Pain or Problems?

What causes toothache?

Dental decay.

A fracture of the tooth.

A cracked tooth. This may be invisible and so can be difficult to diagnose.

Irritation of the nerve following dental treatment. Regardless of how well it is done, dental treatment and the materials used to fill the tooth can sometimes cause pain later. Often this settles after a few days.

A leaking filling or decay under an existing filling.

Exposed dentine around the necks of the teeth following gum recession or over vigorous brushing may cause sensitivity with hot, cold and acidic foods and drinks.

The following problems can also cause symptoms similar to toothache, even though the teeth themselves may be free of disease:

A gum abscess due to gum (periodontal disease) ulcers on the gums (acute ulcerative gingivitis) ulcers on the soft tissues of the cheek, tongue and lips inflammation of the gum around a tooth which is in erupting into the mouth (pericoronitis), particularly wisdom teeth inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis), often seen in colds can be mistaken for toothache in the upper jaw.

Several other conditions may also cause pain in the mouth – always seek advice from your dentist if you have toothache. It is worth remembering that the nerves supplying the teeth sometimes give the wrong message to the brain. This means that, although you feel pain in a particular tooth, the problem may actually be in a different tooth – even one located in the opposite jaw.

If in pain, please contact your dentist immediately.