The 5 Most Common Causes of Toothache

Toothache Coral Gables, FL

A toothache is a prevalent dental problem, resulting in millions of visits to the emergency room each year. Fortunately, most cases of tooth pain are from issues that are easily treatable by the dentist. This article covers common causes of toothaches.

Common causes of toothache

The following is a list of the five most common causes of dental pain and what patients can do about them.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is the most common cause of toothache in children, adolescents, and adults. When bacteria in plaque produce acids, they break down the tooth enamel, causing decay. The bacteria depend on the sugar in foods and drinks. There are three layers of teeth: the tooth's hard outer layer (enamel), the middle layer (dentin), and the pulp (nerves and blood vessels) in the center. As more layers are affected by decay, the more severe the damage can get.

When sugar and plaque are allowed to linger on the teeth, decay or cavity is inevitable. Brushing and flossing every day and going to routine dental examinations every six months will help minimize this risk. Regular dental exams can help prevent discomfort and more costly procedures through the early detection of possible problems.

Gum disease

Symptoms of gum disease include swollen, sore, and bleeding gums, as well as tooth pain. Plaque accumulation is the most common cause of gum disease, which occurs in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. If left untreated, gingivitis may worsen into periodontitis, the advanced form of the disease. With periodontitis, the gum and bone tissues become inflamed, resulting in swelling, bone loss around the teeth, and dull pain.

To reduce the risk of gum disease, patients must clean dental plaque off their teeth regularly. Brushing and flossing daily, as well as going in for regular dental exams and cleaning appointments, are essential.

Oral trauma

Accidents also result in fractured or broken teeth, which can be painful, particularly if the fracture or break extends to the tooth's nerve. Wearing a custom-made mouthguard can help avoid sports-related injuries.

With the right nutrients and minerals, a weak enamel can be naturally strengthened. This can involve consuming dark leafy greens and dairy- and protein-rich foods. Patients should drink more water instead of soda and juices.

Teeth grinding

The major causes of tooth grinding are stress, anxiety, tension, rage, and frustration. Long-term teeth grinding can crack or chip the teeth. The habit puts undue strain on the tissues that protect the teeth, resulting in teeth pain and discomfort around the jaw joints and muscles.

Impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth that are misaligned or impacted (failure to fully erupt through the gums) may cause pain. It usually happens when the jaw has inadequate room for tooth eruption or when the tooth puts pressure on nearby teeth. Wisdom teeth that have partially erupted are also difficult to clean, meaning that food debris may get trapped and eventually cause tooth decay. Gum swelling, inflammation, and sharp, persistent pain are common symptoms.

Final note

It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible if you are feeling tooth pain. Book an appointment to get started.

Request an appointment here: or call Gables Exceptional Dentistry at (305) 203-4132 for an appointment in our Coral Gables office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentist in Coral Gables, FL.

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