A number of things can cause a toothache. Pain occurs because the nerves in the pulp (the innermost tooth layer containing nerves and blood vessels) are experiencing irritation.
According to WebMD, common causes of pain include:
- Gum disease
- Impacted wisdom teeth
How Cavities Create Pain
A cavity is a hole in a tooth that occurs when bacteria produce acids that eat away tooth enamel. If the decay reaches the pulp, then nerves become affected and that causes pain. Heat, cold or biting can cause the tooth to ache or it may ache simply because nerves are irritated by the exposure that the cavity is creating in the tooth.
How Does Gum Disease Cause a Toothache?
Inflammation and infection around the gums occurs with gum disease. An untreated gum infection may damage the surrounding tooth and bone. Inflammation creates pressure and may feel painful.
How infection Can Lead to Pain
An infected tooth (abscessed tooth) has an infection at the root of the tooth or between the gum and a tooth. The most common cause of infection is severe tooth decay (cavity), but it can also be caused by a cracked tooth, tooth trauma (broken or chipped) or gum disease. When bacteria reach the pulp where nerves are, you feel pain.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth become impacted when there is not enough room in the mouth to break through or when the wisdom tooth is trying to break through where teeth already exist. The pressure build up can be painful.
Make an Appointment with Your Dentist
In any of these situations, it is wise to schedule an appointment and have your dentist check your teeth to determine the problem. Whether you need to have a cavity filled, your gums treated or wisdom teeth extraction, we can help. Dr. Baker is always glad to explain what’s happening and discuss treatment options.