Our dental clinic in Toowoomba is often where painful toothaches come to an end. It’s the main reason why, at Withers Dental, we offer after-hours dental care.
But what causes a toothache? We can name 3 common reasons for toothache, any of which could have you calling our dental clinic in Toowoomba for relief.
What happens when you experience toothache, is that the dental pulp — the innermost layer of the tooth is filled with sensitive nerves and blood vessels — becomes inflamed.
Some conditions can cause pain similar to toothache, despite the pulp not being inflamed:
- periodontal abscess — bacterial infection of the gums
- gums around a tooth that is breaking through, e.g. when your wisdom teeth come through
- sinusitis, which can sometimes cause upper jaw pain
- injury to the temporomandibular joint (where the jaw attaches to the skull)
Common Toothache Cause #1 – Damaged Teeth
Loose or broken fillings can cause a toothache. So too, a tooth breaking or cracking. This can happen because of decay, earlier damage, or as a result of ageing.
In these instances, your dentist has a number of options, from filling or creating a crown to cap the tooth, to extracting the remains of the tooth.
Common Toothache Cause #2 – Sensitivity
Toothache can also be triggered by a temperature change, such as eating something cold. When the enamel of your tooth is compromised, the dentine beneath, which can be very sensitive to hot and cold, can be exposed.
Your dentist can treat this problem with ‘de-sensitising’ products, such as fluoride gels, rinses and varnishes, to help relieve the symptoms. Repeat treatments are used to build up some protection.
If your sensitivity issues fail to improve after several appointments, your dentist might recommend sealing around the neck of the tooth, where the tooth and gum meet, to protect the exposed dentine. In the most serious of cases, it may be necessary to root-fill the tooth.
Common Toothache Cause #3 – Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the most notorious of all the common reasons for toothache. Cavities, or dental caries, that are evident on decayed teeth, are caused by the action of acids on the tooth’s enamel. Acids are produced when sugars (mainly sucrose) in our food and drink react with the bacteria that are present in the dental biofilm (plaque) on the surface of the tooth.
The general treatment for tooth decay is filling. In some instances, the tooth might be structurally incapable of holding the filling and more complex procedures, such as crowns, bridges and implants need to be considered to solve the problem.
Toothache can also result from the dental pulp becoming inflamed when sensitive parts of the tooth root are exposed due to receding gums.
Bacterial infection at the end of a tooth — a periapical abscess — is another cause of toothache.
No matter the cause, in the event of a toothache, don’t hesitate to contact our Toowoomba dental clinic.
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