Tooth pain can be uncomfortable at best and excruciating at worst. If your tooth or jaw is aching, you’re likely wondering what could be going on. There are several different conditions that could be causing your pain, and the only way to know the cause for sure is by getting an exam with your dentist. Here are some of the top causes of what’s making your tooth or teeth hurt so badly!
Extensive Tooth Decay
The most common cause of a painful toothache is extensive tooth decay . What this means is that you may have a cavity that’s gotten deep enough to cause discomfort or even an infection. You may or may not be able to see the cavity simply by examining your teeth in the mirror.
For many patients, tooth decay won’t cause symptoms until the cavity has progressed to the point that the nerve tissue becomes involved and potentially infected. Once this happens, you’ll likely need root canal therapy to save your tooth.
Damage to Dental Restorations
Another potential cause of your uncomfortable toothache could be damage to a dental restoration you’ve had done. Think a filling, crown, or dental bridge. You may have caused damage to your filling by eating a hard or sticky food, or your filling could have naturally deteriorated over time (remember, no restoration lasts forever!).
If your dental restoration is causing your tooth pain, your dentist will simply need to repair the affected tooth with a new restoration for you to begin feeling better!
A Cracked Tooth
Cracked teeth aren’t always obvious when they happen. For some, the pain and sensation of injuring a tooth to the point that it fractures will be obvious. For others, the crack won’t become apparent until pain or discomfort appears down the road.
One common symptom of a cracked tooth is pain that comes and goes when eating hot or cold foods . If a cracked tooth is left untreated for long enough, it could affect the nerves of the teeth and require root canal therapy to fix.
Other Potential Causes of Tooth Pain
There are other causes of tooth pain, including a bruised tooth, which can happen when biting down on hard foods or another injury. A bruised tooth happens when the connective tissue that helps hold your tooth in place is essentially bruised and becomes inflamed due to injury.
Some people could also experience aching teeth from a sinus infection, teeth grinding, or an impacted wisdom tooth . The only way to identify the root cause of your toothache is by visiting your dentist for a professional exam.
Don’t Ignore a Toothache!
Toothaches rarely go away on their own. Typically, whatever is causing the toothache will continue to get worse until it’s treated. By visiting your local dentist, you can help uncover the cause and receive treatment before it’s too late to save your tooth!