6 Most Common Causes of Toothache

6 Most Common Causes of Toothache

Posted by Dr. Lee May 27, 2019

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Everybody who has met with toothache in their life, knows that it can be a very painful and frustrating experiences.  If you are suffering from tooth pain, your first thought will most probably be: “Cavity!”  Even though it could be the case, cavity is only one of the possible reasons. Have a look at the six most common causes of toothache:

Tooth Decay

The most common reason for toothache is tooth decay.  Tooth decay is the damage of the structure of the tooth caused by acids that are created when plaque bacteria break down sugar in the mouth. If left untreated over time, tooth decay causes  enamel breakage and the formation of a cavity. In its early stage tooth decay is usually painless. However, if the decay is not addressed, it can spread through the center of the tooth and cause severe pain. Should you have any concerns that you might have a decaying tooth, consult your Burien dentist immediately.

Sensitive Teeth

If the consumption of hot or cold foods and drinks causes you discomfort or pain, you might have sensitive teeth, either due to thinning tooth enamel and exposed dentin or from receding gums.  To reduce the sensitivity try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. If the symptoms don’t disappear,  consult your Burien dentist to find out what causes the sensitivity and how to overcome it.

Fractured or Cracked Teeth

A fractured or cracked tooth may be the result of a blow to the mouth or general wear, due to pressure of chewing and biting.  Whether your tooth cracks from an injury or general wear, you can experience a variety of symptoms ranging from erratic pain when you chew to sudden pain when your tooth is exposed to extreme temperatures.

The right dental treatment for a fractured tooth is very much dependent on the type of the crack. Consult your Burien dentist to find out what is the best solution for your case.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a pathological inflammatory condition of the gum and tissue, surrounding the teeth. If you suffer from such an inflammation, your gums will become swollen and red, and some bleeding may occur. If left untreated, the gum disease can get into a more severe form, known as periodontitis, which can cause bone loss and deterioration of the gums. Gums become detached from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with more bacteria. Tooth roots are then exposed to plaque and become sensitive to physical contact, chewing, and cold and warm foods and beverages.


Bruxism is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth excessively. Since grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they suffer from bruxism. However, over time, it may cause tooth sensitivity, as well as tooth or facial pain. Should you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, consult your Burien dentist, who will examine you for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and excessive wear on your teeth.

Sinus infection

A  sinus infection can cause a tooth pain, specifically in the upper rear teeth, which are close to the sinuses.

If you have a persistent toothache, schedule a consultation with your Burien dentist to consider possible dental causes for it, such as tooth decay or gum disease. If your dentist rules out a dental cause for the toothache, consult your doctor. He or she will consider whether a sinus infection or other underlying medical issue could be the cause of your toothache.

No matter the cause of your tooth pain, it needs a professional diagnosis and treatment. If you experience any toothache, contact your Burien dentist to choose the best solution for your individual needs.

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