What Causes a Toothache?

There are various reasons why a toothache may exist, and the exact cause of the toothache affects the treatment administered.

By being able to diagnose the exact cause, you and your dentist can best treat a toothache as well as the underlying issue causing it.

What Causes a Toothache?

It is important to understand why a toothache exists. In almost every instance, a toothache has an underlying cause, and the best way to treat a toothache long-term is to deal with the underlying cause.

The following are the four most common causes of a toothache.

Tooth decay

Perhaps the most common cause of a toothache is tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the enamel of a tooth begins to erode. Although tooth enamel is very strong, it is vulnerable to bacteria and other harmful substances that the mouth encounters on a daily basis.

In order to prevent tooth decay - which greatly reduces the chance of a toothache - it is important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing several times each day and visiting the dentist on a regular basis.

If tooth decay has occurred, a dentist may need to restore the damaged enamel with fluoride treatment or a dental filling.


Another common cause of a toothache is an oral infection. An infection can occur for the same reasons tooth decay might, which is a build-up of bacteria inside of the mouth.

A tooth infection can be incredibly painful and cause a severe toothache. While there are certain home remedies that can help deal with a toothache caused by an infection, the infection most often requires professional treatment to eliminate.

A tooth infection often requires a root canal treatment to treat, which involves removing infected pulp inside of the tooth and replacing it with a healthy material.

Gum disease

Another result of constant bacterial attacks and a buildup of plaque and tartar inside the mouth is gum disease. With gum disease, teeth may suffer, and it can lead to a toothache.

It is very important to recognize the early signs of gum disease and seek treatment as soon as possible, especially if it leads to a toothache.

Here are the early signs of gum disease to be mindful of:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Toothaches
  • Tooth sensitivity

Give us a call to schedule a dental visit if signs of gum disease are present.

Teeth grinding

Teeth grinding is perhaps the most difficult cause of a toothache to identify. Teeth grinding most commonly occurs while sleeping, which means many do not realize they are doing so.

It is important to check for effects of teeth grinding, especially if a toothache exists that cannot be explained by another cause.

If teeth grinding is believed to be an issue, it is important to visit the dentist as soon as possible to treat the effects of teeth grinding and stop grinding from continuing. In many cases, simply wearing a mouthguard is enough to prevent teeth grinding from causing a toothache.

Are you considering toothache treatment in the Metairie area? Get more toothache information at https://www.drcharvet.com.

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