Many people wonder why toothache is so sore. Along with the pain, you may also be dealing with sensitive teeth and difficulty with eating and drinking. Toothache pain is real, it’s in your head and it can make it hard to go about your day and even think straight.
A lot of tooth pain is caused by inflammation in the pulp or inside part of the tooth. The pulp of each tooth contains lots of nerve endings that are highly sensitive to pain. This can cause the often constant throbbing pain that makes toothache especially unbearable.
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Toothache is any pain, soreness or ache felt in or around a tooth. It’s not just one type of pain. That means it’s sometimes hard to even describe what you’re experiencing to your dentist. The pain can be sharp, dull, throbbing or constant.
In some cases, the pain is only felt when you put pressure on the tooth. Your tooth might also be particularly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. Pain with chewing is also fairly common.
Other symptoms could include a swollen gum around the tooth or deeper in your jaw, headaches and high fevers. You might also have bleeding from your tooth or bleeding gums. In the case of infection you might have foul-tasting fluid leaking from around the tooth.
Toothache is caused by both dental and medical factors. Dental causes of toothache may be related to your teeth, gums or jaw. Of all toothaches that our dentists see each day, the most common causes are:
Sometimes the pain is caused by a damaged filling or from sensitive teeth. Periodontitis or an abscess or infection in the tooth are also common. Gingivitis, or gum disease, can cause toothache, yet these can also be painless in some people. Toothache can also be caused by pain in other areas that radiate to the jaw. This is called referred pain. One common area is the temporomandibular or jaw joint, known as TMJ. Other less common medical causes of toothache include ear pain, sinus infections, shingles and sometimes even heart problems.
When you book at one of our dental practices for toothache you just want your pain to end. That’s understandable. It’s useful to think ahead about what your dentist will need to know to diagnose and treat your toothache.
Generally your dentist will ask you about your medical history and then thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, gums, jaw, tongue, throat, sinuses, ears, nose and neck. You may also need an x-ray, depending on what your dentist suspects might be the cause of your toothache.
Your dentist will ask you some questions about the pain, such as:
Think about your answers to these questions before your appointment. Being prepared can speed up the diagnosis.