Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

3 Common Reasons You Have a Toothache

by Brett Clark

A toothache can be a result of several dental issues, some that you might not be aware of until it's too late. Thankfully, you can protect against these dental issues if you maintain good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene practices start with simple habits like brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Also, a routine visit to your dentist might do you a lot of good.

However, if you do get a toothache, it might help to understand the main reasons why. Discover three common reasons for a toothache and what you can do about it.

Tooth Decay

When you fail to brush and floss your teeth regularly, a sticky layer (plaque) builds up on the surface of your teeth. This layer provides ideal conditions for harmful bacteria to breed. Therefore, when you eat sugary foods, the bacteria react with these foods and produce acids that eat away your enamel (the top layer of your tooth) and create a cavity.

Cavities then spread to other layers of your tooth, including the dentin and pulp. The pulp is the layer of your tooth that contains the sensitive nerve endings that enable sensitivity. Once the hole reaches your pulp, you will experience sharp tooth pain and extreme sensitivity at the decay site.

During routine dental exams, your dentist could discover this problem early and offer simple mitigation techniques to protect your teeth. If you're too late, they may offer treatment options like filling the cavity with silver amalgam.

Cracked Tooth

Mouth injuries are among the most common reasons for cracked teeth. These injuries normally occur when you accidentally bite down on hard objects or suffer accidental blows while playing sports. Acute bruxism (clenching or grinding of your teeth) can also make your teeth crack.

A tooth crack can either be visible or hidden. If the crack extends to the nerves of your tooth, you will start to experience significant tooth pain. In this case, your dentist might attach a life-like filling to the cracked tooth to make it look more natural. They could also recommend a mouthguard to protect you from sleep bruxism or other risk factors for cracked teeth.

Abscessed Tooth

Dental abscesses occur when you ignore minor dental issues for too long. An abscess is simply an accumulation of pus within a decayed tooth or along your gum line.

Once the pus fills your tooth pulp, the affected tooth tries to drain the pus through the root's tip. As the pus drains, you will experience a persistent throbbing pain that worsens when you chew food.

Other common symptoms of an abscessed tooth include;

  • Gum swelling
  • Darkening or redness of your gums

Tooth abscesses can be treated through root canal treatment or extraction. Your dentist should examine the abscess to determine the best treatment option.