There are many different possible explanations behind a toothache. Some causes of tooth pain are less serious than others, but that does not mean that you should ever ignore a toothache. Hoping that a toothache will go away on its own could mean failing to address a serious problem until it gets much worse and requires more extensive treatment. Here are just a few of the possible causes of a toothache.
Tooth Decay and Infection
Toothaches are commonly the result of untreated cavities or tooth decay. When you have a cavity, bacteria can enter the tooth and cause an infection inside the center, at the tooth root, or on the gum. This infection results in an abcess, or a pus-filled sac, forming. An abcess is painful because it irritates the sensitive pulp and nerve endings inside your tooth. Abcesses do not go away on their own; they need to be drained and the underlying infection needs to be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, the infection can spread beyond your mouth and cause serious, even life-threatening, complications.
An impacted tooth is a tooth that cannot erupt past the gum line because of a space limitation or other obstruction. Impacted teeth do not always cause discomfort, but some people may experience a toothache or pain with chewing as a result of an impacted tooth. Impacted teeth that are causing symptoms typically need to be extracted – if left untreated, they will most likely continue to cause you discomfort and could interfere with your other teeth.
Believe it or not, a toothache can also be caused by a sinus issue. Your back teeth share nerve pathways with your sinuses, meaning that sinus infections can sometimes be felt in your teeth. If your toothache is accompanied by nasal congestion and ear pain, you might have a sinus issue.
There are a variety of other issues that can result in a toothache. A cracked or fractured tooth, a damaged crown or dental filling, something sharp like a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth and gums, TMJ disorders, and habitual teeth grinding can all cause tooth pain. These issues do not resolve on their own, so call our office today if you are experiencing any tooth discomfort.
Dental Blog | Dentist Normandy Park, WA | Watermark Dentistry Our team at Watermark Dentistry has provided this educational blog as a resource to our patients. Click here to learn about procedures, home care and more! Watermark Dentistry, 18537 First Avenue South, Suite A, Normandy Park, WA 98148-1888 ~ (206) 242-5808 ~ watermarkdentistry.com ~ 12/8/2023 ~ Tags: dentist Normandy Park WA ~