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Toothache - The Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

There are several reasons you may have toothache, in this article we’ll be discussing possible causes of toothache, symptoms and treatments.

Toothache- The causes, symptoms and treatments

Causes of Toothache

Tooth Decay

Tooth cavities occur when foods with carbohydrates like bread, cereal, milk, soda, fruit, cake, or candy stay on your teeth.

The problem is, the bacteria in your mouth turn them into acids. Then the bacteria together with the acid, the leftover food debris, and your saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to your teeth.

The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel of your teeth, creating the holes we call cavities.

It’s important to brush your teeth twice daily and to also floss regularly to avoid cavities.

Abscessed tooth

Having an abscessed tooth is painful. This kind of infection occurs at the root of your tooth or between your gum and tooth. It's most commonly caused by severe tooth decay.

However, there are other causes of tooth abscess including trauma to the tooth, such as gingivitis or gum disease, and having a broken or chipped tooth.

It’s important to have your chipped and broken teeth seen to immediately by your dentist as these can cause openings in your tooth enamel, which will allow bacteria to infect the centre of your tooth.

Additionally, this infection may also spread from the root of your tooth to the bones supporting your tooth.

A Damaged Filling

A filling is used to treat a cavity. Your dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and then "fill" the area on your tooth where the decayed material was removed.

Now when that filling comes loose and fall out, that area is left open and is susceptible to infection and food becoming stuck in it.

It is vital for you to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you notice your filling has come loose. It is also important to make sure you keep your mouth clean and the open area of your tooth free from food debris.

Teeth Grinding

Occasional teeth grinding, medically known as bruxism, does not usually cause harm to your teeth, however when teeth grinding occurs on a more regular basis your teeth can be damaged causing you pain and inflammation.

If you suffer from a dull, constant headache or a sore jaw, make an appointment with you dentist – you may be grinding your teeth subconsciously or at night while you sleep.

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)

Periodontitis, also known as gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth.

If Gum Disease is not treated correctly or left untreated it may result in tooth loss due to the destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.

Gum Disease can be caused by several factors including:

  • Hormonal changes (Pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation can make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for women to develop gingivitis.)
  • Illnesses (Disease and illnesses that interfere with your immune system make your gums more susceptible to gum disease such as HIV, Cancer, Diabetes)
  • Medications (Some medications lessen the flow of saliva which helps to protect your teeth and gums. Additionally, some medications can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.)
  • Bad habits (Smoking makes it harder for your gum tissue to repair itself.)
  • Poor oral hygiene habits (Not flossing and brushing daily makes you vulnerable to gingivitis.)
  • Family history of dental disease.

Symptoms of Toothache

  • Toothaches may be sharp, throbbing, or constant.
  • However, in some cases, pain may only result when pressure is applied to the tooth.
  • Swelling or inflammation around the tooth
  • Fever or headache
  • Unpleasant drainage and smell from an infected tooth

When Should I visit my Dentist in Claremont?

It’s important to never leave a toothache in order to avoid infection and further pain.

Contact us if you experience any of the following:

  • Your toothache lasts for longer than 1 or 2 days
  • You have severe toothache and pain
  • You develop a fever, earache, or pain when opening your mouth wide

What Treatments are there for Toothache?

Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause.

If the cause of your toothache is a cavity, your dentist will be able to fill the cavity or possibly extract the tooth, if necessary.

If the cause of your toothache is determined to be an infection of your tooth's nerve - root canal might be needed. This is caused by bacteria working its way into the inner part of your tooth causing infection.

Additionally, if there is fever or swelling of the jaw – we may prescribe an.

There are several surgical and non-surgical treatments for gum disease including - professional dental cleanings and scaling and root planning.

Contact us, for more information about the available treatments.

How can you prevent a Toothache?

Given that most toothaches are caused by tooth decay, it’s important to follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent toothaches. These include:

  • brushing your teeth twice a daily,
  • rinsing your mouth with an anti-septic mouthwash,
  • flossing once a day (preferably at night before bed),
  • eating less sugary foods,
  • professional cleanings twice a year,
  • regular visits to the dentist.

Cloud 9 Dental – Your Dentist in Claremont

It’s important to remember that the sooner you treat a toothache or oral complication the better.

We offer great advice on best practices for oral hygiene and have extensive experience in treating gum disease and teeth grinding.

For more information or to book your appointment, please contact us.


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