Toothaches are never fun and often mean that you may need some dental work done. But that is not always the case! A toothache could mean a few different things. When you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in your mouth, consult with a dentist. If you leave your toothache untreated, it will likely lead to worsening symptoms.
Most causes of toothaches will not go away on their own but lead to further infection in your mouth and potentially more dental work. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the cause of your toothache and have you on the path to a pain-free and pearly smile in no time.
The most obvious reason for tooth pain would be tooth decay, otherwise known as a cavity. When there is plaque build up on a tooth, the enamel wears down and decay will start—this can mean weak areas or holes in teeth. Cavities are often sensitive to temperature and pressure. See a dentist if you are experiencing signs of cavities. If left untreated, cavities will only worsen and may eventually require more than a simple filling. Cavities are irreversible and will not go away on their own, they will only lead to further infection.
A dental abscess is an infection inside the pulp chamber. Puss will build up underneath the tooth and cause pressure and swelling. An abscess needs to be drained and treated by a dentist. Usually, an x-ray will need to be done to determine if an abscess exists. After one has been located, it can be treated by draining the puss and treating the infected area. If left untreated, the infection will spread. Swelling and redness can grow.
3. Impacted Tooth
When teeth are hindered from moving into the proper position, the can become impacted. This is most common in wisdom teeth. A jawbone cannot always accommodate all the teeth in your mouth, leaving teeth stuck. Impacted teeth will have you feeling pain, pressure, and soreness in your jaw.
4. Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection of the gums—usually known as gingivitis and periodontitis. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to bone loss and gum deterioration. Gingivitis is the first step of gum disease and is reversible with good oral care. However, when gum disease progresses, it reaches periodontitis which is not reversible. Untreated gum disease can lead to exposed tooth roots, making your teeth vulnerable to decay. Gum disease will also lead to pain and sensitivity to temperature.
5. Sensitive Teeth
Some people may just have sensitive teeth. Teeth may be sensitive to cold air, liquids, and certain foods. If you find yourself in this category, you may want to try a specialized toothpaste such as Sensodyne. It is possible that you have healthy teeth that are just extra sensitive. Your dentist may be able to recommend special toothpaste. Switching toothpaste and applying fluoride might help fight some of your sensitivity. You may also be experiencing sensitivity because of teeth whitening products.