What Is Causing My Toothache?

A toothache is a general term for any kind of pain in or around a tooth. Toothaches can seemingly come out of nowhere and be caused by many different things. The cause of a toothache can be something as simple as a piece of food stuck in your teeth or as complicated as an abscessed tooth. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most common causes of toothaches and how you can remedy them!

Tooth Decay

Decay is one of the most common causes of pain in or around a tooth. Tooth decay is damage to a tooth’s enamel, or the surface of the tooth. Tooth decay is caused when a combination of bacteria and sugar creates acid that eats away at the enamel on the surface of a tooth. Decay can lead to toothaches and cavities, and in severe circumstances, infection and tooth loss.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is a tooth with a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection. Abscessed teeth are usually caused by untreated dental cavities, dental injuries, or prior dental work. Abscessed teeth can be extremely painful and typically require root canal treatments to be remedied.

Damaged Fillings

Dental fillings are a solution for cavities, which are holes in the teeth caused by tooth decay. When a filling is unintentionally removed or lifted partially off the tooth, also known as a leaky filling, it can be extremely painful. Leaky fillings happen when the seal between a filling and a tooth breaks, allowing food, water, saliva, and bacteria to enter the cavity and be trapped under the filling. Damaged fillings need to be repaired by a dentist, or the pain may persist.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition in which an individual will unconsciously clench and grind their teeth together, often while sleeping. Common causes of teeth grinding include stress, anxiety, frustration, anger, and more. Constant grinding wears down the tops of the teeth, causing toothaches and making the teeth more susceptible to decay, cavities, and infections. Some treatments for teeth grinding include relieving stress, practicing good sleep habits, and wearing a mouthguard to bed.

Tooth Eruption

One more common cause of toothaches is tooth eruption, or a tooth growing through the gums. Tooth eruption happens in children beginning around six months of age when baby teeth start to come in, and continues until all the adult teeth have grown in around the age of 21. You can ease the pain of a tooth eruption by giving your child teething toys, gum massages, and over-the-counter pain medication. You should always speak to your dentist before attempting to treat pain from tooth eruption!

Contact Gentle Dental Maine!

If you have any questions about toothaches or teeth sensitivity, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! With offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham, we provide the Southern Maine region with general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dental care! 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!