What Causes a Toothache?

Toothaches, or pain from in or around a tooth, can be extremely painful and sometimes seem like they appear out of nowhere. Toothaches occur when the soft tissue within a tooth becomes irritated or infected. These soft tissues, called pulp, are filled with nerves and blood vessels, causing them to be extremely sensitive. While minor toothaches usually come from some sort of irritation that can go away on its own, more severe toothaches can be caused by problems that will need to be resolved by a dentist. 


Possible Causes Of Toothaches

Toothaches have many potential causes. Knowing what is causing your toothache allows you to make a plan to remedy it – whether it be seeing a dentist or finding an at-home solution. The cause of a toothache can be something as minor as a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth and as significant as a bacterial infection inside the tooth. Some other common causes of toothaches include tooth decay, cavities, damaged fillings or other dental work, infected gums, and grinding of the teeth. Another source of pain that can be mistaken for a toothache is the eruption of a tooth (or a tooth beginning to grow out of the gums). In adults, wisdom teeth eruptions can be extremely painful and, in many cases, will warrant removal of those teeth.


Symptoms Of A Toothache

The main symptom of a toothache is relatively self-explanatory: the aching of one or more teeth. Because toothaches can be caused by so many different problems, the pain can range from a mild, dull aching to a sharp, shooting pain. Other symptoms of toothaches include swelling in the area surrounding the tooth, fever, headaches, and a foul taste in the mouth. If your toothache is causing symptoms elsewhere in your body (fever, headache, trouble swallowing, etc.), you should consult a dental professional right away. If you’re experiencing a toothache in the southern Maine region, contact one of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, or Topsham!


Contact Gentle Dental Maine!

If you have any questions about the causes or symptoms of a toothache, feel free to contact our team of dental professionals at Gentle Dental of southern Maine! We provide professional family dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!