Why Do I Have a Toothache?
A toothache is never a pleasant experience, and it can be brought on by many different things. For example, did you know that even the tiniest cavity can cause pain during a typical commercial flight? The expansion of air inside the cavity as the cabin is pressurized can cause a tremendous amount of pain. This is why it is a good idea to know what causes toothache and to visit our Ballston Spa, NY office to allow Thomas Pray DDS to treat any issues before they worsen.
The causes of toothache can include:
- Bruxism (this is when you unconsciously grind the teeth)
- Gum disease
- Trauma to the teeth
- An altered bite pattern
- Phantom toothache issues such as ear or sinus conditions, tension, and even TMJ
Of course, understanding the causes does not exactly explain why you have a toothache. What is it about a tooth that would make it ache? All teeth are made up of many pieces. There are the roots and the crown, then inside of the tooth (beneath the hard, white enamel) is another later known as dentin. Inside of that is the area known as the pulp of the tooth, and it contains blood vessels and nerves that reach down through the tooth and into the jaw and gum.
When you have a toothache, it is because the nerve is being irritated by something with that tooth. If you look at the list above, you see that decay and infection are causes for toothache because they allow the nerve to be exposed to everything from foods you eat to changes in temperature when drinking hot or cold beverages.
Grinding the teeth also irritates the nerve, making the entire tooth and surrounding tissue ache, and gum disease can spread into a tooth as well. If you have hurt the teeth, such as hitting them during a fall, this can actually loosen them and cause your bite to change. Both of which can lead to toothache in one or more teeth.
It is vitally important to think of a toothache as a warning sign that you need to take action. It is the first indication that something has gone wrong with that tooth.
If you have a new or long-term aching tooth and wish to discuss your options with Thomas Pray DDS, give us a call at our Ballston Spa, NY office at 518-885-8321. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.