Toothache Symptoms & Causes

Man suffers from toothache

Toothache Symptoms & Causes

Experiencing a toothache is not unusual; in fact, most of us will encounter tooth pain at some point in our life. However, it’s essential to determine what is causing your toothache to administer proper care and avoid further complications like tooth decay and loss. This article outlines the main causes of toothaches and their symptoms. Koch Aesthetic Dentistry in Birmingham, Alabama, cares about your dental health and is here to help you spot problems before they become serious. 

What is a Toothache?

A toothache is a pain you may feel in or around your tooth. Most toothaches are related to potential issues with your teeth or the surrounding gum areas. For example, an irritated nerve in the root of the tooth, tooth decay, tooth infection, injury, and tooth loss can all result in a toothache. 

However, it is also possible to experience toothache caused by referred dental pain, which means the pain originates in another part of your body. Referred pain can result from problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), ear pain, sinus issues, and even heart disease. Lastly, bacteria growing in your mouth can cause gum disease, also leading to pain. 

Toothache Symptoms

Toothaches can come on suddenly and be dull, sharp, constant, or intermittent. The following are the most common symptoms associated with toothache:

  • Pain while chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Bleeding or discharge around the tooth or gums
  • Burning or shock-like pain
  • Throbbing
  • Swelling around your tooth or gum
  • Pain while touching the tooth

Common Causes for Toothaches

  1. One of the most common causes of toothaches is damaged teeth and tooth decay. Every time you eat, bacteria in your mouth release acid that can erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities. If a cavity is left long enough, it can get deep and start allowing bacteria to seep into the inner layer of your tooth, called the pulp. If the pulp gets infected, it can result in an abscess, which is a severe condition. 
  1. Having a crack in your tooth can expose the sensitive inner layers and cause pain. The longer the pain lingers after biting down, the more serious the damage. 
  1. Grinding your teeth while you sleep can wear down the enamel and cause toothaches and eventually decay. Getting fitted with a night guard can help reduce tooth damage caused by grinding. 
  1. If your wisdom teeth are coming in, you might experience pain associated with food particles getting stuck in the gums surrounding the tooth. 
  1. Toothaches can also result from referred pain from infected sinuses, problems with muscles or joints connecting your jaw to your skull, and certain kinds of headaches. 

When is it Time to See a Dentist?

If you are experiencing tooth pain, putting off a visit to your dentist can cause problems down the line. Cavities and cracks get deeper over time and can cause more severe tooth decay and even tooth loss if left untreated. It’s best to seek professional help for your toothache if:

  1. Over-the-counter drugs don’t sufficiently reduce your tooth pain. 
  2. You are experiencing severe pain after tooth extraction.
  3. You suffer a broken or a knocked-out tooth. 
  4. You have sharp pain when opening your jaw.
  5. Your wisdom teeth are causing you pain. 

Seek help immediately if any of the following accompanies your toothache:

  • High fever or chills
  • Facial rash associated with a toothache
  • Recent head or face injury
  • Jaw pain accompanied by chest pain, as it could be a sign of a heart attack or angina.
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Exessive pain or bleeding from the gums

When you visit Koch Aesthetic Dentistry for your toothache concerns, we will make a correct diagnosis based on your symptoms, medical history, oral exam, and x-rays. When you are with us, you are in good hands!

Koch Aesthetic Dentistry is Here to Solve Your Toothaches

Persistent tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, and signs of decay are not only uncomfortable but can also cause serious future damage. If you are experiencing a toothache, it is safer and smarter to get it checked out by a professional right away. Contact us today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Koch and say goodbye to pesky tooth pain.