 hours see your doctor. The dentist will examine your tooth, often with digital x-ray technology and intraoral cameras, to identify the cause your discomfort. From there, the dentist can recommend the most appropriate treatment options, which may consist of a restoration like a filling or crown. If you have any questions or are suffering from a hurting tooth then contact our office today.