Health and Medical

What Does Your Tooth Ache Mean

What Does Your Tooth Ache Mean

About 26% of Americans have tooth decay that causes unbearable tooth ache. Often, people can have sharp or throbbing pain, causing discomfort when eating or drinking.

Your tooth ache doesn’t have to be a mystery. You can determine what’s going on if you understand the causes.

While a little bit of tooth pain is normal and passes quickly, sometimes a toothache can signify something more severe in your mouth.

Keep reading to learn all about what a toothache is and what it means.

What Causes Tooth Ache

When you have a tooth ache, something is wrong with your tooth. Many different things can cause a tooth ache, and it’s best to deal with the symptoms immediately. Here is a list of the most common causes of tooth aches:

Tooth Decay

When tooth decay forms, it can cause the tooth to become sensitive to hot, cold, or sugary foods and beverages. The pain may start as a dull ache and then become more severe as the decay worsens.

Cracked Tooth

If you have a cracked tooth, a break goes through the enamel. It can happen from chewing on hard candy or an injury to your mouth.

Loose or Broken Fillings

You must see a dentist immediately if you have a loose or broken filling. It is because the filling protects the tooth from bacteria and decay.

If the filling is loose or broken, bacteria can get into the tooth and cause an infection. An infection can lead to tooth loss.

Receding Gums

The gum tissue around your teeth starts to pull away from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth’s root. It can lead to sensitivity and pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods.

Periapical Abscess

A periapical abscess is an infection that occurs at the end of a tooth’s root. This type of abscess is usually the result of untreated tooth decay.

The infection begins in the pulp (the center of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves) and spreads through the root. A periapical abscess can also cause a tooth ache. Treatment usually involves antibiotics and a root canal.

Periodontal Abscess

It is an infection of the tissues around your tooth and can be extremely painful. The infection can sometimes spread to your jawbone or other nearby tissues, so getting it treated as soon as possible is essential.

Ulcers on Your Gums

Ulcers are open sores that can form on the gums and can be very painful. Ulcers can be caused by many things, such as infection, trauma, or certain diseases.

Swollen Gums

When your gums are swollen, they can pressure your teeth and cause them to ache. Swollen gums can be caused by many things, including gum disease, infection, or even eating certain foods.


Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, the hollow cavities in the bones around the nose. When these cavities become inflamed, they can cause pressure to build up around the eyes and nose and pain in the teeth. Sometimes, the pain may be severe enough to wake you up at night.

Jaw Injuries

It can happen if you fall and hit your jaw on something hard or get hit in the face. Jaw injuries can be excruciating and cause your teeth to become loose or even fall out.

When to See the Dentist

If you have a tooth ache, you must see a dentist as soon as possible. A tooth ache can signify a serious dental problem, such as an infection. If you have an infection, it can spread to other parts of your body and cause serious health problems.

If the cause is decay, the dentist will clean the decay and fill the cavity. If it’s an injury, the dentist will determine if there is a need for a root canal or other treatment. Furthermore, the dentist will clean the disease and prescribe antibiotics if it’s from a gum infection.

Make sure to look for a dentist that specializes in the dental problem you are dealing with. Don’t forget to research and look for the best dentists in your area. Getting the right treatment immediately will prevent the problem from getting worse.

Home Remedies for Tooth Ache

If your tooth ache is accompanied by a fever, swollen lymph nodes, or other symptoms, it could signify a more severe infection. Seek immediate medical attention. If these symptoms do not accompany your tooth ache, a few home remedies may help ease your pain.

Rinse with Warm Saltwater

If your tooth ache is accompanied by swollen gums, sensitive teeth, or a foul taste in your mouth, it’s likely due to an infection. Rinse with warm salt water to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide

Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide can help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, which can help relieve tooth ache. However, it’s important not to use hydrogen peroxide more than once or twice a week, as it can be harsh on your teeth and gums.

Cold Compress

A cold compress can help to temporarily relieve the pain and sensitivity by numbing the area. Apply cold compress on the swollen area for 20-minute periods. Repeat every few hours to minimize the pain and swelling.

Pain Medications

If you’re in pain, you can take pain medication to help ease the discomfort. But before you do, it’s important to understand what your tooth ache means and whether or not pain medication is the right choice.

If the pain is severe, it’s best to see a dentist immediately. They can determine the cause of the pain and provide the appropriate treatment.

In some cases, pain medication may be necessary. But in other cases, it may only mask the pain and delay treatment. So it’s important to talk to your dentist before you take any medication.

Visit a Dentist to Secure Good Oral Health

If you’re experiencing a tooth ache, you must see a dentist as soon as possible. While there are many possible causes of a tooth ache, it could be a sign of a severe problem. You could lose your tooth if you don’t treat or call your dentist immediately.

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