woman who needs a root canal

As with other forms of pain or discomfort, a toothache is the body’s way of communicating a potential oral health issue. Patients should take any toothache seriously. Even mild oral discomfort can develop into persistent pain if left unaddressed. 

If you are experiencing severe or persistent oral pain, please schedule a visit to our office soon. Most causes of toothaches can be treated with minimal intervention. Once the source of your discomfort has been addressed, you can enjoy restful sleep and restored oral health. 

What is causing my toothache?

Diagnosing the cause of your toothache will be our doctor’s top priority once you arrive at our office. Describing when the pain started, how persistent it has been, and the type of pain can aid in your diagnosis. Pain can be described as throbbing, mild, persistent, intermittent, or sharp, among other descriptions. If you only experience a toothache while eating or biting, telling your dentist can help in the diagnosis process. 

The most common cause of a toothache is decay. Tooth decay results from the interaction of plaque, bacteria, and food particles that are found in the saliva. As the microbes eat, they release trace amounts of acid that can eventually cause small holes in the surface of your tooth. The earliest stages of tooth decay can lead to heightened sensitivity. Once the erosion reaches the more sensitive layer of dentin that supports your enamel, the potential for a toothache rises dramatically. 

Our office uses digital radiography to search for signs of cavities. The advanced technology allows your dentist to show you the results in the treatment room. If a cavity is detected, one of our doctors can gently remove the decay using a special drill. Extensive cavity removal may require the use of local anesthesia to ensure that your comfort is maintained. To restore your tooth, our office offers composite fillings that can be shade-matched to blend with your teeth.

Early treatment of tooth decay can prevent a root canal infection. Once the infection reaches the delicate bundle of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues in the tooth’s inner chamber, a dangerous root canal infection can result.   

Other potential causes of toothaches include impacted teeth, trauma, bruxism (teeth grinding), and receding gums. It is also possible to experience a toothache as the result of conditions or infections in nearby structures, such as the ears and jaw. No matter what the cause of your oral discomfort, our doctors can provide the appropriate restorative treatment to relieve your oral pain.

Tips for Preventing Toothaches

Many toothaches are preventable. Steps our patients can take to lower their risk of a toothache include:

  • Lowering intake of sugary foods
  • Scheduling twice-a-year cleanings and regular exams
  • Scheduling dental appointments at the earliest signs of a toothache
  • Having all wisdom teeth extracted
  • Maintaining oral hygiene
  • Wearing a mouthguard during sports
  • Replacing old fillings

Schedule Your Next Visit Today

Even mild toothaches should be taken seriously. Our dental team includes a periodontist and orthodontist. We are proud to be the dental practice of choice for many Denver residents over the past 30 years. To schedule your next visit to Metropolitan Dental Care, please call (303) 534-2626.