What’s causing your toothache?

Toothaches include any pain or irritation associated with your teeth. It might be your tooth, the roots or the gums surrounding your tooth that are causing the irritation. To evaluate the true cause of a toothache, it is best to visit the dentist, but listed below are the most common causes of toothache. 

Sinus infection 

A sinus infection occurs when sinus tissues become inflamed, commonly leading to congestion, headaches and pain. Toothaches caused by sinuses are typically felt near the upper molars and jawbone, closest to the sinuses.  

Gum disease 

Gum disease and infection are both common causes of toothache. Gum infection, or gingivitis, typically begins with a build-up of plaque and bacteria. This accumulates around the gum line and leads to tooth pain. Flossing is one way to prevent build-up of bacteria and food which leads to gum disease. 

Jaw clenching and tooth grinding 

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are common habits that lead to tooth ache. It is estimated that up to 1/3 of adults are affected by teeth grinding and jaw clenching. About 10% of adults grind their teeth or clench their jaw in their sleep. Retainers can help prevent damage caused to teeth from grinding teeth at night.  

Eating habits 

Consuming sugary food regularly can lead to cavities and tooth pain. Citrus foods, or any food with acidic content can lead to tooth enamel damage. Regularly chewing on ice can also lead to toothache. To prevent eating habit associated toothaches, brush teeth regularly, eat more fresh foods and consume lots of water.  

Tooth decay or abscessed tooth 

If a tooth is damaged or decaying, it is likely to cause pain! Meanwhile, an abscessed tooth is a tooth with a bacterial infection near the center or root of the tooth. Both are common causes of toothache, and should be assessed by a dentist.  

If the toothache persists for longer than 1 or 2 days, causes severe pain or swelling around the site of the toothache, visit the dentist. When in doubt, it’s always best to visit the dentist. It is especially recommended to make an appointment if you haven’t been in 6 months or longer. 

Book an appointment with Jackson Dental today by calling (573) 243-5200 or stop by our office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, MO.