young woman in glasses in pain with a toothacheHaving a toothache is not only inconvenient, it can be downright frustrating. This is especially true if you’re not sure what is causing it. There are actually several different reasons why a toothache may surface. Today, our team at Metropolitan Dental Care will explore the top 7 causes of a toothache and discuss ways to alleviate your discomfort and preserve your smile. If you have a toothache in Lone Tree, CO, read on!

Cavities or Decay

One of the primary causes of a toothache is tooth decay. When a cavity forms on the tooth surface, it erodes through the enamel and begins to affect the layers of dentin and cementum underneath. These layers are not as strong as enamel, and therefore are vulnerable to discomfort. If a cavity is detected before it reaches the underlying layers, it can often be reversed with a professional fluoride treatment, which actively remineralizes the enamel. If the cavity has reached the dentin or cementum, a small dental filling can repair it and protect your tooth from further damage.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is often not painful in the early stages. However, as the disease progresses, the gum tissue shrinks away from the teeth. When this occurs, the teeth roots are exposed. The roots of the teeth are not protected by enamel, so they can become sensitive and more prone to decay. If gum disease is detected early, it can often be successfully treated with scaling and root planing, a non-surgical option.

Infected Pulp

Anytime the pulp of the tooth becomes infected, it can result in extreme discomfort and pain. This can be the result of deep decay or trauma, such as a fractured tooth. To remedy this situation, root canal therapy must be performed. During this procedure, the internal structures, such as the nerves, tissues, and pulp, are removed from inside the tooth. Next, the root canals are filled with gutta percha, a rubbery dental material. Finally, the tooth is restored using either a large dental filling or a crown.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When the wisdom teeth begin to grow in, they don’t always erupt in a normal position. Oftentimes, they become trapped – either partially or fully – within the jawbone. When this occurs, they can put excessive pressure on the adjacent teeth, resulting in severe discomfort, tenderness, or swelling. It can also make the area extremely difficult to clean, resulting in food traps and bacteria buildup. Most dental professionals recommend removing the wisdom teeth when patients are in their late teens or early twenties, especially if they are causing issues. This can effectively eliminate the pain and improve overall oral health.

Tooth Sensitivity

Age, tooth erosion, and other factors can cause the tooth enamel to wear thin. When this occurs, the layers underneath are exposed and vulnerable. If you notice tooth pain or sensitivity, a professional fluoride treatment may help. It is also a good idea to use an ADA-approved desensitizing toothpaste.

Damaged Dental Restorations

Sometimes, a dental filling, crown, or other restoration can become damaged. Although it is often difficult to see, a surefire sign of damaged dental work is a toothache. Typically, the discomfort can be addressed by replacing the faulty restoration.

Bruxism and TMJ Disorder

Dental problems are often triggered by other issues. Like a domino effect, someone who suffers from TMJ disorder or teeth grinding may notice that the surfaces of their teeth are eroding or wearing thin. In turn, this can lead to toothaches and sensitivity. The best way to treat these issues is at the source. By correcting bruxism or TMD with a custom mouth guard, we can eliminate the force exerted on your teeth. Next, we can utilize a combination of restorative treatments to repair the erosion and improve your sensitivity.

Contact Us Today to Learn More

If you have a toothache, don’t wait until the problem worsens! Schedule a consultation with a Lone Tree dentist so we can identify the source of your discomfort and treat it effectively. Call us at (303) 534-2626 or contact us online anytime.