While it would be just about impossible to know the exact number of people suffering from a toothache at any given moment, we do know that it’s one of the most common problems that both adults and children face, No. 2 after only the common cold. They can be caused by many different things, but these are the most frequent reasons for a toothache.
The most common cause of a toothache is tooth cay which is the erosion and formation of a cavity in the enamel or outer surface of the tooth. When plaque sticks to enamel it feeds on sugars from food particles in the mouth that produces an acid which weakens enamel and can eventually cause holes. When decay spreads inward, it can result in symptoms like sensitivity to touch and/or temperature.
Orthodontic treatment like retainers, braces and other alignment systems are a common cause of aching pain in the teeth which typically happens soon after an adjustment that tightens or moves the teeth is made, although it usually subsides after just a few days. If it continues, be sure to reach out to your orthodontist about having the appliance readjusted.
A Cracked Tooth
Over time, the teeth can get weaker from daily use like chewing and biting. The pressure from biting down on hard objects such as ice, candy or a popcorn kernel can sometimes result in a cracked tooth. If you experience pain when chewing or biting, you could have a cracked tooth that requires a professional treatment.
Many people brush too hard which can cause inflamed, irritated or even bleeding gums. When it happens frequently, the gums may recede which make teeth unstable, causing pain. Be sure to only use a toothbrush with soft bristles, and if you aren’t certain that you’re brushing the right way, talk to your dentist or hygienist and ask to be shown how to do it correctly.
Gum disease doesn’t only affect the gums, it can cause your teeth to ache too due to inflamed gums and bone. If you have a toothache, a general dull pain in your mouth, and red, bleeding gums, chances are you have gum disease. If it doesn’t get treated, it can cause severe damage to teeth and gums, including tooth loss. Gum disease sometimes requires surgical measures to eliminate an infection too.
An abscess is extremely painful, so you’ll likely know if it’s the cause of your toothache. It’s the result of a buildup of bacteria inside the pulp chamber of the tooth that becomes infected. The infection attempts to drain itself through the tip of the tooth root which is what causes that severe pain and swelling. It’s a serious issue that must be dealt with professionally as quickly as possible to avoid the loss of bone and tissue, and potentially other health problems too.