A toothache is a dental condition characterized by pain around or in the teeth. The pain can be of varying degrees, from mild to severe. Toothaches are one of the most common dental ailments a dentist will treat.
While the symptoms of all toothaches are the same (pain in or around the teeth, which can be throbbing or steady), there are a number of different causes for the pain.
One of the most common causes of a toothache is a dental cavity. Also known as dental caries, cavities are holes formed in the teeth caused by the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. The acid can burn holes through the enamel and dentin, the two outer layers of the teeth.
One of the most common causes of a toothache is a dental cavity.
Some cavities are small enough that the patient never notices them, but larger cavities can expose the pulp of the teeth, leading to irritation and toothache. The most common treatment for cavity is a dental filling.
Another common cause of toothaches is gum disease, which is infection or inflammation of the gums. Gum disease is caused by toxins secreted by plaque, which is a sticky film of food, bacteria, and film produced by the bacteria. Plaque forms around and under the gum line, and can lead to gum disease.
Patients may also experience toothaches if they have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is caused by worn enamel that exposes the underlying dentin, or by exposed tooth roots. Both cases leave the nerve center of the tooth exposed, which can cause pain if you consume hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods.
Toothaches can also be caused by a mechanical problem, like a cracked tooth, a jaw joint disorder, or bruxism (grinding of the teeth). It can also be a symptom of heart disease or ear or sinus infections. Since a toothache may be the single symptom a person experiences before a heart attack, it’s important to have the toothache looked at as soon as possible.
For additional causes and symptoms associated with a toothache, contact the Irving dental office of Drs. Patel and Strickland today.