Teeth can be fickle. No matter how careful you are about brushing and flossing your teeth morning and night, it’s almost undeniable that at some point you’re going experience some pain from a toothache. Usually a cavity is to blame, but that’s sometimes not what’s going on.
Here are some several possible causes of toothaches that have nothing to do with a cavity.
If you are experiencing sharp pains when eating or drinking hot or cold foods, it could mean you have sensitive teeth, either from gum recession or from a thinning of your tooth enamel. While you are waiting for a dental appointment to confirm the cause of your sensitive teeth, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth may help ease the symptoms.
A Cracked Tooth
If the pain you are experiencing is a sharp, stabbing pain when you bite down on your food, the cause of your toothache could be a cracked tooth you didn’t even know about. If it’s a throbbing, incessant pain, on the other hand, you may have an abscessed tooth or an infection that should be taken care of as quickly as possible.
One less common, but significant cause of tooth pain is a sinus infection. If only your upper teeth on both sides of your face are in pain, sinusitis could be the culprit. This sort of toothache is usually accompanied or preceded by nasal congestion and tenderness around your sinuses. If you suspect this is the cause of your tooth pain, you may wish to see your doctor.
If your pain is more identifiable as jaw pain, it may be caused by temporomandibular disorders caused by a direct injury or trauma to the jaw, by tooth grinding (bruxism), or by arthritis or cancer affecting the jaw. If your wisdom teeth have not been removed, impacted molars could also be causing you jaw pain.
Schedule an Appointment to Be Sure
Toothaches are not always severe. Intermittent pain may seem like just an inconvenience and not worth an immediate call to our office, but waiting until the pain becomes worse is rarely the best option. Whatever the type and severity of your tooth pain, it is best to call Dr. Ky and make an appointment. The causes of toothaches are not always clear, and a conclusive diagnosis as to the source of the pain and subsequent professional treatment is always the best course of action.