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Though there are many potential causes of tooth pain, it can be difficult to determine whether or not the pain warrants an emergency visit to the dentist. Toothache can come on suddenly or get worse over time, and even people with good dental hygiene are susceptible! The source of your pain might not be obvious, either. So people often dread toothaches. There are several potential causes for discomfort, though. Let’s explore them below.


What causes a toothache?



Untreated tooth cavities

A study from the Journal of Dental Research found that between 1990 and 2010, cavities became the most prevalent global oral health concern, surpassing tooth loss. While total cavity avoidance may be tricky, outstanding oral hygiene is critical to halting tooth decay. Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day to maintain oral health.

A sharp pain that doesn’t go away with over-the-counter pain medications likely means you need to see a dentist right away. The most common treatment for cavities is dental fillings. 


Tooth abscess

An infected tooth causes severe pain and, if left untreated, can lead to other serious medical complications. An abscess is usually formed by an untreated cavity, dental work, or injury. If you develop a fever while suffering from an abscessed tooth, it’s important to seek dental treatment immediately, as the abscess will likely require drainage and antibiotics. Once the infection has cleared, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment.


Fractured/ broken or cracked tooth 

Various things can cause a cracked or fractured tooth, such as teeth grinding, general wear and tear, and jaw clenching. The pain associated with a tooth fracture includes constant discomfort around the tooth or pain when chewing. If you have a broken tooth, the damage may be small enough that it can be treated with a filling. If the chip is larger, you might need dental bonding or a veneer. In severe cases, you might need a root canal or even an extraction. If your tooth has been completely knocked out due to an accident or injury, try to see a dentist within an hour and bring the tooth with you in a container with milk to increase the chances of saving it.


Recent dental work 

Many patients feel temporary pain in their teeth after recent dental procedures. It can take a little while for tooth extractions to heal; even getting a filling can make your mouth sore for some days. It is also common to feel some pain and discomfort after wisdom teeth removal. To relieve pain, you can try taking pain medicine and putting a cold compress on the cheek next to the hurt tooth. 


potential reasons pain teethInfected sinuses

Remember that the pain you’re feeling may not come from your teeth at all. If you have a sinus infection or are very congested, the pain might originate in your jaw or upper teeth.

If you have dental pain, swelling in your face and trouble breathing, you should see a dentist immediately. 


Gum disease

A gum infection is commonly called gingivitis. If left untreated, infected gums can lead to more serious gum disease or periodontitis, which is the primary cause of tooth loss among adults. There are many potential causes of gum infections, such as compromised dental hygiene, unhealthy diet, other health conditions such as diabetes and cancer, smoking etc.


Do you have a toothache?

We are here for you! Schedule an appointment with our friendly team at Dapto Dentists by calling us on (02) 4210 9058 today, so we can figure out what’s causing your dental problems and relieve you of any discomfort.



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.






Global burden of oral conditions in 1990-2010: a systematic analysis – PubMed 

Signs and symptoms of a tooth infection spreading to the body – MedicalNewsToday




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