Nothing can damage a perfectly good time like the sudden emergence of a toothache. When teeth ache, the entire body can seemingly shut down due to the nervous system overload. Toothaches and tooth pain can cause tremendous difficulties for people looking to obtain a good night’s sleep, and can result in diminished job performance. Many patients report that they simply cannot focus on anything aside from their toothache. Your Waco dentist, Dr. Corbet Locke, discusses the top causes of toothaches.

Toothache Causes

1. Although cavities don’t typically cause long-term pain, people with cavities can certainly experience short bursts of sharp, intense pain. Most patients suffering from a cavity-related toothache report sensitivity to hot or cold liquids.

Additionally, breathing in cool air can cause teeth to ache. In most cases, we can treat your cavity by placing a filling in the tooth. The best way to avoid cavities involves twice-daily brushing and diligent flossing.

2. Tooth fractures can cause toothaches for many patients. Many people use their teeth as tools to open packaging. We recommend that you cease this practice immediately. Other habits which can cause a tooth fracture include chewing on ice. However, bad habits don’t cause all tooth fractures. Many people engage in sporting events this time of year.

Basketball games can pose significant risk to teeth. Most youth sports leagues do not mandate that student athletes wear a mouthguard during practice and competition. Protecting teeth with a mouthguard could prevent you from fracturing a tooth caused by a swinging elbow or errant chest pass.

3. Many people overlook the importance of gum health on preventing toothaches, but gum health plays a key role. Healthy gums should appear pink and firm around teeth. Nearly 80{dcbe0cd52ce35e2f156887e14605e24111ce99c14f01d3853732956d43020bdd} of Americans will experience some form of gum disease during their lifetime.

Currently, gum disease serves as the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America as well. Diseased gums can manifest as tooth pain due to irritated gum tissue. Some warning signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, halitosis (bad breath), and repeated infections.

4. Patients with abscessed teeth often report significant tooth pain. Gum disease can increase a person’s risk of developing an abscess. When bacteria infect a tooth, swelling occurs at the root which can result in extraordinary pain. Most patients report that the infected tooth exhibits sharp pain when touched, while the rest of the mouth radiates with pain caused by the infection.

Depending on the severity, your tooth might require an extraction. We typically prescribe antibiotics to aid in fighting the infection. Maintaining optimal oral health and keeping your mouth free from gum disease can reduce your risk of developing an abscessed tooth. Make sure to rinse your mouth with an ADA-approved mouthwash after each brushing. Some studies indicate that you can reduce your risk for gum disease and infections by as much as 60{dcbe0cd52ce35e2f156887e14605e24111ce99c14f01d3853732956d43020bdd} with regular usage.

5. As the weather changes, many people suffer from sinus infections. A lengthy bout with the cold or flu can cause a sinus infection, and so can a severe allergy attack. When the sinus cavity fills with mucus, bacterial infections occur. These infections cause the sinus cavity to swell which could cause pain in upper teeth for patients.

Most people report that the pain affects them for only a few days and the pain typically appears in upper teeth only. If you experience dull upper tooth pain following a cold, a good chance exists that a sinus infection is to blame for your toothache.

Waco Dentist

Dental hygiene and attending regularly scheduled six-month checkups remain the most effective means of avoiding most toothaches. Schedule an appointment by calling our Waco dentist office at (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, the 76712 zip code, and surrounding communities.