What does your toothache mean?

Posted By: Varun Sharma

Even if you have a good oral cleaning routine, there will be a time in your life when you will have to deal with a toothache. A toothache is most of the time the sign of a cavity, but this is not the only condition that manifests through tooth pain.

Tooth sensitivity

If you are feeling a sharp pain when you are consuming hot or cold foods and drinks, then the pain could indicate that the enamel layer of your teeth has worn off in some areas. This could also mean that a cavity has penetrated the enamel layer, the result of receding gums or the thinning of the enamel layer. The best way of finding out where your pain is coming from is to schedule a dental appointment and confirm the cause of your sensible teeth.

close-up of a young woman holding her cheek in pain

Sometimes, a dental whitening procedure (at home or at the dentist) could generate tooth sensitivity. This type of sensitivity should go away after a couple of weeks. But if it does not, it is best to get yourself checked by your dentist.  When suffering from tooth sensitivity you should brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth. By doing so, you will help ease the symptoms and even resolve your tooth sensitivity.

More severe toothaches

If you are experiencing a sharp, stabbing pain when you chew on your food, you should go to the dentist immediately. This could be the sign of a large cavity or a cracked tooth. In most cases, the cavities are painless, but when they start to generate pain, it could mean that the nerve was damaged, and it is slowly dying. If the pain is incessant, your tooth could have already died and at the base of the tooth, there could be an infection. The best thing you can do is schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. An oral infection is really dangerous because it is close to the blood stream and it can reach your brain.

The pain is not from your teeth

It is common for people to mistake a sinus infection with tooth pain. If your upper teeth on both sides are in pain, then the culprit could be a sinusitis. This type of pain is the result of nasal congestion. You can see a doctor and determine if the pain you are suffering from is the product of a sinus infection or if you have to visit your dentist.

Another condition that causes pain in the oral area is the temporomandibular joint disorder. This is caused by trauma to the jaw joint, jaw muscles and face muscles. The temporomandibular joint disorder can also be generated by bruxism, stress or misaligned teeth.

Get yourself checked by a dentist

Indifferent of the type of toothache you are experiencing, the best way of finding the source is to get yourself checked by a dentist. Don’t wait for the pain to get worse. Even if you don’t know the source of your pain, with the help of a dentist, this pain will go away.