What Does My Toothache Mean?

Whether your toothache is minor or major, its discomfort and inconvenience can ruin your day. The good news about toothaches, though, is that all of them have a cause, and therefore, all of them have a resolution. The bad news is that if you don’t treat a toothache, then the pain can grow increasingly worse, as well as the underlying problem causing it. If you have a toothache, then find out what it means by scheduling a visit with your dentist as soon as possible. Identifying the ache and the reason behind it may be the only way for you to find lasting relief.

Common Toothache Causes


Cavities are the most common chronic dental issue, and one of the most common causes behind chronic toothaches. A cavity is a hole in your tooth that’s caused by tooth decay; as the decay spreads, the cavity grows, and your tooth’s nerves become more irritated as a result. In most cases, a mild to moderate cavity can be treated conservatively with a tooth-colored filling, but only if you seek treatment before the decay becomes too severe.


While cavities gradually expose your tooth’s sensitive tissues, a crack or fracture in its surface can do so almost instantly. Tooth damage often causes more pronounced and immediate toothaches, which increase in severity the longer the tooth is left untreated. Dental crowns are a common treatment for cracked and fractured teeth, allowing your dentist to completely cap the tooth to restore and protect it.


Gingivitis is the first developmental stage of gum disease, and describes unchecked inflammation in your gum tissues. The inflammation and infection (caused by excessive oral bacteria) can also cause your gums to recede, exposing the roots underneath them. A tooth’s root connects directly to its pulp, where the tooth’s nerves are housed, and when exposed, the roots can cause your teeth to hurt. Periodontal cleaning and maintenance can sometimes reverse gingivitis so your gums can heal, or at least stop the condition from becoming severe enough to irreversibly damage your gums.

If you suffer from a toothache, then visit your dentist as soon as possible to find its cause and an appropriate solution. Schedule a consultation by calling Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Rochester, MN, today at (507) 281-3659.