causes of toothaches

Pinpointing the cause of toothaches can sometimes be difficult, and may require the need for x-rays and other imaging procedures to determine what is causing the pain. Of course the most common cause of toothaches is decay, but it is by no means the only cause.

Toothaches can also be caused by infections, trauma to the tooth, a bad bite, teeth grinding, and (in children) tooth eruption. TMJ disorder, sinus infections, and ear infections can also be a cause of toothaches.

Sometimes, tooth pain, or pain in the jaw, can even be an indication of heart problems. If your dentist thinks that this is the case, then he will refer you to a medical doctor.


Since toothaches can have so many causes, determining the exact cause of your toothaches will require your dentist to do a complete evaluation. You should get in touch with your dentist right away if you experience any of these symptoms accompanying a toothache:

  • Pain when biting
  • Swelling in the gums
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Difficult breathing
  • Fever
  • A foul taste in your mouth
  • Continuous pain

If you leave a toothache untreated, the underlying cause is not going to get any better. You need to have your dentist determine the cause of your toothaches and recommend a course of treatment.

During the evaluation, the dentist will attempt to determine the exact location of the toothache, and identify the cause. He will check for redness, swelling, and obvious damage. He may also do x-rays to find out if there is decay between your teeth, if any teeth are impacted or cracked, or if problems with your jawbone could be the cause of your toothaches.

Preventing Toothaches

Most people, at some point in their lives, will experience a toothache. If you do not, then you are very fortunate. Your best defense against toothaches, though, is good oral hygiene, since as we previously pointed out, tooth decay is usually the cause of toothaches.

Contact Us

If you have a toothache, contact Thomas J. Pray, DDS at 518-885-8321, or use the form on our Contact Us page to arrange an appointment. Dr. Pray can identify the cause of your toothaches, and recommend a course of treatment. Our dentist office is conveniently located at 128 Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY 120202. We do not want you to suffer with toothache pain, so contact us for a consultation today.