male dentist with woman patient at clinic

A toothache can make it impossible to carry on with daily activities. Sometimes the cause of a toothache is obvious – like a broken tooth. But often, it’s difficult to determine what’s causing the pain.

Some toothaches feel like pain in the entire mouth or in several teeth at once. A number of dental problems and even medical conditions can cause your teeth to hurt. Getting aproper diagnosis from an experienced dentist like Dr. Armstrong is the first step to alleviating the pain. The following are some of the most common causes of toothaches:

Cavities

This is perhaps the most frequent cause of a toothache. A cavity will often cause pain when the tooth is exposed to hot, cold, or sweet substances. Dr. Armstrong and our dental professionals can examine your teeth and perform an x-ray to examine the damaged tooth, and will discuss restorative treatments to correct a cavity, such as a filling or crown.

Gum Disease

Gum disease such as periodontitis can cause your gums to pull away from the teeth, exposing the root and causing pain. This is a common problem that affects nearly half of all adults, but it is avoidable. Regular brushing, flossing, a healthy diet, and dental care can help you prevent gum disease. In more severe cases, our dentists can perform specialized procedures to help treat this disease and restore your gum health.

Infected Tooth

An abscessed or infected tooth can occur when an opening in a tooth allows bacteria to get inside. It can be caused by cavities, gum disease, or an injury to the tooth causing it to crack or break. Abscessed teeth often cause severe pain that may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, a foul taste, and drainage from the gums.

Grinding

People who grind their teeth regularly often have no idea they are doing it. The most common symptom is tooth or jaw pain and/or headache. Dr. Armstrong can examine your teeth to look for signs of wear from grinding. A special guard can be created for you to wear at night to avoid damaging your teeth any further.

Medical Conditions

In some cases, a toothache has nothing to do with your teeth. Jaw pain, for instance, can be a warning sign of a heart attack, and may be mistaken for a toothache. It is often accompanied by other signs such as shortness of breath or pressure in the chest. If you have these symptoms, dial 911 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room.

Ear and sinus infections can also cause pain that radiates into the mouth area, making it feel like a toothache. If you’ve recently had a cold or have sinus or allergy issues, this could be the cause of your tooth pain.

Toothache? We Can Help

Whatever the cause, a toothache is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. If your toothache lasts longer than 24 hours, is severe, or you have other symptoms such as fever, contact our dental office right away.

Keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid toothaches with regular dental checkups. Contact our dental office in the Westchase district today for an appointment!

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